First year

In the first year, students are introduced to the basic elements of visual communication, as well as design processes and methods. Students learn about research methods, the importance of context to their work and how they argue for their work and ideas. Priority is given to type and detailed typography, logo design, and the influence that visual communication can have in the broader context.

Students are introduced to the studios available to them during their studies, and to the basic software that designers use.

A joint course with other design students teaches ideology and design history, cultural theory and material culture with emphasis on the importance of academic practices. In addition, the history of graphic design is taught in both the Icelandic and international context.

Learning outcomes

After the first year, students should:

  • have acquired the skills to work with type in different media
  • have developed the skill of arguing for their work
  • have been introduced to the basic software programs used in graphic design
  • have basic knowledge of imagery and semiotics
  • have acquired methods for conceptual work and sketches

Second year

In the autumn, the focus is on introducing students to the occupational environment of visual communication, specifically, the areas of branding, overall appearance and information design. Students are introduced to the basic elements of type design and illustration. The social effect of design and inter-disciplinary practices are emphasised, as well as group collaboration - where the focus is on projects that have impact in a broader context. 

Students learn the basic skills in digital media and are introduced to the use of code and physical computing in visual communication. Priority is given to interdisciplinary work and to introducing students to various technology and its possibilities.

Theory courses emphasise sustainability, creation and socio-cultural challenges. Furthermore, students are provided with insight concerning the history of visual communication, both in Iceland as well as in an international context. In the second year, students choose elective courses and can for example, take courses in creative writing, film theory and visual culture. The exact selection of courses is subject to change between years.

Learning outcomes

After the second year, students should:

  • have basic knowledge of branding and skills of applying different methods in branding
  • have basic knowledge of different technical possibilities and software programs,
  • have knowledge of type in a historical context,
  • be able to create visual works in a personal style, based on research. 

Third year

Real world projects are emphasised. Students work on design and research projects of varying scale, as well as publishing a magazine. Students prepare to present their own work in their graduation projects. Here, students must demonstrate the knowledge and skill necessary to deliver a complete project where all areas of visual communication, from research to the final presentation, are throroughly considered.

Students write a final thesis in the third year. Priority is given to the integration of design and theory and it is expected that students work independently. Students also write about their own graduation project in a dedicated design analysis where they position their own work aesthetically, materially, and in a socio-cultural context. In a joint course across the whole department, students learn about the occupational environment of designers - the role and responsibility of designers in society.

Learning outcomes

After the third year, students should:

  • be able to communicate their own ideas and projects theoretically and technically
  • have knowledge of the occupational environment of designers
  • be able to work on various projects connected to graphic design
  • have acquired an open mind and degree of originality in thought
  • know the different aspects of managing bigger projects
  • be able to argue for their work on professional grounds
F Fræði
T Tækni
V Vinnustofa
B Bundið val
S Skylda
V Val


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