In the  Visual Communication course, Academy of Art University students spend the semester developing a variety of content that aims to communicate a concept or characteristic surrounding a natural phenomenon, selected by the student. Each week, students submit their solutions to specific design prompts. 

They begin the project by looking at their environment conceptually, capturing images that convey their phenomenon using a shallow depth of field as well as a motion blur aesthetic. From here, they begin crafting new worlds using rejected images from this exercise into new digital montages. Subsequent assignments include the creation of a handmade design, the development of a typeface, a logo design, and an infographic. In the end, students organize these designs into a final book that shows off their work from the semester while still visually conveying the concept or characteristics of their phenomenon.

The intent is to help students experiment with different media generation techniques, but also to help them learn the language of graphic design. The better solutions happen when students are clearly having fun with their ideas.


  typographic detail of   rain,  byJudy Hart

typographic detail of rain, byJudy Hart


oceans, by Elaine Phillips

fire, by Jacquelyn Cipres

river, by Aaron Santee


front cover design of oceans, by Elaine Phillips

debossing detail by Elaine Phillips

binding and design detail of fire, by Jacquelyn Cipres

typographic detail by Jacquelyn Cipres

interior spread from fog, by Colin Wong