Communication Design Portfolio-2021
Communication Design Portfolio
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Communication Design: What Is It & Everything Else You Need to Know
Abstract painters express themselves through their art, leaving the viewer to interpret the work however they want. In many ways, the art is more about the viewer’s experience than about the actual art itself. The artist’s intentions aren’t really what’s important.
Communication design is the opposite of this. The responsibility of a communication designer is to develop the relationship between the viewer and visuals. Before they know what the visuals will look like, a communication designer will consider the message they want to communicate and how to strategically engage the viewer. They will consider what will capture a viewer’s attention first, the common associations that audiences have, and the psychology behind how design elements affect someone’s mood. They create designs that communicate a message faster than words can, but make sure that the messaging is also clear and compelling.
The communication design definition, put more simply, would be utilizing visuals that strategically express information. As technological advancements open the graphic design industry up to change, design becomes even more prevalent in our world. As a result, quality design is more important than ever, which makes it more competitive than ever.
Before we talk more about the specifics of what communication designers do, it’s important to understand how communication design fits into the bigger context of graphic design.
Graphic Design vs Communication Design vs Visual Communication
One of the best ways to define something is to compare it to similar terms.
For years, graphic design was really the only term people used to express visual design. It makes sense, as it’s the term most people are familiar with. It can encompass the entire field of using visuals to deliver a message, or it can be used to discuss a specific, small part of design. Some people may use graphic design in the context of layout and composition, and also use it to only refer to the tools of creating graphics, like Photoshop. When a marketing department brings in a graphic designer, they are often hiring them to handle one specific task of design creation instead of handling the entire marketing campaign. In this context, graphic design only means the practice of creating visuals, as opposed to being a general term to cover all areas for modern designers.
Communication design is specifically used when discussing the strategy involved in expressing information through visual design. For communication designers, this can become the foundation for how they think about visuals and is, then, the real definition of what they do. Those who work in communication design may work in fields like branding, advertising, or web and app design. Their job isn’t just about the craft of creating stunning graphics, but about realizing the power of what their work can communicate and then using that to its fullest extent. If a graphic designer was hired to handle one visual element, a communication designer would be hired to both create visuals and to handle communicating a company’s message to their audience. They would see the whole picture of the campaign from start to finish.
The term visual communication is largely interchangeable with communication design and is, again, about strategically telling a story to an audience. If a communication designer was working on a billboard, they could use keywords, graphics, and design choices to visually communicate a specific message to the audience as they drive by.
While these finer point definitions draw lines between these terms and give you a better idea of the roles designers play in creating finished work, it’s the context of the conversation that will define what someone means when they talk about graphic design and communication design. If someone says they are a communication designer, you will immediately understand that means they are creating strategic visuals that express a specific message. If someone tells you they are a graphic designer, you may have to ask more questions to determine if they are working in communication design or, more specifically, working to create visuals of various uses.
Examples of Communication Design
When someone studies communications design, they come away with a degree that has them ready for a wide range of jobs.
A communication designer is ready with the creative and technical skills to create visually arresting graphics and the professional skills to handle large, complex projects.
Below are a few examples of careers pursued by professionals who studied communication design:
Corporate Design and Branding
Communication designers who understand the nuances of successfully branding a business are in high demand. Every company wants to establish a unique identity in their respective field and stand out from their competitors in order to develop strong relationships with their audience base. A company’s ability to get noticed by more people leads to a more profitable business, so if a communication designer can showcase how they understand the relationship between design and branding — visuals and storytelling — they become an asset to a company wanting to expand.
Branding is largely about logos, colors, and typography, but it’s also more than that. Whatever design element you’re creating for a brand, it needs to be purposeful. Even color choice can have a serious impact. Studies show that color is directly linked to the purchasing decisions of most consumers — and these same consumers know that the right color choice or combination increases brand recognition . A perfect example of this? Target . Their bulls eye is not only one of the most nationally recognized logos, the red color also exemplifies passion and action and nudges consumers to make more urgent purchases. Based on the internet’s obsession with Target memes , it’s clear that their strategy is working.
A communication designer understands how to take these elements and utilize them to convey a specific mood. From color to font to layout to language, every design choice will make an impact on the company brand.
Many communication designers work in advertising. This can mean online video and static image campaigns, billboards, television commercials, and marketing materials like brochures, stationery, and business cards. While every designer working in advertising isn’t handling all of these types of projects, many take on work in multiple areas.
Advertising, just like branding, is a crucial part of any business. This demands a high level of creativity to create something truly unique and eye-catching, all while ensuring the entire message of the campaign isn’t lost. Some designers chose humor, like when Schick created a series of men sporting literal ‘beastly’ beards of animals to encourage men to shave. Or they can be weird yet practical, like when Ikea designed an ad for a new crib that also doubled as a pregnancy test . Or they can be inspirational, like when Shanghai General Motors created a campaign raising awareness for car safety by using real accident victims to get the earnestness of the message across.
Book Cover Design
Yes, people do judge books by their covers. It’s important that a book cover design appeals to a certain audience, exemplifies a specific genre, and can communicate plot details all at the same time. Every design should reflect the book’s purpose. Dark Horse Comics, Inc. won an award for their colorful, chaotic design of Fight Club 2 (Library Edition) , an homage to the dysfunctional characters featured in the book. Whereas the award-winning design for A Vicious Example featured dark, sinister, and ghostly depictions of buildings to give reference to the author’s time spent as a nocturnal security guard.
At Shillington, we task our students to think outside the box (so, literally outside of their computers) to create handmade designs for books, albums, and movie posters. This is a great twist on creating cover art, as handmade designs require more creative thought and energy. See some of their best designs here !
While many may assume that a photojournalist would study photography, a degree in communications design would be useful as a photojournalist today. When you publish photos in major publications, you need to both understand the technical elements of visual design and the story you are conveying to your audience, which are the basis of what communication design is all about.
The internet has become an essential part of many people’s lives, and as such, new websites are created every day. Designers are needed to build effective sites that flow well, have visuals that communicate specific messages, and function on many different devices. As is true for most graphic design fields today, web design changes rapidly and is an exciting and competitive field. You could be hired to work as the designer for one company, be part of a design agency, or work independently and take on clients as a freelancer.
Mobile App Design
We continue to see a steady increase in the number of people who rely on their smartphones as part of their everyday lives, whether it’s for social connection, news, shopping, or work. Technology isn’t going anywhere, so it’s important that mobile web and app design continues to evolve. Mobile app designers may be hired by a company to create and manage their app, or they may create their own products and sell them through their own company.
This type of design work requires a lot of technical skills and an understanding of how visuals appear on various screens, paying close attention to user experience. An app must be visually appealing, but also easy to use. Shillington Education student Theodora Lamprinaki designed a cycling app called Cymplify as part of her coursework where residents of Oxford city could combine cycling with sight-seeing.
Packaging and Label Creation
People shop with their eyes. A great designer knows this and will carefully design packages and labels to stand out, either on the shelves of a store or on an online store. You may be hired to design a label for a bottle of wine, the information tag for a new clothing line, or the packaging materials for an online retailer. When it comes to packaging and label creation, there are so many opportunities for designers.
A communication designer needs to think about the visual presence of the package or label, but they must also think about how to make it practical as well. If you were creating a design that wraps around a bottle, you’ll need to think about the space and movement of the package and how it will need to change for a wine bottle versus a soda can. If you were designing the packaging for an online retailer, you would want to think about the customer experience from the moment it arrives in the mail to when they open it to what’s inside the box. Shillington student Majo Crespo uses color to tell a story for this new (pretend) candle brand , drawing on botanical elements to create a unique product. Majo describes it is: “A brand inspired by nature for the empowerment of women.
The Power of Communication Design
Communication design incorporates the elements of great graphic design and takes things a step further by considering the way audiences understand visuals.
When done well, audiences often aren’t even aware of all the information they were able to gather from just one visual. As a communication designer, it’s your job to fill the world with effective, beautiful work that also helps to communicate a larger message. What messages will your work convey?
At Shillington, we teach communication design and students learn design theory, gain technical skills and get to work on 30+ briefs ranging from print advertisements to thinking in 3D with packaging to designing a digital app. Learn about our online graphic design course and how you can become a designer!
Clare Terry October 9, 2019
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Effective Communication Strategies for Designers
It’s crucial that designers focus not only on cultivating their abilities with creative tools but also on improving their ability to communicate design effectively during the design process.
By Bronwen Rees
Bronwen is a designer from London with experience in both brand and digital design. Her passion lies in learning and evolving her skills.
How does being a better communicator help a designer.
The digital revolution has created a demand for a new form of design professional: the unicorn . Technological demands have forced designers to become multifaceted. In the current environment, it’s no longer acceptable to be talented at design aesthetics alone—these days, you are expected to also have a good working knowledge of digital strategy, customer journey mapping , and coding.
But there is one skill that will trump them all: good design communication .
Most designers are now armed with at least some coding knowledge . But many businesses also know that there is far more to being a stand-out designer than having the ability to code. As the 2017 Design in Tech Report explains, design is no longer just about aesthetics and output—it’s about holistic product design , market relevance, and meaningful results. Design has a place at the head of the table.
According to LinkedIn, the highest echelon of the technology industry is vying for more design talent - Facebook, Google, and Amazon have collectively grown their headcount in design by 65% in the past year - with much headroom to hire more. – Design in Tech Report
Yet, while we are in an age of infinite communication channels and inspirational conversations around design, our ability to communicate design competently is an area in which designers need to improve. Where is the gain in being extraordinary if you can’t communicate your ideas and processes, design concepts, and principles effectively?
