New visual literacy course a topic of conference presentation

Published 10.26.2023

Faculty & Staff
Graphic Design & Art
School of Business, Arts & Sciences News

A new course in visual literacy was highlighted by two Pennsylvania College of Technology graphic design faculty members at the 55th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association, hosted recently online and in person by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Brian A. Flynn and David M. Moyer, assistant professors of graphic design, presented “Visual Literacy: A Structured Approach to Understanding Visual Literacy” in an online presentation attended by professionals from Greece, Finland, Turkey, Canada, the U.K., Singapore and Japan, as well as attendees from Harvard University, The United Nations and the University of Illinois.

Brian A. Flynn (left) and David M. Moyer
Brian A. Flynn (left) and David M. Moyer

With the conference theme of “Ways of Seeing,” the event offered practicing artists, educators and museum professionals from different cultural backgrounds and life experiences the opportunity to examine diverse perspectives and avenues for interpreting visual information.

Flynn and Moyer’s talk shared details about a new course being offered at Penn College, launching in Spring 2024. The focus of Visual Literacy II (ART 307) is visual content and its relationship to the visual image.

Their presentation explored how visual content is communicated by an image through its visual form. They offered an overview of a process to discern visual content and its application to the visual image using specific examples comprised of a structure divided into four parts: The Bracketed Observation, Contextual Information, Contextual Association and Aesthetic Condition of the Image. Three categories of visual content were also examined: Formal, Narrative and Symbolic. Most images are a mixture of the three content categories; all images are visible due to their visual form.

Flynn and Moyer are co-authors of the publication, “Visual Literacy Workbook for Graphic Design and Fine Art Students,” published by Oxford University Press.

Visual literacy is a vital part of pedagogical, artistic and research practices of various kinds. For over five decades, the concept of visual literacy has been used across disciplines, most prominently in education, art, museum studies, information design, photography and new literacies research.

Flynn holds a Master of Fine Arts from Indiana State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbus College of Art & Design.

Moyer received a Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware.

To learn more about Penn College’s graphic design and advertising art majors, contact the School of Business, Arts & Sciences at 570-327-4521.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.