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MA - Design Practice in Visual Comunication

Pathway : Visual Communication

Design is thinking made visual” - Saul Bass


Professionals practicing applied art, commercial art, graphic design and visual communication design often feel the need to step out of their comfort zones to hone their skills  and enhance their creative capabilities.  They feel a need to sharpen their thinking and making skills to become excellent practitioners. The MA in Visual Communication Design enables one to integrate existing models of thinking and making with emerging technologies and methods in the field of visual communication. The course will equip graduates become meaningfully resourceful, enhance their aesthetic sense and become more process oriented in the field of visual communication.

The foundation for this course lies in emphasizing the processing and comprehension of visual information forms. Students will be encouraged to integrate the six key domains of visual communication design: aesthetic, functional, historical, symbolic, perceptual, and cultural. The discipline of Visual Communication focuses on providing core competency in developing visual literacy, visual thinking, visual perception, imaging, and representation. Design processes, research methods, history and theories of design form the building blocks for developing a comprehensive and successful branding strategy and creative communication material.

The curriculum approaches visual communication through theoretical frameworks that not only inform and enhance the practice but also encourage the students to question the norms and cross traditional boundaries.  The course will provide a platform to use design thinking to break rules, to express unique ideas, to question norms, and, to explore and experiment with the tools and methods of visual communication. Students will thus experience design both as a complex societal, corporate activity and an intense, exploratory, personal search into meaning.

Key Values

  • Build on the foundation and understanding of design as a discipline
  • Explore Gestalt Principles of Art & Design and intersect these with local aesthetics
  • Provide a strong understanding of the history of art & design, thereby creating a context within which the profession is situated
  • Learn to decode, understand and create meaning through variety of visual forms
  • Ways of analyzing meaning and communication using research, analysis and critical thinking.

Who is it for?

Graduates of Art & Design related Disciplines:
The course is designed for graduates of applied art, commercial art, mass communication, architecture, animation, fine art, printmaking, photography and other visual art related disciplines. This course provides an ideal opportunity also for design professionals who wish to breathe new energy into their creative career without giving up their jobs and assignments.

Graduates of Non-Art & Design Disciplines:
The course is also for those who do not have any undergraduate studies in the related disciplines but are passionately imaginative, are drawn to visual arts and dream of pursuing a creative career in visual communication design.

Course Structure

  • Disciplinary Studies
  • Trans-disciplinary Projects
  • Theory and Understanding Units
  • Practice
  • Self-Directed Inquiry/Research
  • Knowledge Enhancement (Ability or Skills)

Learning Approach

Discussion-based learning, learning by making, and project-based learning are some of pedagogical tools employed to create insights into real-life situations and industry needs. Design thinking and research, the principles of cognition and perception, creative thinking, and contextual thinking is emphasized and encouraged. The course prepares the students to participate and function in the areas of creativity and visual communication across print and digital media without being limited to Design Thinking & Processes.

Learning is driven by engagement with theories and methodologies through four overarching modules:

  • Inspect & Examine: Analyze content and intent using research, analysis and critical thinking.
  • Construct & Frame: Be prolific in Image Making, interaction of Type and Image to make meaning, and use of Visual Narratives in visual story telling, Constructing and shaping meaning in communications for advertising and marketing.
  • Contextualize: Understand and employ theory of Semiotics, Denotation, Connotation and Visual Symbolism. Understand and contextualize historical milestones, Visual Culture and Visual Literacy.
  • Bridge: Intersect or traverse between theory and practice. Transform forms and meanings.

Capability Sets

  • Understand design process and employ the tools and principles of visual communication design to formulate creative and meaningful design solutions
  • Awareness and knowledge about historical contexts as well as latest developments and concerns in the practice of visual communication design and ability to add to these developments and concerns his/her own voice within the context of his/her own practice.
  • Demonstrate autonomy and proficiency to become a critical creator.
  • Ability to work against prescribed notions of design practice thus setting new standards and novel approaches to design research / processes / ideation / production.
  • Apply principles of cognition and perception and fundamentals of visual design to create meaningful, desirable & appropriate visual messages and experiences that are empathetic to cultures, contexts and environment.
  • Work with diverse media and materials rapidly to create visual/experiential solutions.
  • Communicate compellingly the design process to invite critique & develop a community of stakeholders for the work.


Graduates of MA in Visual Communication at Srishti will be able to contribute to and make a positive difference in a variety of creative service industries such as of Branding & Advertising, Marketing & Communication, Graphic Design, Publication & Publishing, Retail and Exhibition. Our graduates will make very competent and effective Art Directors, Senior Designers and Design Consultants.

Disciplinary Intersections

The specialisation is informed by the following disciplines:

Book Making and Publication Design
Branding and Marketing Communication
Design Research
Design Thinking
Digital Media
Information Visualisation and Experience Design
New Humanities