The way that content is designed and displayed is an important and fast-evolving component of the information revolution. In this concentration, students learn how to work with the technology used in both Web and print publication while simultaneously studying theories and practices of visual communication.
Topics in this concentration range from traditional typography to digital design for newspapers, magazines and the Web. The main emphasis is on publication design, including print and interactive media that deliver information, opinion and entertainment via newspapers, magazines, books, newsletters, brochures, websites and mobile apps.
The project-centered approach of the program requires students to use state-of-the-art computers extensively, with emphasis on developing creative solutions to practical design problems. Students use the latest Macintosh computer systems to create successful design packages. In the computer labs, each workstation has the full Adobe Suite installed, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Professional and Dreamweaver, as well as Internet access for research and design resources.
Examples of student work: VCOM students
Go to VCOM course materials
Mass Comm 264
Sanjay Asthana, professor in Journalism, earned his Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2003 from the University of Minnesota. He also holds an MPhil degree in Philosophy and an MA Communication from the University of Hyderabad in India. Dr. Asthana teaches courses in visual communication, globalization, communication technologies, and cultural studies. He worked as a radio broadcaster at the All India Radio (state-regulated network) in India, where he scripted and produced current affairs programs and numerous documentaries on social and political themes.
Dr. Asthana’s major research areas include media globalization, youth media, cultural and postcolonial studies. His research appeared in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Media, Culture & Society, International Journal of Cultural Studies, and essays in several other journals and books. Dr. Asthana is the author of Palestinian Youth Media and the Pedagogies of Estrangement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016); Youth Media Imaginaries from Around the World (Peter Lang, 2012); Innovative Practices of Youth Participation in Media (UNESCO, 2006); and a co-author of the report, Media Information Literacy: Policy and Strategy Guidelines (UNESCO, 2013).
Curriculum vitae: sanjay_asthana_cv.doc
Mass Comm 271
Leslie Haines, associate professor, earned an MFA in graphic design at Marywood University and an MA in advertising design at Syracuse University. She comes to MTSU from the Art Institute of Tennessee–Nashville, where she was academic director of the graphic and web design and advertising programs. She also served in administrative and teaching roles at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film.
Prior to becoming an educator, Haines worked in upstate New York at The Syracuse Newspapers and in Nashville at The Tennessean in the marketing and advertising departments. For over a decade, Haines ran her own advertising and design business where she worked with a roster of local and national clients including musicians, hospitals, retail, film and newspaper-industry publications. Two of her hat designs were sold at Target stores nationwide and she designed the most recent arts license plate for the state of Tennessee. Haines has been the recipient of 19 ADDY awards, the American Advertising Federation “Teacher of the Year” for 7th District and serves as a judge for ADDY competitions across the country. Her personal design work, a digital collage series called “Animal Abecedary” has been selected for juried exhibitions in local and regional art shows and museums including Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Artclectic at University School, the Harding Art Show, the Dogwood Arts Regional Fine Arts Exhibition and Nashville International Airport. Her work was also selected for exhibition in a juried show in Cairns, Queensland.
Curriculum Vitae: Haines.L_CV_2016.pdf
Mass Comm 218
Philip Loubere, associate professor, teaches applications and advanced classes in the visual communication sequence, including Information Web Design. Prior to joining the School, he worked as a news artist at three West Coast newspapers—The Seattle Times, the San Jose Mercury News and The Orange County Register—over a period of 12 years from 1996 to 2008. Before that, he taught art and design classes at Pierce College and at the University of Puget Sound, both in Tacoma, Wash.
Prof. Loubere has an M.F.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison, an M.A. from Eastern Illinois University, and a B.F.A. from SUNY College at Buffalo, N.Y. He has received or shared in eight awards from AEJMC, the Society for News Design, Best of the
West, Greater Bay Area Journalism and News Artist Organization and, prior to his newspaper career, had his artwork in six solo shows, twenty-one juried group shows and ten invitational shows, earning six awards, including Best of Show, Patron and Purchase.
Curriculum vitae: loubere_cv.2016.pdf
VCOM 2010 Introduction to Visual Communication
Three credits. Introduction and overview of concepts, theories, and practices of visual communication and media design; role of typography, art, illustration, photography, and information graphics in news media, newspapers, magazines, advertising, and public relations in multiple formats.
VCOM 2950 Visual Communication Applications
Three credits. Introduction to industry-standard graphics applications used for print, Web and digital publication; discussion of typography, design and color theory; overview of publication procedures. Combined lecture/lab.
JOUR 3520 Special Topics in Professional Issues
Three credits. (Same as ADV/JOUR/PR 3520.) Prerequisite: JOUR 3090. Special topics in journalism, advertising, public relations, and visual communication focusing on practical applications. Topics change each semester and have included investigative, environmental, sports, and political reporting; visual editing; international public relations; and advertising account management. May be repeated up to 6 credits.
VCOM 3810 History of Visual Communication
Three credits. Historical survey of visual communication; creative and critical debates between principles and practices in design movements; the role of art, science, and technology in relation to journalism and visual media from the printed to the digital. Areas covered include art, illustration, typography, printing, and photography—in print, electronic and digital media—with a focus on how historical and contemporary media modalities influence journalism and visual design.
VCOM 3920 Information Web Design
Three credits. Prerequisite: VCOM 2950. Introduction to software, design principles and technology used for communicating concepts, information and narratives through websites and digital media. Overview of social, political, copyright and ethical issues involving websites, digital and social media. Combined lecture/lab.
VCOM 3930 Visual Storytelling for Journalism
Three credits. Prerequisite: VCOM 2950 or permission of instructor. Design process and production methods for communicating concepts, information and narratives through the use of visual elements in print, Web and digital media. The skill sets of typographic language and design, photography selection and use, illustration techniques and intermediate layout design are developed for the purpose of visual storytelling in the form of such projects as editorial layout in digital and print formats, ad campaigns and logo design. Combined lecture/lab.
VCOM 3950 Digital Storytelling for Journalism
Three credits. Prerequisites: VCOM 3920, VCOM 3930. Advanced practice in communicating concepts, information and narratives through the use of websites and digital media. Topics include contemporary practices and use of code and software for online and digital media production, combined with in-depth discussion of social, political, copyright and ethical issues pertaining to websites, digital and social media. Combined lecture/lab.
VCOM 4010 Senior Projects
Three credits. Prerequisite or corequisite: VCOM 3950. Application of advanced design principles and production methods in the creation and distribution of print and digital publications. Students work cooperatively on one or several large projects over the course of a semester. Combined lecture/lab.
VCOM 4180 Senior Portfolio
Three credits. Prerequisite: VCOM 4010. This is the capstone class in the VCOM concentration. Students revise and create print and digital designs for the purpose of professional portfolio presentation. Professional topics are also discussed, including creative strategies, legal and copyright issues, and client relations. Combined lecture/lab.
You should meet with the advisor for your concentration to create your course plan and to make sure that you meet all graduation requirements for your concentration. A list of Media and Entertainment advisors is here: Media and Entertainment Advising Center.
You should also use the upper division form for your concentration to make sure to meet all requirements. Download the Journalism upper division form: UD_VCOM.2016.pdf
Required courses in the School of Journalism are listed on the main MTSU site here:
Visual Communication Concentration