Case in point—ours is an industry where collaborating with clients you never meet face-to-face has become the norm. And while it is true that nearly every design process can be done from our homes, a shared workspace, or a coffee shop, let’s be frank: How easy is it to communicate design effectively while working remotely?
First, the ability to communicate design compellingly demonstrates intelligence. And while designers may be clever and reasoned, having the ability to articulate design decisions assures stakeholders they can be trusted and have the expertise necessary to complete the job. It also proves purpose, validating that they have thought about their solutions and that there is logic to their approach. A clear explanation tells businesses that the outcome is a result of user research , product testing, and a well-thought-out design process.
Second, having good communication skills indicates that we have a level of confidence in our abilities. As designers, we possess the knowledge and experience to understand the user’s needs while also having the craftsmanship and expertise to interpret these needs into practical and aesthetically engaging solutions. To demonstrate our understanding, we must be able to articulate a considered design approach without reservation.
And finally, it demonstrates respect for others. Designers need contributions and ideas from others—they need to understand different perspectives. When designers are well-spoken and literate, it shows they respect and value their stakeholders and users. It demonstrates that no ideas go unheard and that they are not so arrogant to believe they know best and find the input of others redundant.
Why Become a Better Design Communicator?
To get support from the team..
It’s not enough for you as a designer to solve problems or create solutions. Without support from your team, your ideas will go nowhere. There will always be others involved in the decision-making process, and it is crucial to have support from your colleagues if you want to see your ideas taken forward.
Communicating design concepts and principles, ideas, and solutions in an empathetic and practical manner will help you get your message across, but being able to listen to others is of equal importance. Taking your team’s feedback into account goes a long way to making people feel they are being heard and appreciated, and they will be far more likely to support your design decisions down the road.
Communicating about designs was more important than the designs themselves –Tom Greever, Articulating Design Decisions
To Convey Design Decisions to a Non-Designer
The industry is full of people with markedly different job titles and levels of design understanding: researchers, marketers, product managers, and developers . Each of these professions will have a different motivation for a project, a different level of involvement—they also may have little or no idea about design.
Often, within a business structure, those who manage the design team lack the comprehensive knowledge and full understanding of the design process. As leaders, they are typically involved in all stages of a project, and for a project to run smoothly, it is critical that designers articulate their research and design solutions to them effectively.
Unfortunately, many of these managers want to be (or are only able to be) involved at a micro level, but they still want to participate in the process. They will often voice their opinion about how they think the product should look and work. Ever heard of “HIPPO syndrome”? This means allowing decisions to be made according to the opinion of the highest paid person in the room rather than that of the expert and cold, hard data.
Unless you’re able to get buy-in and prove the value of your designs, i.e., defend your decisions intelligently at a level all stakeholders can understand, ultimately all you can do is disagree. Not a good option. In most cases, the outcome will see your opinion overridden, which, in most cases will be detrimental to the product.
It’s never easy to defend your decisions , especially when the person questioning you is in a senior position. Take what you know about the people you work with and use it to your advantage. Based on what you know about your colleagues, you should be able to anticipate how they might react to your ideas.
By identifying their values and motivations, you may better understand their perspective and be able to take a pretty good guess at how they might react to your designs. Also, use your insight into that perspective to prepare answers and reasoning in advance—this will make it a little easier to defend your decisions.
Good public speaking and communication skills also allow you to present new ideas and designs to key stakeholders and get them on your side early on in the game. By presenting your process to them in advance and showing that there’s thought behind every decision, you are giving them insight into how their project will progress while demonstrating the amount of work that is involved.
Most stakeholders and clients don’t fully understand the work involved in designing a site or an app. Explaining your approach to the design process and your proposed solution or any issues or challenges you foresee will go a long way to helping cure HIPPO syndrome. It’s a combination of education, information, and evangelizing all at the same time.
To Talk Business
Design deserves a space at the head of the table; it deserves a chance to shine. It’s exhilarating to realize we are in an age where this isn’t uncommon, but if this is where we want design to remain and grow from, as designers, we really need to be able to talk business.
If we truly want the opportunity to influence how organizations work, we need to go beyond the aesthetics and customer goals—we need to participate in conversations about business objectives, technical solutions, timelines, budgets, process, resourcing—the list goes on. We need to be politically aware and have exceptional personal skills, including emotional awareness, and excellent communication skills.
For most designers , talking business does not come naturally. It can be hard to overcome your resistance to being up front, but from the moment you step into the room, be confident, pleasant, and professional. Don’t take a back seat. Give a firm handshake and make eye contact. Throughout the meeting, participate in small talk and, without coming across as pushy or arrogant, make sure your voice is heard.
During discussions, speak up and use your body language to communicate confidence. Try not to over-communicate or take a bully stance—pause regularly, listen attentively, and give time for questions. This may seem basic, but people often really struggle to establish themselves when they are out of their comfort zone.
Strategies for Better Remote Communication
Working remotely means you face a tougher task because you rely solely on indirect communication and are unable to read the silent reactions in the room. Body language and facial expressions are a great way to receive valuable feedback; by being remote, you may miss some of those social cues. So what’s the solution for those of us who work from home, often across the world and through several layers of language barrier?
Choose the Right Remote Communication Tools
First of all, choose the right tools with which to communicate; there’s nothing worse than technology failing you in the middle of a really important meeting. There are dozens of tools to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
GoToMeeting has established itself as the go-to solution for video conferencing for good reason: HD quality, screen sharing capabilities, and personalized meeting URLs. Alternatively, there are also Zoom and BlueJeans .
Get yourself a good pointer tool. When presenting designs while sharing your screen, PinPoint helps meeting participants see your cursor more effectively by layering it with an animated graphic of your choice—like a pulsating red circle—or by simply enlarging it.
Beyond that, you’ll want to get a good quality headset and external mic . Both of these will improve clarity of communication. Sounding loud and clear goes a long way in making you come across as confident and authoritative.
Speak Effectively During the Design Process: Be Heard and Understood
As remote workers, giving presentations without seeing nonverbal cues can be difficult; being unable to see the reactions of your audience makes it hard to decipher what people are really thinking. This works both ways; clients also rely on a designer’s cues to understand what is being said.
To engage with your client productively, it is important to speak slowly and clearly. At the same time, don’t completely erase the personality from your voice. If you are excited about a project or feature, sound enthusiastic. By setting an example, you are helping your clients learn how to interact with you online.
Be clear and concise: Improve your verbal skills and presentation skills. Good communication means saying just the right amount, not too little or too much. Convey the message in as few words as possible. Effective speaking means saying what you want clearly and directly, whether you are communicating with someone directly or via email .
If you are rambling, the likelihood is that your listener will tune out and become unsure about what it is you are trying to say. Prepare. Think about what you want to say before you say it.
Provide the client with opportunities for giving feedback. You should be able to accept—and even encourage—feedback from others. Listen to the feedback you are given and ask clarifying questions if you are unsure of the issue. Listening and the ability to speak confidently play equally important roles in good communication.
When concluding the meeting, either ask for the feedback to be documented and shared or suggest writing some quick follow-up notes and sharing those. This way, any misunderstandings can be quickly identified.
Choose the Right Medium
An important skill is knowing what form of communication to use when, for example, some serious conversations (finance, project delays, etc.) need to be done in person. Think about the individual you want to talk to; if they are a busy person, you might want to convey your message through email but keep it simple and get straight to the point: “Treat email responses like text messages, using a set number of sentences per response.” Your thoughtful choice will be appreciated and more likely to result in a quick and positive response.
Set Expectations and Have Regular Reviews
A client needs to know what to expect from a working relationship, and it’s a good idea to begin by putting some expectations in place way before you start working with them. It’s prudent to create a schedule for how often you think it’s best to speak with them, and how you will be communicating with them for in-between meetings and calls.
Err on the side of caution and double check that everything is clear. It is far better to communicate frequently with clients than to under-communicate and leave them in the dark about a project’s progress. Discuss how they can contact you if there are changes or updates to the project. The more honest you are and the earlier you speak about this sort of information, the more satisfied your clients are likely to be. Finally, and most importantly, make sure you stick to the expectations you have set up.
Going from Good to Great
The difference between a good designer and a great designer is having the ability to solve problems as well as being able to articulate how their design is solving those problems. The ability to offer thoughtful communication about a problem they’re solving is at least as important to a designer as the ability to design the perfect solution every time. As designers, we have the ability to create an environment where everyone is on the same page, where reasoning and justification align both design and business goals and unite everyone involved through coherent thinking.
It is important for designers in a role of authority to have the ability to lead, inspire, and motivate teams as well as communicate with other authority figures. Communicating up is a skill in itself, but as with explaining your design decisions, it’s about understanding what makes your superiors tick and understanding their priorities.
Good communication goes beyond just having the ability to articulate your reasoning and design processes. Beyond oral presentations skills, it is also critical for a designer to be able to write well . Writing is not just about putting words on paper. Good, clear, well-considered writing represents clarity of thought. By taking the time to improve your writing skills, your vocabulary will improve naturally, which in turn will benefit your verbal communication.
Communication is Easy. Good Communication is a Skill.
Fortunately, good communication habits can be improved with planning, preparation, and regular practice. Design as a profession is no longer single-skilled. It is essential that designers focus not only on cultivating their abilities with the creative tools they use but also on improving their ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
Further Reading on the Toptal Blog:
- The Principles of Design and Their Importance
- Breaking Down the Principles of Design (with Infographic)
- Use Your Inspiration – A Guide to Mood Boards
- Design Problem Statements: What They Are and How to Frame Them
- What Is Strategic Design Thinking and How Can It Empower Designers?
