About Visual Communication

The guiding light of graphic design is communication. Graphic designers communicate information, text, images and a range of other content in the purpose of facilitating understanding. At the Iceland Academy of the Arts, studies in visual communication aim to both strengthen the wider profession, as well as encourage students to take care of their environment and society – looking towards the future. To achieve this, students make use of both modern and historical technology. They explore a range of media and are advised to be conscious of the context within which they work. Students are pushed to think creatively and encouraged to understand their subject, to not become stuck in technical limitations or traditions.

Graphic design is built on an ancient foundation of writing, type, illustration and print but in the 20th century these elements have entered a diverse interplay of creative and organised approaches to communicating messages. Academic practice is of the essence in all work within the academy, both for staff and students, in order to promote professional practice and clearer communication of content, ideas and thoughts.

The aim is for students to be able to easily adapt to, and catalyse, change. To be capable of solving complex design problems and managing both ambitious and small-scale projects. To be capable in communicating their own ideas and research, as well as communicating the ideas of others. It is important that students, and all graphic designers, develop a keen eye for information and form. Furthermore, it is important that they are able to work independently, collaboratively or in a cross-disciplinary context, that they share their expertise and that they have a specific vision to offer for the different projects and challenges they encounter.

Visual communication may be described as a subject that influences society and is constantly developing, just like its surroundings. The changes and development currently taking place in the world at large, are framed in the context of the programme in order to raise students’ awareness of themselves as designers and participants in a dynamic society.

Can You Handle My Truth?
Katha Upanishad – Illustrated Katha Upanishad

Frá fagstjóra

Graphic design is at once tangible, and invisible. It is subject to social and technological change but still commands a broad spectrum of opportunities and offers a host of possibilities. One of the best ways for the profession to grow and to prosper is to constantly re-evaluate and redefine itself, remaining open and flexible in response to the transitory situations and external factors around us. We want to be responsible critics, reacting to and building upon the foundation of historical knowledge before us. We aspire to contribute as participants in the conversation about the positive development of society.

Birna Geirfinnsdóttir, lektor og fagstjóri í grafískri hönnun.