Course Title: Communication Design Studio B

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Communication Design Studio B

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Alex Zubryn

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5347

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 9.5.Open Plan near Room 9

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Entry into the program.

Course Description

This course is an introduction into the process of image-based communication - image as language. This study area aims to further develop an awareness of visual literacy of both illustration and drawing cultures. An emphasis will be placed on a student’s ability for exploration, experimentation and self-discovery when creating imagery.

Course Objectives
•    To provide students with a basic knowledge of graphics-based, Drawing and illustration-based creation
•    To provide students with a basic knowledge of image representation including symbolism as communication and communication systems.
•    To develop image-based visual literacy, perceptions, psychologies and strategies for communication outcomes and goals
•    To provide a student centered learning environment in which students develop research, analysis, critique and review skills
•    To develop appreciation and articulation of image as language as an individual and group participation level
•    To develop students ability to initiate research, critique and review of progression through tasks and project brief and commitment to their own learning. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

1.  A basic knowledge of graphics-based drawing and illustration-based creation

2. A basic knowledge of image representation including symbolism as communication and communication systems.

3. Experimental uses of mediums and their various applications for design

Learning Outcomes will be outlined in each breif handed out in class.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course offers a range of hands-on drawing activities that aim to improve the student’s basic drawing skills and confidence. The practical and perceptual information learnt will enable students to deal with the conceptual and technical requirements for illustration and design. It is also expected that students develop an affinity with drawing and will be able to readily communicate their ideas in a variety of mediums.

The hands-on drawing/illustration activities include object-based work and figure drawing. Some activities that will be covered include: basic form
Construction using charcoal, pencil and ink, drawing, sequential drawing, narrative creation,
and an overall appreciation of forming moods and atmospheres when making hand-made
imagery. Students are introduced to a variety of reference material covering themes from
literature and film as well as historical and contemporary information of art
and design. This information is included for the purpose of enhancing the
conceptual and visual processes when making imagery for design.

Key areas of study
•    Communication through hand made drawing/illustration as well as a transferal of this into the digital and print mediums
•    Students will be expected to maintain a record of their works and observations over the semester as evidence of their progress in the course
•    Throughout the semester, students will be required to respond to various creative exercises to contextualize the learning content within this course
•    Students are expected to perform satisfactory work practices when developing a creative and meaningful appreciation of the various materials and techniques.
•    Students are encouraged to form appreciate the psychologies and interpretations of imagery
Students will be expected to respond to lateral thinking exercises in class.

Students will be presented with exercises involving creative problems, and expected to respond in a manner that demonstrates their conceptual development. The course will describe common creative blocks or habits that often stifle conceptual growth. Students will be introduced to the skills to identify such behaviour and given the confidence to experiment with unfamiliar modes of conceptualising and expression.

Students will manage their own learning by choosing idea prompts as well as keeping records of their creative responses and evaluating their solutions. They should be able to manage their own creative development by identifying and responding to conceptual blocks in their learning. These records or journals should include evidence of development. Students should not use the same methods of problem solving repeatedly. Students should show willingness to experiment with various conceptual prompts. Developmental work must show evidence of multiple solutions to given tasks. Students will be expected to curate, judge and present their conceptual development.

In class, critique of ideas will assist conceptual development and refinement of concepts. Group feedback is vital to conceptual development as it gives the students a range of perspectives and an understanding of personal progress in relation to the student body. In order to achieve this students will be expected to participate in group-discussion and respond to feedback. Group critique will develop the student’s analytical, critical and verbal communication skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

In order to inform work practices students are introduced to a range of visual examples. Students are expected to make further research of imagery shown in class.

The following texts are selected as the main reading list

Drawing seeing and observation
Ian Simpson
Third edition 1992
A and C Black London
ISBN 0-7136-6878-4

Understanding Comics
Scott Mc Cloud
Harperennial NY 1994

Pictures and words
New Comic Art and Narrative Illustration
Roanne Bell and Mark Sinclair
ISBN 1-85669-414-3
Copied handouts are distributed by the lecturers and/or made accessible electronically, and Texts may be recommended as required.

Overview of Assessment

Performance indicators and Assessment

In participating with your program you are expected to be actively developing independent learning and self-management skills.

The program has been structured to give student-designers opportunities to practice and demonstrate these attributes.

The successful achievement of these outcomes will be rewarded in the assessment process.

The Design Studio model will act as the framework for the transition towards professional engagement in the development of creative projects.

Essential attributes of a design studio experience are the ability to:
• Work collaboratively and pro-actively with studio partners.
• Devise an appropriate attendance and time management structure taking into account the requirements of all involved.
• substantiate all contributions to the studio output.
• put forward ideas and negotiate them through to final output.
• perform in a professional manner.
• consult in a timely and open way, where staff response and guidance is valued.

Under this professionally oriented system, it is required that student-designers:
• keep accurate and objective notes of all consultations with lecturers/tutors, peer reviews and group critique reviews.
• articulate your own responses to these comments and demonstrate a progressive attempt to deal with the issues raised.
• request ‘sign-off’ of any major benchmark periods before progressing on the project.
• identify and substantiate research, outside activities and self-directed study that leads to the successful completion of project work.

All work must be completed and submitted for review and assessment at the advertised time and date. All work (including weekly exercises) must have met the individual deadlines that demonstrate clearly that tasks have been answered and requirements satisfied. All work must have a cover sheet these can be located at under the heading of Assignments and Extensions: Assignment cover sheet- coursework degrees. Students are required to fill in the form completely, ensure it is date stamped and initialled by the lecturer and securely attached to the work to be submitted. Work without this form will not be assessed.