- Product Design
Located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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ADMISSIONS + SCHOLARSHIPS
ASK US SOMETHING!
what can I learn to do in communication design?
- Design interfaces for mobile + web
- Create motion graphics + animations
- Make illustrations for stories, comics, + books
- Design for public health initiatives
- Develop interactive experiences in VR + AR
Discover the perfect path for you.
- More studio-intensive experience
- 65 credits of studio courses (about ½ of your total coursework)
- Informal concentrations in Illustration, Narrative Design, or Interaction Design
- Capstone experience + annual thesis exhibition
*Students may also earn the BFA as part of a dual-degree program.
- Broader liberal arts focus
- 30-36 credits of studio courses (about ¼ of your total coursework)
- Optional concentration in Communication Design
- No capstone requirement
*Students may also earn the BA as part of a dual-degree program.
- Designed for WashU undergraduates pursuing a primary degree in another discipline
- Develops essential skills like visual thinking + creativity
- Creative Practice for Social Change
- Human-Computer Interaction
2021 BFA in Communication Design Capstone Exhibition
COMMUNICATION DESIGN FACULTY
Aggie Toppins (Chair) / Amy Auman / Christine Bosch / Heather Corcoran / D.B. Dowd / James Fawcett / Jonathan Hanahan / John Hendrix / Audra Hubbell / Ben Kiel / Edward Kinsella III / Heidi Aronson Kolk / Shreyas R Krishnan / Penina Acayo Laker / Becca Leffell Koren / Vidhya Nagarajan / Jonathan Navy / Jen Neuhoff / Eric Nunez / Jeff Pike / Erika Roos / Abram Siemsen / Jonathan Smith / Annemarie Spitz / Madeline Valentine
Image: Aggie Toppins, Palimpsests (2015–2019) , silkscreen and digital printing.
student + alumni Spotlights
Adam Rubin, BFA in Communication Design ’05
Adam Rubin is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, a world-renowned designer of optical illusions and impossible objects, and director of puzzles and games for the retail brand Art of Play.
Mikki Janower, BFA in Communication Design ’20
Mikki Janower, a designer and art director based in Brooklyn, talks about the numerous projects she’s had in the works since graduation.
Ben Blount, BFA '94
Ben Blount discusses his work as group art supervisor at Razorfish Health and running the letterpress studio MAKE.
Sarah Wang, 2023
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COMMUNICATION DESIGN |
Communication designers are interdisciplinary by nature. We make things that you see, read, touch, and experience every day. Our visual messages can live on a static page, a dynamic screen, or a user interface.
Our innovative curriculum in CD encourages students to create imaginative work that engages users in new and unexpected ways in print, motion, and user experience design. Communication Design students learn to, print, code, type, cut/paste, photograph, connect, play, wire, move, gesture, draw, touch, think, paint, video, capture, record, document, make, write, and build, dynamic design solutions. At the end of their four-year experience, they discover that their creative potential is limitless.
Our program will be STEM-designated in Fall 2021. New international students completing this program can apply for the STEM-OPT (optional practical training) extension.
Our Communication Design curriculum is graphic design made dynamic. Our projects start with research that helps students make informed choices with the end-user in mind. We dig deep to find the answers and sometimes we end up with better questions.
Things here can get messy, but in the end, we get it right because we have the ability to make books, packaging, brand identities, magazines, way-finding systems, websites, mobile apps, UxD, movie title sequences and exhibition spaces. Many of our projects connect with collaborative partnerships in the areas of architectural interior spaces, urban planning, mobility and social practice.
From research projects, students move into ideation, where we play with the ideas, messaging and meaning, in order to get the concept just right. Now the fun begins, we visualize our ideas in a variety of ways, iterating in order to try, test, fail, and eventually succeed.
Communication Design Classroom
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CCS/CD students are in high demand here and abroad because they are leaders and they can think, make, & play – which is innovation at its core.
We are different. In the best possible way.
Graduates work for global brands, including Adidas, Adobe, And/Or, Apple, Artifact, Buzzfeed, Carhartt, Converse, Czarnowski, Facebook, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Good Done Daily, Google, Grand Army, Hobbes, Hook, L/A, Lego, Microsoft, Moosejaw, One Design Studio, Pentagram, Rivian, Schema, Shinola, Sonos, SPAN, Stiletto, UM, @Walsh and 2 x 4. The department has many professional options.
Our CD Alumni are entrepreneurs. After years of honing their professional careers, many go on to opening their own design studios across the country and the globe, including Los Angeles, New York City, UK and right here in Detroit.
2021 Communication Design Placement Rate (Employment and Graduate School) Number of Graduates = 26 Number Employed = 23 Number Employed in Their Major Field = 23 Number Attending Graduate School = 1 Total Number Placed = 24 Placement Rate = 92.31%
App Designer Branding/Identity Designer Brand Manager Creative Director Design Director Design Strategist Digital Content Manager Digital Designer
Editorial Designer Environment Designer Exhibit Designer Graphic Designer Interaction Designer Interactive Art Director Mobile Media Designer Motion Graphic Designer Multimedia Graphic Designer Social Media Digital Designer Social Media Director User Experience Designer User Interface Designer Visual Designer Web Designer Web/Mobile Media Designer
Senior Designer Steelcase
Senior UX Designer Google
Head of Design Lafayette American
Co-Founder & Creative Director And/Or
Senior Designer IDEO
Experience Designer BlueCadet
Senior Experience Designer Adobe Design
Senior Creative Manager Lego
BASE And/Or Gretel Trollback Buck TV 2 x 4 Collin
VSA Partners Thirst Otherwise Punchkick Razorfish Nokia Pivot Design Studio Blue People’s Liberty
Adobe Ex Microsoft Artefact Adidas Nike Wieden + Kennedy Google eBay Foc Media IDEO Capacity TV Bemis Balkind Big Tomorrow
Herman Miller People’s Design Whirlpool Digitas Enlighten O2 Group Ex Shinola Commonwealth Octane Organic Quicken Loans Mercedes Benz Financial Services Latch + Associates George P. Johnson Czarnowski DittoDitto Lunar North The Works Department Good Done Daily Who’s That?
- "We are committed to staying on top of the shifts happening professionally in design and making certain our curriculum and our program stays up to those standards." Susan LaPorte, Chair
In The News
Alumnus Nate Sweitzer (IL ’22) featured in Communication Arts
Nov 16, 2023
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70+ Communication Based Projects for Engineering Students
- January 4, 2017
- By Administrator
Here, we have listed out some important and useful projects based on electronics and communication. These projects are mainly helpful for final year engineering students. These project ideas include projects based on various categories like DTMF, GSM, RF, RFID, Smartcard, etc.
If you are interested, you may check the list of various communication based projects given below. You may write your comments and new project ideas also in comments section. If you have any opinions and suggestions, you are always welcome to visit our contact us page.
Communication using MATLAB
- Intelligent approach to video transmission over 2.4 GHz wireless technology : This paper researches a new method for the transmission of MPEG video over a 2.4 GHZ network using MATLAB . It implements neural-fuzzy controller and a rule-based fuzzy controller in the design. Results show that this method improves the data loss and improves the image quality.
- Grasping money game used in wireless channel resource allocation : With the increase in communication technology many wireless communication devices have been introduced, which crowded the wireless channels. Grasping money game is a technique used for allocating resources in wireless channels. This paper researches on this technique.
Communication Projects using Labview
- Design and Development of Virtual Instrumentation System for Disabled using Labview : This paper develops a virtual system that aids deaf and dumb to communicate with the world. It collects the hand gestures from the user and converts it into a voice using Labview.
- AES-256 Encryption in Communication using Labview : This paper studies a new scheme to enhance security of WPN network. Here AES technique is implemented for encryption algorithm.
Bluetooth Communication Projects
- Bluetooth Controlled Electronic Home Appliances : This project shows controlling of home appliances using Bluetooth technology. This project uses AT89c51 microcontroller for controlling the appliances by taking commands from Bluetooth.
- How To Make Arduino Based Home Automation Project via Bluetooth? : This project shows home automation using arduino via Bluetooth.
GSM Communication Projects
- GSM Based Home Security Alarm System Using Arduino : The project shown here provides security to the home. When any intruder enters home it sends a message to the owner using GSM . Intruder is detected using PIR sensor.
- GSM Controlled Robot using Microcontroller : Here is project showing robot controlled using GSM .Here AT89c51 microcontroller is used for controlling the robot.
- GSM Interfacing with 8051 : The main principle of this circuit is to interface a GSM modem with the microcontroller. The microcontroller used is AT89C51 microcontroller.
- Wireless Electronic Notice Board using GSM : This wireless electronic notice board using GSM Technology and microcontroller circuit is used to display the data on LCD whatever we sent from the mobile.
- Remote Industrial Security System : A wireless based industrial security system is designed here. The system is based on GSM communication and the main component is a microcontroller. The main reason for choosing GSM as the mode for communication is the range of GSM is very large and can send and receive signals or messages from any remote place. Some of the sensors used in this system are proximity, light, gas and smoke sensors.
- Centralized Monitoring System for Taxies : Taxis are one of the common modes of transportation in cities. For the safety of the passengers and accurate information about distance and fare, a system is proposed for monitoring taxis. Using this system, police can monitor all the taxis without any hassle. It is based on GPS technology and also uses GSM for sending messages to the customer.
- Wireless Weather Monitoring based on GSM : A wireless weather sensing and monitoring system is proposed here. It consists of different sensors like temperature, humidity, light etc. and displays this information on an LCD. Also, a GSM module is used so that the information can be sent to a remote system via SMS. Using this system, weather can be monitored without actually being present in that place.
