Courses » Visual Semiotics for Visual Communication

Visual Semiotics for Visual Communication

About the Course

The course ‘Visual Semiotics for visual communication’ is crafted to have a strong understanding of semiotic landscape of visual context. In other words, it gives a deeper know how of the grammar of visual language essentially communicated through visual medium in two dimensional form. However it supports multi-modality of visual media such moving images. Objects designed by human beings are subject to visual perception, to its users or viewers. Based on this perception various decisions are taken, or emotions are evoked. The success or failure of the design often depends on the communication it establishes with its viewer through visual means. Now, it is becoming evident, the knowledge of the underlying principles of these perceptions are related to visual semiotics. And thus knowledge and application of the same would result in efficient, engaging and effective visual communication. This introductory course aims at acquainting the students with basic terminology, fundamentals, theory and its process of application. It gives students a better grasp to analyse existing modes of visual communication, as well as to come up with better design propositions.

Intended Audience

B.Arch, B.Des, M.Arch, M.Des, B.F.A, M.F.A., Degree or diploma in mass communication

Industries that will recognize this course

IT companies dealing with GUI, HCI, HCD – Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Honeywell etc.; Creative firms such as advertising agencies, graphic or visual communication design agencies etc.

Course Instructor

Mainak Ghosh of Architecture and Regional Planning, IIT Kharagpur, his research interest revolves around visual perception, visual communication, design and cognition in continuum with urban design. Dynamic and high-performing academician and professional with a unique background of post graduation in Design from IIT Kanpur and graduation in Architecture from Jadavpur University. There after consulting experience in the field of design and cognitive study focusing on experiential aspects of users or audience perceiving creative forms. He has several accolades, publications and projects to his credit, driving passionate approach to improvise work practice at personal level as well as organizational level. He has been invited speaker to the Smart City Congress in Paris 2015 and in User Experience International Conference in Hyderabad 2016. With a career spanning over 10 years involving both industry and teaching experiences, he has travelled exhaustively to USA, UK, Canada for his project works and allied research.


Course Layout

Week 1: VISUAL COMMUNICATION: Human Communication; Information, Communication and Media; Visual Communication; Professional areas of visual communication;

Week 2:
VISUAL SEMIOTICS: Landscape of Semiotics; Syntax; Semantics; Pragmatics; Visual Semiotics;

Week 3:
VISUAL PERCEPTION & SEMIOTICS: Gestalt’s Laws of perception; Affordances; Conceptual Model; Metaphor, Meta-code; Connotation, Denotation;

Week 4: USAGE OF VISUAL SEMIOTICS IN VISUAL COMMUNICATION: Representation, Abstraction; Visual Narrative and visual semiotics; Visual Persuasion and visual semiotics; Images and Text in visual semiotics; Applications and Implementation;


Certification exam:

• The exam is optional for a fee. Exams will be on 26 March, 2017.

• Time: Shift 1: 9am-12 noon; Shift 2: 2pm-5pm

• Any one shift can be chosen to write the exam for a course.

• Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.

• The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published.


• Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score.

• 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 4 weeks course: Best 3 out of 4 assignments.

• E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT KHARAGPUR. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.