Course Title: Communication Design Studio A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Communication Design Studio A

Credit Points: 12.00


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: David Cutter

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5355

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 9.5.13

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


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 graphic, illustration and photographic-based imagery and exploring how meaning can be represented, and messages can be communicated through these forms. Students will further their studies of composition and elements, art direction, and general understanding of sourcing imagery. The semester program will have an emphasis on techniques in creating, manipulating and managing images with the aim to achieve the desired effect and use in the intended context. Emphasis will be placed on a student’s ability for exploration, experimentation and self-discovery when creating or manipulating imagery that respond to certain themes, ideas and contexts, culminating in their knowledge and confidence in being able to creatively execute their tasks.

The key areas of study in Studio A include learning to use the elements of design – in particular form, colour and space through a series of practical projects that target various aspects of visualisation that students can utilize when working in graphics, illustration and photoimages across a range of media.
Students will be expected to maintain a record of their works and observations over the semester as evidence of their progress in the course.
The semester’s activities are devised to enhance and assist the completion of three major projects in Studio A.

Throughout the semester, students will be required to respond to various creative exercises to contextualise 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 concentrate on their individual projects as well as being involved in group critiques for the benefit of appreciating the psychologies and interpretations of images. There is an emphasis on experimenting with a variety of mediums in order to expand a knowledge of form, figuration, space and colour as well as investigating ways in which to adapt and alter interpretations of the image when transferred into the digital and print mediums.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

To provide students with a basic knowledge of graphics-based, illustration-based and photographic-based image creation, exploration and management.

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 centred learning environment in which students develop research, analysis, critique and review skills.

To develop appreciation and articulation of image as language at 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.

Overview of Learning Activities

Students will be presented with exercises that involve creative problems solving through developing visual skills in a variety of applications that demonstrate an understanding of the course topics.

Students will manage their own learning by independent decision-making and keep records of their creative responses and evaluating their solutions. These records entered into a folder should include evidence of creative media and technique development. Developmental work must show evidence of the development of multiple solutions to given tasks. Students will be expected to curate, judge and make considered comment on their creative media and technique development.

Students will be presented with project tasks involving technique development and creative problems, and will be expected to respond in a manner that demonstrates their understanding of course topics and creative image communication development.

Students also experience a range of graphics and photographic-based creative activities that aim to introduce and expand upon awareness, understanding, skills and techniques.

During tutorials there will be research discussion, analysis of topics and critique of ideas relating to the visual workshops offered as well as to the major projects in this course area. Group discussion and an interaction of ideas is central to the expansion of a students self-awareness as well as a recognition of perspectives and interpretations. Group feedback is thus incorporated into the course, enabling students to have a greater understanding of image practices and their conceptual development. Participation in discussions develop a student’s ability to develop analytical, critical and verbal communication skills.

Students’ project submission work will be assessed under the categories of Learn, Think and Form.

The category of LEARN

 * demonstrate understanding of course topics, mediums and techniques through notes, visual
exploration, research, analysis, discussion and critique

The category of THINK 

The Studio A work must:

* demonstrate understanding through creative development and application
* show creative development and experimentation
* display originality in solutions
* exhibit confidence in image creation techniques, medium application and management

The category of FORM

Assessors will be looking for:
* appropriate visual solutions that exemplify and satisfy the THINK criteria
* confident media technique and management
* creative solutions that demonstrate how students have developed during the semester
* careful selection, documentation and organisation of your research, development, exploration   and results
* display a confident standard in the presentation of documents research and original creative works
* correct spelling and grammar

Overview of Learning Resources

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.