- DTMF Projects
- DTMF Controlled Robot without Microcontroller : Here a DTMF controlled robot without any microcontroller is shown.
- DTMF Controlled Home Automation System Circuit : The system shown here automates the home using DTMF technology. This system can control only 16 devices at a time as there are only 16 DTMF tones available in the mobile.
- Restaurant Management System Project : Here is project that shows automation of restaurants. It uses zigbee for communication between the user and server in the restaurant.
- Zigbee Based Defense Robot : This video shows a zigbee controlled defence robot. It is controlled using a PC .This robot collects the information about the enemies and sends it to control room. It then takes the necessary actions like gun shooting according to the instruction given from the control room.
- Wireless Power Transfer : This circuit mainly works on the principle of mutual inductance. This circuit may be used as wireless power transfer circuit, wireless mobile charger circuit, wireless battery charger circuit , etc.
- Street Lights that Glow on Detecting Vehicle Movement : This article describes about the circuit that switches the street lights on detecting vehicle movement and remains off after fixed time. This system controls the street lights using light dependent resistor and PIR sensor.
- DTMF Based Home Automation System Circuit : This is a simple and very useful circuit in our real life named DTMF controlled home appliances system. It helps to control the home appliances using DTMF technology.
- RFID based Attendance System : This simple RFID based attendance system is designed using ATmega8 Microcontroller and is mainly used in educational institutions, industries, etc. where authentication is needed.
- Density Based Traffic Signal System using Microcontroller : In this system, we use IR sensors to measure the traffic density. We have to arrange one IR sensor for each road; these sensors always sense the traffic on that particular road. All these sensors are interfaced to the microcontroller. Based on these sensors, controller detects the traffic and controls the traffic system.
- Remote Control Circuit through RF without microcontroller : Here we have used RF434 MHz modules to make wireless remote. Using this remote, we can control the appliances within the range of 100 meters. It is used for remote control applications like burglar alarm, car door alarm, calling bell, security systems, etc.
- Remote Operated Spy Robot Circuit : This is a simple spy robot circuit which can be controlled by the remote. The maximum controllable range is 125 meters. It is used to observe the behavior of wild animals where human beings cannot reach.
- Cellphone Controlled Home Appliances : This mobile controlled home automation system is designed without using microcontroller. We can also control a robot using this technology by making some modifications.
- Remote Password Operated Electronic Home Appliances : This circuit explains you how to control the electrical appliances using an Android device. Here, Bluetooth module is interfaced to 8051 microcontroller. This Bluetooth receives the commands from the Android application device using wireless communication.
- Metal Detector Robotic Vehicle : Land mines buried under the ground causes threat to the lives and affect the economy of the nation. Detection and removing of these mines manually is a dangerous task. So, we use a metal detection robot which works on RF technology
- Car Parking Guard Circuit Using Infrared Sensor : This circuit helps the person in the driving seat in such a way that it gives an alarm if there is any obstacle or a wall while parking or while driving in reverse. It is very useful in our real life.
- Wireless Switch Circuit using CD4027 : This is a simple circuit which needs no physical contact with the appliance. In this circuit, all you need is to pass your hand above LDR to ON or OFF the switch.
- Cell Phone Detector : This is a simple circuit which helps to detect the presence of an activated cell phone by detecting the signals in the frequency range of 0.9 to 3GHz. It helps in mobile phones tracking which are used for spying.
- FM Transmitter Circuit : Here we built a wireless FM transmitter which uses RF communication to transmit the medium or low power FM signal. The maximum range of transmission is around 2 km.
- TV Remote Control Jammer : This proposed TV jammer circuit confuses the infrared receiver in a TV by producing the constant signal that interferes the remote control signal. If you switch on the circuit once, the TV will not receive any command from the remote. This allows you to watch your own program without anyone changing the channel or volume.
- TV Transmitter Circuit : The main principle of this circuit is to transmit the audio and video signals. Here audio signals are frequency modulated and video signals are PAL modulated. These modulated signals are applied for the antenna.
- Transistor Intercom Circuit : This transistor intercom circuit is a simple two way intercom circuit which is used for the dual purpose of sending as well as receiving signals.
- FM Remote Encoder/Decoder Circuit : This is a simple post which shows you how to design FM remote encoder and decoder circuit using RF600E and RF600D ICs. This pair of encoder and decoder ICs establishes the communication with high level security. The operating voltage of these ICs is from 2V to 6.6V DC.
- Interfacing GPS with 8051 Microcontroller : In this interfacing of GPS with 8051 circuit, GPS module calculates the position by reading the signals that are transmitted by satellites.
- IR Audio Link Circuit : This simple IR audio link circuit is used to transmit audio signals wirelessly. This IR audio link is able transmit audio signals up to 4 meters.
- Wireless AC/DC Device control for Appliances Using Remote Control : A simple, small and cost effective equipment for device control is developed in this project. It is a microcontroller based project, which can control both AC and DC appliances with the help of a remote control. It is an RF based communication, so that there is no need for line-of sight contact between the transmitter and the receiver.
- PC Regimented Defense Android Using ZigBee : A ZigBee wireless communication based robotic system has been developed for the usage in military applications. It is a microcontroller based system with wireless camera. This wireless controlled robot assists the defense as a mini-search robot which can detect any unauthorized materials.
- Wireless AC Motor Speed Control Using TRIAC : The application of this project is to wirelessly control the direction of rotation and speed of an AC motor. The wireless network used for the purpose of communication between the transmitter and receiver is DTMF. Since, it is an AC motor, a TRIAC and a TRIAC driver are used.
- Wireless Stepper Motor Control using IR Communication : Stepper motor is one of the frequently used motors in process control, robotics and machine tools. But the wired control, when used in the application of robotics, is not a good idea. Hence, a wireless control of stepper motor is developed here. It is based on infrared (IR) communication with a limited wireless range. The range of the remote can be increased by employing an RF communication link.
- ZigBee based wireless remote weather station monitoring system : The aim of this project is to implement a ZigBee based wireless weather station monitoring system so that it can be monitored remotely without or less human intervention. The reason for using ZigBee technology is it has a standard data rate and the battery life is decent.
- Two-way Wireless Data Messaging System for Rural Areas using ZigBee Technology : Using this project, data can be transmitted securely using ZigBee technology for the application in rural areas. The communication can be two-way communication and the security of the data is of no concern as the protocol of ZigBee communication allows encryption and decryption of the data
- Wireless Stepper Motor Control using RF Communication : This project describes a method for wirelessly controlling the direction and speed of a stepper motor. RF communication is used to control the stepper motor wirelessly. RF transmitter and receiver form the communication link. Because of the RF communication, the range of the wireless network will be significantly larger and the signals can be transmitted even in the presence of any obstacles.
- Wireless DC Motor Speed and Direction Control using IR (PWM and H-Bridge) : The goal of this project is to wirelessly control the speed and direction of a DC motor using IR based communication. A combination of PWM and H-Bridge (Motor Driver) is used to get the necessary DC motor speed and direction. A microcontroller is used to generate the PWM signals and also continuously monitor the data from the IR sensors.
- Wireless Electronic Notice Board with Multi Point Receivers using RF Communication System : Notice board is the primary means of communication in public utility places like airports, railway stations, institutions etc. In this project, an RF based wireless electronic notice board is developed. In order to ensure that the data is secure, an encoder and decoder module is used so that the communication is only between the transmitter and the receiver
- ZigBee based Secured Wireless Data transmission and Reception : In this project, a microcontroller based wireless data transmission and reception using the ZigBee protocol is developed. ZigBee uses a 128-bit key security mechanism so that the data transferred using system this will be secure.
- Intelligent Wireless Controller for Oil Wells : The monitoring at oil pump units is mainly manual. In this project, a wireless monitor and control system for oil pumping unit in oil wells is designed. It is a microcontroller based system with ZigBee transmitter and receiver. A network of sensors include, level sensor, voltage sensor and current sensor will form a wireless sensor network that can be monitored remotely.
- Wireless Transformer Monitoring System : Transformers are one of the most common and important electrical equipment. They are located everywhere and are used in consumer as well as industrial purpose. Hence, maintenance of transformers is a huge task. The system developed here will help in monitoring the transformers wirelessly. A network of sensor are integrated to a microcontroller and are communicated via RF communication .
- Wireless Motor Monitoring System : A microcontroller based wireless monitor and control of a motor is developed on this system. Such systems are often used in industrial automation process. The wireless communication is based on ZigBee protocol. The use of ZigBee network will reduce the usage of any wires in the monitoring system
- Wireless Traffic Light Controller : In this project, an intelligent traffic light controller based on wireless communication is proposed. The system works in two modes viz. automatic and manual. A set of patterns are defined in the system so that there is smooth flow of traffic in all the directions.
- Wireless Audio Communication System : The growth of wireless technology in consumer applications is rapid. One such are is audio transmission and reception. In this project, an efficient and low cost system is developed through which audio is transmitted wirelessly using IR communication. The range of the wireless link will be around 10meters.
- Cryptographic Secured Communication Between Army Stations : Communication between army stations should be very safe and secure from alien systems. Hence, the data should be encrypted while transmitting and the same should be decrypted at the receiving station. Cryptography is the best form to encrypt and secure the data. An algorithm is proposed for secured communication between army stations over long distance.
- Remote Controlled Dish Antenna : Antennas are an important equipment is the field of communication. Dish antenna or parabolic antennas are frequently used in many areas of applications. The requirement of the dish antennas is its positioning with respect to the satellite. A system is developed in this project which helps in wirelessly controlling the position of the antenna. A microcontroller is used to control the position of the motors with the help of IR transmitter and receiver.
