COM 251 Layout and Design

Campus Location:
Effective Date:
COM 140, COM 130


Course Credits and Hours:
3.00 credits
3.00 lecture hours/week
0.00 lab hours/week
Course Description:

This course is designed to teach the concepts of composing and designing visual packages to communicate information. The student experiences pagination techniques and incorporates visual design theory to create print and digital products, including advertisements for maximum effectiveness. Emphasis is on typography, photography, graphic design, use of color, modular design, and layout theory for both print and digital platforms.

Required Text(s):

Obtain current textbook information by viewing the campus bookstore online or visit a campus bookstore. Check your course schedule for the course number and section.

Additional Materials:


Schedule Type:
Classroom Course
Hybrid Course


Core Course Performance Objectives (CCPOs):
  1. Create story and page layouts that incorporate design principles using industry software. (CCC 2, 6; PGC 4)
  2. Produce information designs for the web that adhere to design principles and platform-specific standards. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 2)
  3. Create functional and aesthetic advertisements for print and digital publication. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5, 6; PGC 2, 4, 6)

See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.

Measurable Performance Objectives (MPOs):

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Create story and page layouts that incorporate design principles using industry software.
    1. Identify visual elements using correct vocabulary.
    2. Evaluate the design of print pages using principles of graphic design, industry terms, and vocabulary.
    3. Use appropriate typography and typographic treatments to assist with readability.
    4. Perform appropriate measurements and conversions to adapt designs across platforms.
    5. Demonstrate ability to crop, size, and position photos correctly.
    6. Apply a modular design approach to organizing and designing a print news story.
    7. Assign credit for unoriginal graphics and photography to the appropriate source.
    8. Use color, contrast, and negative space effectively in graphics and design elements.
    9. Compose headlines and cutlines that use Associated Press style.
    10. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills, including correct terminology, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
    11. Use graphic elements to create clear points of entry and to direct readers’ attention across the page.
    12. Produce an attractive and balanced page that demonstrates consistency and attention to detail.
    13. Use industry software to produce a page.
  2. Produce information designs for the web that adhere to design principles and platform-specific standards.
    1. Create graphics that can be published on various websites and social media.
    2. Compare different social media platforms to determine which ones are best suited for reaching and delivering messages to a specific audience.
    3. Design site-specific graphic elements for various social media and web platforms.
    4. Design information graphics that communicate information clearly and apply design standards.
    5. Demonstrate adaptability when working with different site specifications for graphics and posts.
    6. Perform tasks in order to successfully publish information in a digital environment.
    7. Maintain a file organization system that successfully finds and shares digital files.
    8. Explain information accurately and effectively using correct logos, color, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  3. Create functional and aesthetic advertisements for print and digital publication.
    1. Compose concise advertising messages to captivate and persuade an audience.
    2. Apply publication specifications to advertisement size and file format.
    3. Use typography, typographic treatments, and color to communicate and organize information.
    4. Demonstrate design principles of contrast and unity when incorporating color and negative space in advertisements.
    5. Create advertisements that are accurate and consistent with the brand.
    6. Deliver advertisements on deadline in a usable format.
Evaluation Criteria/Policies:

The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:

90 100 = A
80 89 = B
70 79 = C
0 69 = F

Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.

Core Curriculum Competencies (CCCs are the competencies every graduate will develop):
  1. Apply clear and effective communication skills.
  2. Use critical thinking to solve problems.
  3. Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
  4. Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
  5. Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
  6. Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
Program Graduate Competencies (PGCs are the competencies every graduate will develop specific to his or her major):
  1. Analyze the impact of media on society.
  2. Produce media products that meet professional standards.
  3. Apply principle of design to media products.
  4. Demonstrate effective professional communication skills.
  5. Apply professional, ethical, and legal standards of behavior.
Disabilities Support Statement:

The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.

Minimum Technology Requirements:
Minimum technology requirements for online, hybrid, video conferencing and web conferencing courses.