10 Things You Must Know to Pass Visual Communication Design

  1. Your (awkward) lecturer is Andrew Hawryshkewich; aha50@sfu.ca
  2. Your (spectacular) TAs are Leila Aflatoony (laflatoo@sfu.ca) and Emily Ip (eip@sfu.ca)
  3. Allow up to 2 business days for email replies; we may reply sooner, but not always
  4. We do not provide critique via email; arrange a meeting please!
  5. Please remember what an A means; you are 'exceeding expectations'
  6. Attendance is required; random grade-affecting checks will be held
  7. Late submissions receive 10% per day; 10 minutes late? 10% off.
  8. If you are having concerns finishing a project on time, talk to Andrew before it is due
  9. All grade concerns must be brought up within 10 days; this is SFU policy
  10. Plagiarism is never tolerated; when in doubt, ask us and cite it

On the waitlist?

Super-secret tip: If you are on the waitlist, the best recommendation is to talk to the instructor and attend all the labs and lectures while you wait. That way the instructor may be more interested in having you join the course, as they don't have to catch you up on missed material!

The Complete Course Outline

Contact Info

Course Website

Instructor edition


Andrew Hawryshkewich
Room 2816, Podium 2, SFU Surrey


Leila Aflatoony

Emily Ip

Email Rules

You've read the '10 Things to Pass', so you know to allow up to 2 business days for responses; of course! Please make sure to include the following in your email for speedier response times:

  1. The subject contains "IAT-110:"
  2. The message contains your full name
  3. A clear question

We do not provide design critique via email, please visit office hours or arrange a meeting time.

Projects questions?
Email your TA.

Quizzes, missing class, waitlists or course concerns?
Email Andrew (your instructor) at aha50@sfu.ca


A reminder that attendance is required and random grade-affecting checks will be held.


Thursdays from 2:30 - 5:20pm
SFU Burnaby, AQ-3182

Course Description

IAT110 will introduce non-SIAT majors to visual communication for art and design in digital media. Students learn the fundamental difference between digital raster and vector image creation. An example of a digital raster image is a digital photo; vector images are made of geometrical primitives such as points, lines and curves. Design principles such as form, typography and color theory as they apply to digital media will be taught. Students will have core projects in digital photography, layout and motion design. Seminal texts in new media theory will be central to discussions, assignments and lecture materials.

Students will learn in a "studio style" lecture, were hands on activities will facilitate active engagement with the course materials. These activities will allow students to apply knowledge from the lecture material as they are learning it, aiding in retention and comprehension of the material. This is not a software training course; students will be expected to be highly motivated and self-sufficient in learning the necessary skills to complete the assignments.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Have an understanding of the process of visual design from ideation, iteration, revision to solution.

  2. Be able to work with readily available digital tools, such as Apps, freeware and cell phone cameras, to produce visual designs.

  3. Be able to apply principles and elements of design to an image, a series of images and to image and text combinations.

  4. Be able to critique their own designs and the work of others in terms of how elements within the design communicate idea and intention.


You must be in attendance, engaged and actively working in class to achieve this grade. Grade given at end of the term, and participation can only be excused for legitimate reasons (i.e. doctor's notes, large calamities, emergencies). When in doubt, email Andrew (aha50@sfu.ca).


All readings are provided on Canvas digitally through the SFU Library or as PDFs.


Quizzes will be on readings and lecture material. They will test both your knowledge of course material and ability to apply concepts in the course in novel situations. Quizzes may be administered on-line through Canvas or given in class.


There are four major projects in this course, a portion of which will involve weekly homework assignments.

Final Exam

Exam is part take home and part written in class. The take home will be assigned in week 12 and the written will be in class in week 13.

All Courses Are Equal

Please remember that all courses are created equal, no one course should monopolize all your time at the detriment of your other courses. If you should find yourself in such a situation, please let your instructor know sooner rather than later.


If your work refers to or builds upon an existing work, you must cite the original in your submission or presentation. Failure to do so will be considered plagiarism. Plagiarism will result in a grade reduction or school disciplinary action at the instructor's discretion. For reference and clarification, please see SFU's Academic Honesty policy and SIAT's Academic Honesty Policy.

Late or Incorrectly Submitted Deliverables

Late deliverables receive 10% per day late starting immediately after the deliverable is due. Allow yourself sufficient time to submit deliverables without incurring late penalties.

Files incorrectly submitted to Canvas - for example, submitting a PDF that cannot be opened - will receive a penalty on the resubmitted file of 25% plus 10% per day not resubmitted (after the grades have been released). For example, if you do not resubmit the file until two days after the grades are released the penalty will be 45%. It is your responsibility to ensure that your deliverables make it in on-time and in an uncorrupted fashion.

Grading Breakdown

10% - Participation
10% - Quizzes
15% - Final Exam
65% - Projects

Grading Scale

All the grades in this course tally to 100% to make it easier to track progress through the term. To translate the percentage to a letter grade, this course uses the SIAT standard grading scale for final letter grades:

A+ > 95%
A > 90%
A- > 85%
B+ > 80%
B > 75%
B- > 70%
C+ > 65%
C > 60%
C- > 55%
D > 50%
F < 50%