- Video Signal Transmitter : A system, which can transmit video signals wirelessly, is developed here. The transmitter section transmits the signals in RF range and there can be multiple receiver systems, for example, multiple TV’s can receive the same signal without any wires. The range of the RF communication is about 40 feet
- Wireless Security System : A microcontroller based home security system is developed here. It uses RF signals as the wireless communication standard. It includes a group of sensors like IR sensor, window/door contact sensor and a buzzer. Such system, with additional sensors, can also be used in industrial security applications
- Wireless Voting Machine : Vote is our voice as a citizen of the society. Recent developments in technology has helped in organizing elections in an easy and efficient manner. The aim of this project is to implement an intelligent wireless EVM (electronic voting machine). The communication between the EVM and the records unit is through RF mode.
- Remote Home Security System : The proposed system involves a microcontroller based home security system with remote monitoring. The system includes passive IR sensor, temperature, gas & smoke detector. All these sensors form a wireless sensor network and can communicate with the authorized person via GSM network.
- Wireless Camera Position System : A wireless communication based camera positioning system is developed here. An RF transmitter and receiver are interfaced to a PC and the positioning of the camera is controlled by a microcontroller with the help of a motor driver unit. The communication between the microcontroller and the PC is through RS232 cable.
- Accident Identification System : An intelligent accident identification system location display unit is designed in this project. A microcontroller is used along with ultrasonic sensor, vibration sensor, temperature sensor, accelerometer, fire detector, heart rate monitor and seat belt warning system. All the data from the sensors is collected by the microcontroller and in case of any emergency, the exact location is captured by a GPS module and sent via GSM network.
- Vehicle Tracking System : Vehicle tracking system is becoming an important part in city life for safety and security. This project implements a GPS/GSM based vehicle tracking system. The GPS module continuously monitors the location of the vehicle. The GSM module will transmitted the data in case of any request from the user or accident.
- Fire Fighting Robotic Vehicle : A voice controlled firefighting robot is proposed in this project. The system is capable of detecting fire and alarm a buzzer. The voice commands are transmitted via RF communication link. It is a microcontroller based system with wireless video feed with the help of a camera.
- Tampered Energy Meter Information Conveyed to Concerned Authority by Wireless Communication : The aim of this project is to send a notification to the authority in the event of tampering of energy meter. Energy theft is a serious problem and has to be prevented. A microcontroller based system is designed which monitors the energy consumption and sends a message to the concerned authority using GSM technology. The information about normal energy reading as well as tampering of energy meter is conveyed.
- Wireless Audio Transmitter for TV : The use of wireless technology in household applications brings mobility to the user. One such system is a wireless audio transmitter for TV. In this project, audio signals from TV (or any other device like computer, music player etc.) are transmitted wirelessly using 2.4GHz RF communication to headphones. The range of the designed system is approximately 20meters.
- War Field Spying Robot with Night Vision Wireless Camera : Terrorism is a serious issue the World is facing. The aim of this project is to design a spying robot which can fight terrorists and also in war field so that the human victims can be reduced. This robot has a wireless night vision camera that transmits the video signals even in night time to the base station using RF communication.
- Automatic Wireless Health Monitoring System in Hospitals for Patients : Care of critically ill patients should be spontaneous and accurate. In India, many lives are affected by heart attacks as they do not get timely treatment. The project helps in monitoring the necessary parameters like heart beat rate, body temperature etc. The data is continuously monitored by a microcontroller and can transmit the information using a ZigBee network.
- Wireless Over Temperature Alarm : In this system, the temperature is monitored continuously by a microcontroller and in the event of rise in temperature over the predefined reference level, the alarm goes off. Such system are very useful in industries, where precise temperature should be maintained. The data can be transmitted over wireless communication system like RF or GSM
- Wireless Message Communication Between Two Computers : The main aim of this project is to enable wireless communication between two personal computers. The protocol used for communication is ZigBee. The advantage of ZigBee is that the data transmitted will be encrypted and can be decrypted only by the appropriate receiver.
- Wireless Temperature Monitoring on Remote Seven-segment Display using RF : A wireless temperature monitoring system is proposed here. The main advantage of this project is that it can be used to display the readings on a 7-segment or LCD wirelessly over RF links. The system is a low cost and easy maintenance temperature monitoring device that can be used in industries.
- Wireless Hospital Management System : A Bluetooth based wireless hospital management system is proposed here. With the help of this system, the communication between doctors and nurses’ about patients’ data will be very easy. A dedicated Bluetooth server will collect all the data. The programming is in Python script. The advantage of Bluetooth over Wi-Fi is that there is no chance of any interference with sensitive medical equipment.
- Simple Radar Communication System : A simple radar communication system based project is designed here which has an important application in reducing accidents. A radar system captures the speed of the car and if the vehicle is moving above the speed limit, the number plate is captured and the information is transmitted to the concerned authority. The advantage of radar based system is that it is fast, accurate and also can recognize the number plates very easily.
- File Sharing Using Bluetooth : Peer-to-Peer file sharing helps in sharing data between two devices without any hassle. Bluetooth is one such protocol which is used in P2P file sharing. A system is proposed here which enables all the Bluetooth enabled devices like cell phones, audio players etc. to transfer data. This system allows file sharing with minimum inquiry and connection time.
- Wireless Process Controller : Process in an industry is a method of changing the raw materials in to finished goods. Process control is a method of controlling the process variables. A wireless process monitor and control system is proposed here which is based on network of sensors. The advantage of such wireless sensor network is that there is no need of any cabling, which reduces the time involved in maintenance of the controller and hence more production can be achieved.
- RF based tsunami detection and remote alert system with 60dB siren : The aim of this project is to design a system which helps in tsunami detection and alerts a remote area. A pressure sensor, which is anchored to the sea floor, is used to read the pressure of the water. This data is transmitted to the control station over RF communication link. The advantage of RF communication is there is less interference from other signals.
- Wireless Electrical Apparatus Control System using IR communication : Home automation is a rapidly growing area. An infrared communication based control system for electrical appliances is designed. A microcontroller and a set of relays are used to implement this project. As the communication is based on IR transmission, all the apparatus can be controlled using a remote. The range of the system is limited due to the low range of IR communication. But can still be effective.
- Streetlight Power Cable Monitoring System Based on Wireless Sensor Networks using Zigbee communication : A Zigbee based remote monitoring of street lights is developed. It is a system which provides safety at night time for pedestrians. The proposed system contains a microcontroller, a sensor network and a solar panel associated with ZigBee network. It automatically does the actions of ON/OFF/DIM. In case of power failure, the power from the solar panels is used.
- Zigbee based Wireless Device control for Industrial Atomization : Industrial automation is a very important process as it helps in increasing the production and also maintenance can be very less. This project aims at device control using ZigBee communication. A microcontroller is connected to the ZigBee receiver and controls the associated relays. A similar system using Bluetooth can be constructed but the advantage of ZigBee over Bluetooth is its low power consumption. “
- Wireless DC Motor Speed and Direction Control using RF Communication : The uses and applications of DC motors are huge. They are used in various home, consumer, industrial and research applications. The aim of this project is to provide a wireless speed and direction control of a DC motor. It is a microcontroller based system with H-Bridge for driving the motor. The communication between the user and the controller is via RF link. “
- Wireless Attendance Recorder : The normal way of recording attendance in institutions is either by calling out the name/number of the student or by passing a sheet for signature of the student. It is a time consuming and cumbersome process and the chance for false entries is more. A system is proposed where automatic entry of attendance is provided using Near Field Communication (NFC). The electronic attendance register will start to capture the attendance as soon as the instructor enters a class room. The NFC devices must be with the students.
- ARM Hardware Platform for Vehicular Monitoring and Tracking : The aim of this project is to monitor and track different parameters like location, speed etc. of a vehicle using the GPS module. The tracked data can be sent to a control or monitor station and also to a registered mobile via SMS using GSM technology. Such system can be installed in heavy vehicles like cargo trucks to small cars and bikes for the purpose of security, tracking and surveillance.
- Air Pollution Monitoring System Using Zigbee and GPS Module : The degree of automation in all sectors in increasing rapidly with the growth in technology. In the proposed system, a wireless sensor network of gas sensors are used to monitor different pollutants like Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Nitrogen dioxide and Sulphur dioxide. A ZigBee based communication is used to transfer this data to a control station along with the locations captured from GPS module.
- Wireless Material Handling Robot Controlled through Zigbee : Manual material handling is a time consuming process and requires more man power. This might affect the production or delivery time of the goods. The purpose of this project is to implement a wireless material handling robot which is controlled via ZigBee network. This system uses flex sensor, ultrasonic sensor, accelerometer and electronic compass.
- Assistance for Dumb and Illiterates in Airline Based on Touch Screen and Zigbee : A touch screen based assistance system for the dumb and illiterates travelling in an airline is designed here. Services like coffee, tea, drinks, food etc. can be requested using this system. The communication between the interface and the control unit (located at the air hostess) is done through ZigBee protocol. Both the transmitter and receiver sections require microcontrollers.
For other projects ideas, please visit the following pages:
- GSM Projects
- RFID Projects
- Solar Energy Projects
- Sensor Based Projects
- Home Automation Projects
Thanks a lot
I need final electrical and computer Engineeting communication extreame final project which is done
Out of these which can be incorporated in radar ….any suggestions
these project ideas are wonderful but i think there are more projects to do by communication engineers or communication engineering students
Its really helpful for us.thank you.
thanks a lot
i like all of those projectes
good idea with explanation.
