Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Magazine and Digital Publishing

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Media and Communications

DESCRIPTION This study-unit focuses on the exploration of the creative process: from idea to delivery. Particular emphasis is placed on the powerful dynamics of visual and verbal signs in effective communication. Due to the experiential nature of the subject, students gain first-hand, practical knowledge of the print and publishing industry, which are an asset for future careers in the creative field.

Theoretical lectures are supplemented by key provocateurs from the industry or visits to local publishing houses. Individual development is nurtured through regular journal-keeping, idea-generation, reflective posts and logging of tasks performed.

Candidates aspiring to follow such a unit are required to have an aptitude for the visual arts, to possess visual and verbal communication skills, to have an appreciation of print and digital design and to be willing to work with a group of other students towards the creation and production of a printed publication.

Print in the 21st century:

- A historical perspective;
- New media;
- Paper, ink & the environment.

Introduction to graphic design

- The language of design: elements and principles;
- The creative process (Visual research and idea generation);
- Typography;
- Format and visual hierarchy;
- Visual identity;
- Editorial design;
- Contemporary visual artists.

The Publishing House

- Audience, content and form;
- Editorial (Policy, ethics and creativity);
- Communications (Social media, audio-visual and PR);
- Advertising (Fund management, fund-raising and rate-cards);
- Design (Visual identity, page layout and pre-press).

Study-Unit Aims:

The primary aim of this study-unit is to introduce the students to the language of visual communication and to direct theoretical knowledge and practical skills towards a final practical project. Students will not only explore the graphical aspect, but will be directly dealing with editorial, communications and advertising matters so as to generate ideas, raise funds and communicate the publication to their chosen audience. By the end of the project, students will have become fluent in creative communication by blending together both their visual and verbal skills.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

The basic objective of the study-unit is to assist students to develop visual communication skills and to apply these skills towards the production of a printed publication. Important secondary objectives will be to encourage students to:

- Comprehend the principles and elements of visual theory;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the history and basic processes of print;
- Intelligently critique and reflect on contemporary visual art;
- Experiment with and understand the relationship between word and image in design;
- Understand the key terminology related to print, visual theory and editorial design.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Work in a team towards a final practical project;
- Understand the team dynamics in the editorial, communications, advertising and design departments of a publishing house;
- Keep a journal of the background theory and the jobs done;
- Appreciate and understand the dynamics within a publishing house;
- Work to tight deadlines and be accountable to a coordinator.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Visual Communication:

- Baldwin J., Roberts L. (2006) Visual Communication: From Theory to Practice. AVA Publishing.
- Skolos, N., Wedell, T (2006) Type Image Message. Rockport.

Print Production

- Greenwald, M. L., Luttropp J. C. (2008) Designing for Print Production: Essential Concepts. Delmar Cengage Learning.
- Pipes, A. (2001) Production for Graphic Designers. New York, Overlook.
- Bann, D. (2007) The All New Print Production Handbook. Watson-Guptill.

Editorial Design

- Rothstein, J. (2007) Designing Magazines. Allworth Press.
- Fawcett-Tang, R. (2008) Experimental Formats 2: Books, Brochures, Catalogs (v. 2). RotoVision.
- Moser, H. (2003) Surprise Me. Mark Batty Publishing.
- Rivers, C. (2009) Mag-Art: Innovation in Magazine Design. RotoVision.
- Ambrose, G., Harris, P. (2011) Basics Design: Format. Ava Publishing.
- Ambrose, G., Harris, P. (2011) Basics Design: Layout. Ava Publishing.
- Muller-Brockmann, J. (2008) Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Handbook for Graphic Artists, Typographers, and Exhibition Designers. Niggli Verlag.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Co-requisite Study-unit: MCS3010


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Logbook SEM1 No 20%
Practical SEM2 No 40%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 40%

LECTURER/S Malcolm Bonello

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.