Course Description

Ensure your writing has the strongest impact possible by learning how to successfully present user-friendly documents. Start with a brief overview of the four basic design principles (contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity) that appear in every well-designed document. Next learn about colour and font, and how choosing the right one can have a positive impact on your writing. Then, learn how to think critically about your design choices so you can apply these principles to numerous documents including creative writing, correspondence, brochures, reports, and websites through study, practice, peer and instructor feedback, and assignments.

Course Details

Broad Learning Outcomes

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the role of design in creating effective documents
  • Identify principles of design, the elements of design and how they are applied in different documents
  • Write a creative brief
  • Create and implement a style sheet
  • Design an effective document

Supporting Learning Outcomes

Writing good copy is one part of creating powerful documents. This course looks at another critical element – design. The content of this course introduces students to different considerations of document design and provides some basic knowledge on a variety of topics, including:

  • principles and elements of design
  • color
  • typography
  • graphics
  • page design
  • grids
  • design briefs
  • print formats
  • digital document design


There is no Mandatory prerequisite. One of the core courses (WRI 110, WRI 120, WRI 130, WRI 150, BMC 113) is strongly recommended.  

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Online Asynchronous
Sep 17, 2024 to Nov 12, 2024
Delivery Options
Course Fees
Flat fee non-credit $639.00
Potential Price Adjustments
Reading List / Textbook

Title: The Non Designer's Design Book
Author: Robin Williams
Publisher: Peachpit / Press Pearson
Edition: 4th (2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0-13-396615-2
ISBN-10: 0-13-396615-1

Visit the UCalgary Bookstore at www.calgarybookstore.ca.

Section Notes
Completion of WRI 150 - Writing in the Workplace or BMC 113 - Business Writing Basic or WRI 130 - Professional Writing Basics  or WRI 120 - Copy Editing and Proofreading or WRI 110 - Writing Well is strongly recommended.

This course uses Desire2Learn (D2L), an online learning management system. The instructor will post your course outline and other materials in D2L. For more information about D2L, please visit our Online Learning Resources.

Unless notified, all online courses are available at 9 am MT the day before the start date. Students who register on (or after) the start date will receive access within one day of registration.

Students who are unfamiliar with online learning are recommended to take our free Digital Skills for Learning Online course.

Unless otherwise stated, notice of withdrawal or transfer from a course must be received at least seven calendar days prior to the start date of the course.

Required fields are indicated by .