I’m looking for radar related projects
thanks a lot for giving such a nice info
Communication based on society probelms
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M.A. and M.F.A. graduates develop innovative future practices, broaden scholarly research in visual design and make a meaningful contribution to society – all through the process of writing practical and scholarly thesis.
Graduates dive into design’s impact on issues in business, wayfinding and 3D design, finance, education, letterpress, healthcare and information management. Numerous graduates have jumpstarted their careers in graphic design from thesis projects.
Past thesis projects have answered questions such as how mobile technology can increase a child’s exposure to outdoor play; how explaining a student’s educational loan debt visually might influence borrowing decisions; and how companies as large as Microsoft could improve recruitment technology for mobile job-seekers.
View an archive of thesis projects that are unavailable digitally here .
Recently Completed Thesis Projects
Recognition and denotation of photographic manipulation.
By: Kathryn Lynn Voith
The media is often blamed for poor body image and low self-esteem due to its use of Photoshop and other editing programs to create a beauty ideal that many consider unrealistic and unattainable. Previous research has shown that an understanding of manipulation used in these images tempers the negative effects, but no research has been done to determine the average level of media literacy when viewing manipulated photographs. This study surveys a college-aged audience to determine their ability to identify photographic manipulation and their acceptance of different levels of editing, and determine whether or not a photographic denotation system indicating manipulation is needed in the industry... Read more.
Beyond the Screen: Embedded Interfaces as Retail Wayfinding Tools
By: Kathleen Barnes Evans
This paper aims to widen the discourse on experience as an economic entity, which exists within retail settings that are deliberately designed and carefully controlled by service providers to elicit desired consumer behaviors. This body of research aims to underscore the importance of in-store wayfinding within the specific context of grocery shopping in large supermarkets by investigating the current state of affairs in the art of consumer experience design and the differentiation of consumer experience through wayfinding in retail spaces... Read more.
Success Metrics and Sustainable Business Models in Social Innovation Design Firms
By: Jordan Kauffman
This thesis is an investigation into sustainable business models and the different evaluation methods utilized in social innovation design. Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in awareness and desire within the design industry to utilize design as a way to help solve some of the large, systemic social problems facing people all over the world. To make this work financially and sustainably, designers are utilizing a variety of for-profit and nonprofit business models. However, these business models are potentially hindering social innovation designers’ access to the resources needed to measure the impact of their work... Read more.
Chasing Vertical: Diversity & Recognition in the field of Graphic Design
By: Omari Souza
Despite the growing number of minority students entering college, those numbers are not reflected in design-related fields. A recent Georgetown study suggests that African Americans are far better represented in the social serving fields than in any other majors. Chasing Vertical- Diversity and Recognition in the field of Graphic Design utilizes design research methods to investigate what African American students prioritize when choosing a college major. The intention of this investigation is to gain a better understanding of why the design field has failed to attract African American students, and what practitioners and recruiters in the field can learn from the successes of other fields in developing diverse populations of learners... Read more.
Symmetrical Speech: Qualitative Textual Analysis In Humanist Digital Design
By: Alan Walker
There is a widely held colloquialism that iPhones have more computing power than NASA's Apollo mission control systems. How a person sorts out the technicalities of this assertion is beyond the point; most people can agree that modern computers provide dynamic opportunities for a range of applications. One such application is research and inquiry in the field of the Humanities including history, literature, and culture. Specifically, academics studying textually based, artifacts past and present. People may now input a body of text such as a speech or poem into a digital tool that will output a reading of minuscule detail. During the interaction the researcher can easily discover: the frequency of certain words, recurring parts of speech, and even emotional sentimentality... Read more.
Breath in Motion: Breath Awareness Design Research Study
By: Cassandra Reese
The rising crescendo of the digital lifestyle has profoundly affected the human capacity for sustained focus. Since 2000, the human attention span has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds, with decreased long-term focus as users increase digital consumption. With users not getting off their devices anytime soon, and technostress on the rise, the question arises how designers might better meet users where they are by designing more mindful interactions. Research in the field of mindfulness shows its potential to reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve overall wellbeing... Read more.
Video games help to prepare girls for a competitive future in STEM: An analysis of how video games help to build visual-spatial skills and the positive influence early childhood gaming can have on girls
By: Leigh Hughes
Play is beneficial for children in every aspect of their lives. Play gives kids the freedom to explore and problem solve while freely using their imagination in a safe environment. Looking forward, it is imperative to allow girls this freedom to explore digital games and all of their possibilities. Video games help to build visual-spatial capabilities, which is the ability to mentally construct and organize 3-dimensional objects in an imaginary space (Paul, 2013), a skill that promotes advanced mathematical and engineering skills... Read more.
Organic Web Design: Exploring Nature as Metaphor in Responsive Web Design
By: Alex Catanese
The rise of responsive design as an approach to web design in the last decade has shaped the ways that designers consider the web as a medium. As this approach has developed, its practitioners have begun forming patterns and templates which might limit alternative modes of thinking in the field. Criticism of this approach is still in its early stages, leaving open an opportunity for reflection, expansion, and the exploration of alternative modes of thinking and making for considering the medium. The web browser has properties which are inherently flexible, fluid, and adaptive—begging for a parallel exploration of flexible, fluid, adaptive systems as external inspiration for web design... Read more.
Audio & Visual Design Designing Holistic Sensory Experiences within Environments
By: Quintin Jon Steele
What are the sensory limits of design? Will emerging technologies continue to push design into new realms of practice? How can multimodal environments adapt to users providing more holistic sensory experiences? What is the role of a graphic designer, in the growing world of multimodal design? My thesis research investigates the ways audio and visual cues combine to create more dynamic and immersive environments... Read more .
Using typography and iconography to express emotion (or meaning) in motion graphics as a learning tool for ESL (English as a second language) in a multi-device platform
By: Anthony John Ezzo
Using typography and iconography to express emotion (or meaning) in motion graphics as a learning tool for ESL (English as a second language) in a multi-device platform. Expressive typography in motion graphics were used to explore vocabulary learning for ESL students. The three widely used teaching methods include: behaviorism, phonics, and grammar translation... Read more .
Application of the Deconstructive Discourse as a Generative Thinking Framework
By: Daniel Ricardo Echeverri
Strategies, systems, experiences and services are part of the new challenges faced today by design students and designers. These challenges include shifting audiences with specific needs due to the broad offer of services and products that often create new needs. These needs include limited resources, sustainable solutions with low environmental impact, and production costs... Read more .
Usability of WordPress for Visual Communication Designers
By: Victoria J Pickett
WordPress is currently the most popular content management system. The popularity of content management systems is that they allow websites to be built and maintained by nontechnical users without requiring a programmer. This thesis looks at the usability of the WordPress Dashboard interface for visual communication designers... Read more .
Private Labels and Personal Care: A Focus on Store Brand Package Design, Branding Design and Consumer Attitudes Towards Private Label Personal Care Products
By: Larrie Leon King
National manufacturer brands generally outsell private label brands in most product areas. For instance, Hoyer and Brown found that when inexperienced buyers were asked to decide between two brands, they were more likely to choose the brand name with which they were most familiar. However, during periods of economic distress, consumers tend to purchase store brand products, as they are generally less expensive than those branded nationally... Read more .
Strategies for Graphic Design aimed at the Multiple Sclerosis Community: The Development of the Inclusion Framework to Assist in Design Thinking and Visual Communication Artifacts
By: Andrew Brian Fogle
This thesis will address the challenges of living with MS by researching visual communication in a printed context to ensure that current best practices are creating accessible and comprehensible communications for this audience. The primary and secondary research will focus on three specific symptoms common in the community. Visual impairment, cognitive changes and fatigue are key manifestations of the MS community and the symptoms that could be most affected by inaccessible design choices... Read more .
Designer as Cultivator: An Exploration in Critical Making for the Care of Interdisciplinary Culture
By: Ryan M Hammond
Alongside design's growth as an interdisciplinary field of study and practice throughout the last century, debate has arisen as to its role in the cultivation of society. At a fundamental level, it can be considered a method of action that determines successful communication of an idea, whether that idea is forthright or implicit. As a multifaceted field that encompasses several concentrations of specialized study, it has historically played the role of mediator between the arts and sciences—an interdisciplinary approach to communication that shares notable similarities with classical rhetoric... Read more .
Designing for Museum Relevancy: Improving Innovation and Adaptability in Museum Management with Design Thinking
By: Rachel K. Hellgren
As many art museums continue to struggle with funding and maintaining relevancy, they also remain internally divided. Museum professionals hired for their expertise tend toward an internally dominant mindset that can drive interdepartmental segregation. They also do not look to the visitor as a deep source of innovation. Recent changes in philanthropic patterns are intensifying the never-ending challenges of funding and budget cuts... Read more .
Biometrics in Interaction and Interface Design
By: Joshua A Kruszynski
This research investigates the creation of human-computer interfaces which adapt to the cognitive strain of individual users. Research is already underway to employ biometrics for purposes other than medical diagnosis, such as identification and control of prosthetics. This research considers biometric systems—specifically EEG—in the context of interface design, for the purposes of common human-computer interaction... Read more .
Information Acquisition and Sequential Narratives
By: Chad Allen Lewis
This thesis explores the comic’s role in reading comprehension and information acquisition. The comic medium offers a potentially high level of effectiveness due to the visual narrative’s many modalities of learning within it’s constitution, both design and aesthetic. Specifically, this thesis explores the comic’s inherent design elements to determine the effectiveness of the sequential visual narrative as a vehicle to tell substantive stories through the intersection of visual and textual storytelling... Read more .
