Introduction

The successful information designer (visual communications designer) is a professional, highly qualified person who plays a decisive strategic role in creating the contemporary visual environment. We live in a world in which we are surrounded by words and pictures and it is the designer's responsibility to provide original solutions to mass communication problems.

  • Visual Communications FunctionsOpen or Close

    The functions of visual communications design can be broadly defined in terms of four intentions.

    They Are

    • To establish visual identities for people, organisations or products
    • To visually inform, direct, explain, describe and educate
    • To persuade people to change their actions and behaviors
    • To create an entertaining, aesthetic or intriguing experience
  • Communications Design MediaOpen or Close

    Communications designers execute projects in three types of media:

    Print Media

    examples are books, magazines, brochures, posters, forms, stamps, billboards

    Screen-Based Media

    examples are TV advertisements and title sequences, multimedia products such as CD-ROMs and DVDs, web-sites, broadcast graphics, information and service kiosks, computer games

    3-D Media

    examples are exhibition stands, packaging and environmental signage

  • Who Is Information Design For?Open or Close

    Information design is a career with unusual and challenging opportunities for:

    • the intelligent, energetic and innovative person with creative and artistic talent
    • someone with perseverance and the ability to accept responsibility
    • the person who is able to communicate with a broad spectrum of people
    • the adventurous individual who will enjoy the versatility offered by the visual communications industry
    • the potential manager with organisational skills
  • Design ProjectsOpen or Close

    Typical projects and areas of design practice are the following:

    Corporate Identity & Communications

    name, logo, visual style and all communications materials disseminated by an organisation

    Visual Branding

    unique and distinguishing identity and packaging for products, places and events

    Editorial Design

    cover designs, illustrations, and editorial layouts for all types of books, magazines, newsletters and reports

    Advertising & Promotion

    information and impact about a product, service or idea in the light of the competitive marketplace

    Multi-Media Design

    interactivity and interface design, web-sites, and all aspects of e-commerce, e-shopping and e-entertainment

    Environmental Graphics

    wayfinding and directional systems which indicate where to go and where to find things in large and complex public spaces

    Design For Development

    awareness campaigns and educational materials that help people and communities develop and empower themselves

    Illustration

    creating images for educational and children’s books, comics, cartoons, botanical and medical information, computer games

    Information Architecture

    designing and structuring information so that it is accessible, available and understandable.

    Broadcast Design

    title sequences for television and video programmes

  • Opportunities For DesignersOpen or Close

    The design and communications industries offer a wide range of career opportunities.

    Graduates Work For:

    • design consultants (traditional and new media)
    • advertising agencies, in-house studios of large companies, state and parastatal organisations, broadcast corporations, educational institutions and research institutes
    • book and magazine publishers
    • printers
    • public relations companies
    • computer bureaux and media production houses
    • their own studios and as freelance designers

    You will leave the course in Information Design with confidence and a versatility that enable you to establish yourself in any of the above areas of design and advertising. You can expect to be knowledgeable about current developments in professional practice and to be sensitive to influences within society that have an impact on design.

  • Admission RequirementsOpen or Close

    To be accepted for the BA Information Design package, you need a National Senior Certificate with full university exemption. Art as a school subject is not essential, but prospective students must be able to demonstrate their creative potential and commitment to their chosen field of study. You are therefore required to submit a portfolio of work for a merit selection review and, if invited, undergo a series of tests and be interviewed by a selection committee. Applications for the course close on 30 June annually and selection takes place at the beginning of October.

    MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION

    • A university exemption
    • An APS score of 30
    • Art as a school subject is not a requirement
  • Course StructureOpen or Close

    The Information Design course is spread across four years of full time study. As part of the course, you will also be required to complete a six week internship. The internship constitutes working for professional design and/or production companies during vacations in your 3rd and 4th years of study.

    1st YEAR

    Information Design IOW 100
    Imaging and Visualisation ILL 101
    Visual Culture Studies VKK 111 / 121 / 123
    Computer Literacy CIL 111 / 121
    Academic Skills EAG 151
    Academic Literacy AIM 101

    2st YEAR

    Information Design IOW 200
    Imaging and Visualisation ILL 201
    Visual Culture Studies VKK 211 / 221 / 223
    Marketing Management BEM 110 / 122

    3rd YEAR

    Information Design IOW 300
    Imaging and Visualisation ILL 301
    Visual Culture Studies VKK 311 / 321 / 322
    Marketing Management BEM 224

    4th YEAR

    Information Design IOW 400
    Visual Communication ILL 401
  • Vision & MissionOpen or Close

    Vision

    The Department of Visual Arts endeavours to be recognised for its academic and creative excellence. It strives to be inclusive, enabling, socially responsible and value-driven, always acknowledging its mandate to be relevant to the wider community. Moreover, the Department aims to be a leading visual arts department, acknowledged as the department of choice by its students, graduates, employers and peers. It seeks to function as a model multidisciplinary department that fosters a creative, intellectual, professional, critical and reflective climate for its staff and students.

    Mission

    The Department of Visual Arts insists that its three divisions — Fine Arts, Information Design and Visual Studies — play key strategic roles in shaping knowledgeable, responsible, independent and innovative citizens. Its purpose is therefore to train and educate students who can contribute meaningfully to society. Driven by humanistic and intellectual imperatives, the Department provides an environment where students can learn and grow to contribute to the well-being of the broader community and where staff can become leaders in their respective fields. Each of the Department’s divisions seeks to attain these outcomes by means of focused research strategies, encouraging both individuality and communal responsibility.

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