Developing an Arabic Typography Course for Visual Communication Design Students in the Middle East and North African Region
By: Basma Almusallam
Typography is one of the main elements of visual communication design. Acquiring good typographical skills is crucial for designers to effectively convey information and meaning. These skills should be taught in schools by applying a proper typographic foundation and improving skills through experience. Arabic typography has been recently introduced in Visual Communication Design programs in the Middle East and North African region with an emphasis on typeface design... Read more .
Experiential Graphic Design: Generating Urban Renewal by Improving Safety and Connectivity in Bicycle Pathways
By: Molly Lawrence
Post-industrial cities today are experiencing an influx of new generations moving into local urban communities. Street culture and walkable downtowns and districts are progressively developing in these urban areas, and the need is present for safer and interconnected bicycle infrastructure. Research has proven that the success of a walkable and bikeable environment plays a significant role in the comprehensive sustainability of a city... Read more .
User-Centered Approach for Takeout Packaging Design
By: Tipsaran Choknitivet
Competition of grocery store prepared meals has become more intense in the market today. According to The NPD Group’s ongoing foodservice market research, over 40 percent of the U.S. population purchases prepared foods from grocery stores, and consumers rate visits to grocery stores higher than traditional quick service restaurants on variety and healthy options. However, Packaging Matters, the signature consumer research study in 2015, collects data about the role of packaging in product satisfaction... Read more .
Fluid identity: History & Practice of Dynamic Visual Identity Design
By: Jason E. Murdock
The main aim of this thesis is twofold. Firstly, this investigation seeks to broaden the scope of graphic design history as it pertains to visual identity design by documenting the existence of an alternative paradigm—dynamic visual identity design—which has developed alongside the prevailing visual identity design paradigm—static visual identity design—but which is not currently well documented or understood... Read more .
Designing for Hedonic Shopping Motives: Creating a Framework for E-commerce Imagery
By: Shelby Elizabeth Muter
The ways in which people research, shop and purchase items has evolved in tandem with the evolution and expansion of e-commerce consumer purchasing. However, the reasons that people shop have essentially stayed the same. It is widely accepted that consumers are motivated by either utilitarian or hedonic goals. Utilitarian consumers are primarily concerned with purchasing products in an efficient and timely manner; whereas, hedonic consumers are primarily focused on the potential entertainment and enjoyment that arises from the shopping experience (Childers, Carr, Peck & Carson, 2001)... Read more .
Small Businesses and Their Perceived Value of Design
By: Ian McCullough
This study is a study of small business owners and their perceptions on graphic design. The basis for this study was to gain an understanding of whether or not small businesses view professional graphic design as a beneficial service worth pursuing, and why or why not they are employing the services of professional designers... Read more .
Design Interjection for Business Incubators
By: Todd Louis Wendorff
No matter how an entrepreneur defines failure, statistics on the success rate of start-up businesses is disheartening. Around 30 to 40 percent of start-up businesses liquidate all assets, losing all investor funding, while 70 to 80 percent fail to produce the projected return on investment. There is a strong need for effective incubation facilities which compress the learning curves of the start-ups and provide them with necessary initial support in order to improve their sustainability... Read more .
Design Education for Ugandan Secondary Schools
By: Penina Acayo
Uganda has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this predicament, young adults have the ability and the capacity to drive positive social change and economic growth, if given the appropriate resources and opportunities” (International Youth Foundation, 2011)... Read more .
Designing for Education Debt Management: Improving Student Financial Experiences Through Design
By: Jason Bacher
For a growing number of students, education debt is becoming a familiar and common reality. Borrowing money for a college education is unlike any financial experience that exists today. Unlike taking out a loan for a car or a mortgage for a home, students enroll in a cycle of continuous investing-potentially carrying on for a lifetime... Read more .
Decentralized Design Management: Managing People and the Design Process for a Geographically Dispersed Creative Team
By: Brian Buirge
Collaboration is a key factor to fostering innovation, and in the creative economy innovation is indispensable to success. Advances in technology are evolving the ways in which designers, as well as people in every profession, collaborate. The growth of social networking, instant messaging, web conferencing, online project management, and even distance learning are clear indicators of this evolution... Read more .
From the Wall to the Web: A Microformat for Visual Art
By: Emir Bukva
When I was an undergraduate student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, I worked for the Art History department. My job was to digitize as many 35 mm analog slides as I could from a library of thousands... Read more .
Capturing the Present, Engaging the Future: Designing a Social History Network in a Digital Age
By: Aimee Crane
For thousands of years, stories have been the ultimate source and basic instruction for human emotion and understanding. Stories operate on many levels and communicate on multiple ways that we as humans understand and appreciate... Read more .
An Informed Emergency: Improving Patient Comfort and Comprehension in and After the Emergency Department
By: Ben Dansby
Several months before beginning this thesis project, I was struck one day with a pain in my abdomen that had me literally writhing on the ground. I called a friend, and through gritted teeth, I asked if he could take me to the emergency room... Read more .
SYNC IN PROGRESS: Connecting the Technology Gap Between Gen Y Students and Their Professors
By: Jason Goupil
The Millennials are a group, born from 1977-1994, that have experienced great technological advancements during their formative years as children. Cell phones, computers, the internet, social networks, video games, iPods, digital tablets, and GPS have impacted their lives in big ways... Read more .
Painting heroes: Using illustration to improve the standing of baseball in the inner city
By: Steven E Hughes
This thesis explores the development of a series of illustrated portraits of current African American baseball players. It documents the artistic process and research necessary to make a narrative painting... Read more .
Teaching Design Concepts through Letterpress
By: Robert Keleman
Teaching Design Concepts through Letterpress Are tactile and visual demonstrations using letterpress equipment useful in teaching basic design concepts to undergraduate graphic design students? College freshmen have grown up with the computer as a learning tool... Read more .
Note-taking and Information Retention and Recall
By: Gary Meacher
Information retention is paramount to the education process. There is not a single act in academia that does not require extensive information recall. Beginning with the middle school grades, teachers increasingly rely on the lecture method of instruction. Incidentally, the middle grades are a critical period in the instruction of study skills as the students in that age range are developmentally ready to become strategic learners... Read more .
The American Craftsman: A Contemporary Revival
By: Nathanael Mucha
Beginning with the Arts and Crafts period in the 1800s, craft has established itself as a vital cultural and socio-economic force in Western society. As the original movement cooled at the beginning of the 20th century, it evolved under the pressures generated by World War I and II taking on different forms as it influenced various art movements... Read more .
Combining Digital Media and Unstructured, Outdoor Play in Order to Foster Healthy Child Development
By: Amy Dwyer Peck
More and more, children are spending time indoors in front of a television, computer or electronic gaming device. They are not spending time outside playing and interacting with other children and the natural world around them. Another aspect limiting children's opportunities for unstructured, outdoor play is their parent’s fear of the outside world, and a need to over-schedule, creating perfectly controlled environments for their children... Read more .
Online Learning as a Tool for Enhancing Design Education
By: Jason Richburg
Universities are under great pressure to lower costs and operate more efficiently. This fact has lead to the widespread adoption of distance learning as a means of delivering curriculum. Due to the fiscal demands of their universities, and in response to changes occurring in the professional realm, many design departments find themselves needing to adapt... Read more .
Business Environmental Design, Consumer Visual Literacy and Self-Concept
By: Sarah Rutherford
This research explores the hypothesis that the identity and environmental design of a business, whether created intentionally or not, attracts customers because it affirms some aspect of the customer’s self-concept... Read more .
Environmental Graphic Design Changing the Perceptions of Divided Communities through Cultural and Social Connectivity
By: Andrew Schwanbeck
Urban segregation occurs when a city’s diversities create perceived barriers around concentrated clusters of social groups. When these divisions are extreme enough, communities become shut off from the rest of the city and often fall into a perpetual cycle struggle and degradation... Read more .
The Dynamic Electronic Textbook: Enhancing the Student's Learning Experience
By: Kayne Toukonen
This thesis examines how contemporary education theory could support and justify certain advanced e-textbook design features, enhancing the student’s learning experience and fostering educational growth... Read more .
Diamond in the Rough: Telling the Story of Hough's League Park with Temporary Environmental Graphic Design
By: Jennifer Vokoun
In Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood at the corner of East 66th and Lexington Avenue sits an abandoned brick building in front of a large open field. This is the only physical remnant of League Park, the ballpark where Cleveland’s professional baseball teams played from 1891 to 1950. For many this space is hallowed ground, rich in baseball history and Cleveland history... Read more .
Social Media as a Meas of Promoting Peer-Based Learning in Design Education
By: Adina (Feigenbaum) Warshawsky
Critique is an integral part of design education whereby students review and evaluate projects in order to learn design principles and develop skills such as self-evaluation and giving constructive feedback to others... Read more .
Using Design Strategy to add Value to a Political Campaign
By: Lee Zelenak
At the onset of a project, the first question designers like to ask is: why? It seems like such a simple question and yet far too often it goes unanswered, or the answer is, 'Because we have always done it like this.' What has always attracted me to the concept of design strategy is that it provides a platform to help design better understood goals, objectives, and possibilities, while also providing tangible results showing better outcomes... Read more .
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Communication Design Final Projects
Communication designers’ aim is to give form to information in different fields such as advertising, publishing and editorial design, corporate and exhibition design, websites, multimedia, environmental graphics, signs and maps, service design, interaction design, film and video. In all these fields, it is the need to clearly and succinctly inform, entertain and persuade remains a critical concern.
Here are some images of the final projects that were presented by PCA Communication Design students this year:
Lydia o’callaghan, gabriele iacono, hugo hallsten.
The Comprehensive Guide to Project Communication Plans
By Kate Eby | June 30, 2021 (updated September 26, 2023)
A good communication plan is vital to the success of any project. Experts share advice for creating your own plan and the benefits of doing so.
In this article, you’ll learn how to create your own communication plan . We also share a customizable template , a preferred communication style survey , and expert advice on best practices .
What Is a Communication Plan for a Project?
A project communication plan is a guideline for dispensing details of a project to invested parties. An effective plan includes what kind of information will be distributed, to whom, and how often they will be updated.
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What Are the Important Elements of a Project Communication Plan?
While individual communication plans differ by project, all effective communication plans include scope, contact details, and more. Consider adding the following information to a communication plan:
- Type of Project: Name the project to make it easy to find and reference. Think about how long the project will take and the number of people involved when creating a meeting and update schedule. Larger projects will require more frequent and different meetings.
- Identify Key Players: Determine who is communicating, the type of information they are sharing, and who they are responsible for updating.
- Contact Information: Organize the contact details for stakeholders and team members to make communication easier and more organized.
- Frequency of Communication: Create a schedule for how you will share specific kinds of information. Alyssa Griffin, Service and Communications Specialist at Royal Building Products , recommends a measured approach. “Project updates are usually once a week at maximum. You don’t want to create a deluge of emails that individuals can lose or that can overwhelm them. Short and sweet works the best.”
- Types of Communication: You might find it advantageous to communicate types of information in varying ways. For example, some information may be best to share in real time through meetings or phone and video calls. In contrast, sometimes asynchronous methods such as email or company message boards are ideal. Read “ The Essential Guide to Asynchronous Communication ” to learn more about communication styles.
- Communication Goals: Look at past projects for specific processes to repeat or improve. Make sure to consider your findings from past post-mortem and lessons learned to ensure that you are establishing and implementing best practices.
Preferred Communication Survey
With help from Bellomo, we’ve created a survey to help you identify your key stakeholders’ preferred methods of communication during a project. This survey helps you easily collect and store the communication preferences of clients, stakeholders, and team members for use in your communication plan.
- First and last name:
- Title and company:
- Key areas of interest:
- Email address:
- Phone number:
- Instant message (Skype, Slack, Discord, etc):
- Video call:
Download Preferred Communication Survey Template
Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs | Smartsheet
What Should a Communication Plan Include?
A communication plan is a series of documents that outline all formal communication shared throughout a project. Every successful communication plan should include details about stakeholders, meetings, and more.
- Key Stakeholders: These are the people who have a heavily vested interest in the project. They might be owners, clients, managers, or anyone else who needs regular updates on large-scale project developments. Read our guide to managing and communicating with stakeholders for more information.
- Team Members: These are the individuals working on the project. This also includes the project manager.
- Scheduled Meetings and Updates: Identify what’s important to communicate, including but not limited to deadlines, project phases, budget updates, and roadblocks. Consider the best way to share this information. For example, you might find that a weekly bulletin email update is more valuable for some items than a weekly meeting. If possible, create a meeting schedule early to ensure that people can attend. Utilize an online scheduling tool like Doodle to determine the best times for your team to meet.
- Specific Updates for Individuals: Pick out particular items of concern for key individuals. For example, C-level executives and clients might require opportunities to provide feedback at critical points, or they might only want updates after significant milestones.
- Evolve as the Project Progresses: Many projects suffer from scope creep or simply grow during the span of the venture. Be sure to account for any major changes in your communication needs as time goes on.
How to Write a Project Communication Plan in 6 Steps
Writing a communication plan doesn’t have to be a chore. Determine the communication needs of your team, identify the key players and what they need to know, and create a schedule that satisfies the needs of all parties.
- Determine Your Communication Needs Consider the size and scope of the project, as well as the needs of your stakeholder, your client, and your team. Keep information relevant to the phase of the project and your audience.Bellomo emphasizes that some requirements will change based on the project phase. “There is typically frequent client communication (calls, emails, and in-person meetings) throughout the preproduction phase of the project while working through design and engineering. Client communication usually slows down after approvals, and the internal shop communication will ramp up for the project kickoff meeting and through production. Minimal client communication may happen through this phase, except for providing progress photos and updates throughout the build. Once build elements move into finishing, client communications usually ramp back up as we work through logistics and install details.”
- Determine the Communication Goals for Your Team Team cohesion? Early and ongoing feedback from stakeholders? Improved record keeping and ensuring best practices? These are just some of the goals you might set for yourself and the team. It is essential to consider your goals when outlining a schedule to create an effective plan.
- Name the Project and Outline the Goals By including the project goals on the plan, it is easier to check for scope creep as time passes. You can also ensure that you’re not wasting time and the updates and information you’re sharing aligns with the project’s goals from the outset.
- Consolidate the Information into One Document This document is your communication plan that you can share with the team. Go over the plan to give everyone an idea of what to expect and when to expect it.
Sample Project Communication Plan Template
Download Sample Project Communication Plan Template
Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Google Sheets | Adobe PDF
You can use this example of a completed project communication plan as a reference when creating your own. This template highlights key stakeholders and their preferred contact information, types and frequency of interaction, and communication goals. Download and customize this template for use in your own projects.
In this article , we’ve compiled other most useful project communication templates to aid project managers with consistent messaging.
Best Practices for Writing a Project Communication Plan
The needs of every project vary, but all communication plans should be able to change throughout the process. Focus only on what is relevant to each individual, and take into account their preferred methods and frequency of communication.
- Be Open to Change: Keep an eye out for scope creep and don’t be afraid to update communication plans as projects evolve.
- Consider Preferences: Your clients and high-level stakeholders likely have preferences in their style and frequency of communication. Take those into account when sending updates.
- Focus on What Is Important: Keep the minutiae in an accessible place, such as a team message board or cloud-based drive, but only send out specific, necessary information to individuals.
- Consider the Needs of Parallel Teams: Bellomo highlights the importance of looking at the big picture: “I give the client and shop a written work-back schedule to outline when they can expect to receive information and what kind. This helps ensure everything is clear from the onset on what we need and when to achieve the established delivery schedule. For example, if I need vector files for a logo provided before engineering can commence, I would put the deadline for that unit earlier than the deadline for the rest of the artwork package that doesn’t impact the build and only involves the graphics finishing team.”
- Determine Your Tone: “It is important when establishing the initial communication with clients and the shop to be friendly and casual for the small stuff, but super detailed and outlined for the big stuff,” advises Bellomo.
- Delegate Clearly: Bellomo also suggests to “make sure action items are clear by breaking things down by element, action item, due date, and who is responsible for the task.” When someone is responsible for reporting updates, make sure they know it.
Importance of Communication Management in Project Management
A well-established communication plan is integral to managing the workflow of a project. By laying out the communication expectations from the outset, you can ensure that key stakeholders and team members stay in the loop.
Griffin notes that “setting early expectations for individuals and teams allows for better collaboration” throughout the course of a project. A communication plan can also ensure that team members stay accountable for relaying their own progress and achievements and that you have adequate time to provide and implement feedback during each stage of a project.
“Sticking to a standard allows individuals to know that they can come to you with any question and that you will assist them. Keep in mind that individuals are complex and have their own responsibilities while working on projects. Establish a communication schedule and follow up with an individual if they do not come through. If a delay arises, that is also OK; just make sure if there is a hiccup it is communicated clearly,” explains Griffin.
Benefits of a Project Communication Plan in Project Management
The benefits of a good project communication plan are far-reaching. You will stay more organized, build trust with your team and stakeholders, and ultimately end up needing to hold fewer meetings.
- Organization: At its most basic level, a communication plan will help keep you and your project schedule organized by plotting a course for upcoming meetings and check-ins.
- Team Cohesion: Keeping everyone in the loop fosters trust and helps you manage expectations. Griffin also emphasizes that “strong communication is a must, allowing for teams to collaborate, excel, and deliver the same level of service even while remote.”
- Stakeholder Input: When you have a communication schedule in place, you allow for early and ongoing feedback from key players attached to the project.
- Accountability: With a well-written plan, you can ensure that individuals stay accountable for reporting their work status and create a “paper trail” of reporting for higher-ups.
- Establish Confidence: Show the team and the higher-ups that you know what they need and when they need it.
- Fewer Meetings: Meetings take up a lot of time and resources. With a good communication plan, you can share information more often and in fewer meetings. Best of all, everyone will know exactly when to expect updates from the outset.
How to Use a Communication Plan Throughout a Project
Creating a comprehensive communication plan helps teams stay focused. No team is immune to scope creep, but with a communication plan, you can easily see where you're starting and recognize when goals no longer align with an existing plan.
Make sure the entire team has access to the plan and knows who is accountable for delivering and when. Your team will be able to help you see gaps in communication when everyone has access to the larger picture.
Don’t be afraid to change your plan. As issues come up — they always do — you can adapt your communication strategy much more easily when you have a system to reference. Keep your plan updated with contact information for stakeholders, frequency, and desired forms of communication as situations evolve.
Communication Activities in Project Management
Communication comes in many forms. Consider what you are sharing and who you are sharing it with, as well as their preferred communication methods.
- Formal Communication Activities: Email, meetings, scheduled phone and video calls, and bulletin updates can all be considered formal communication. Any kind of communication that is monitored or stored should be formal and professional.
- Informal Communication Activities: Watercooler or desk-side conversations and spur-of-the-moment phone calls are informal communication. Any kind of off-the-record communication is informal; if you establish an important point during one of these meetings, one or both parties should follow up by email to ensure that the conversation can be referenced later.
- Involuntary Communication Activities: Consider your tone of voice and body language when communicating with the team; these can both add emphasis to the words you say.
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Project Communication Plan
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Step 1: Determine the Team and Stakeholders
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