Course Title: Research visual communication history and theory

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: COMM7341C

Course Title: Research visual communication history and theory

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C5359 - Diploma of Graphic Design

Course Contact: Alistair Briggs

Course Contact Phone: +61 9925 9446

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Frances Tatarovic

Nominal Hours: 55

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None required.

Course Description

While undertaking this course you will research visual communication history and theory and apply that research to your own professional practice. Visual communication professionals inform and enrich their practice through their understanding of history and theory. This study will provide context, inspiration and reference for your design solutions. History and theory may relate to a particular period of time, a particular aspect of visual communication, or be broader in nature.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUAGRD501 Research visual communication history and theory


1 Select focus for research

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Select a focus for visual communication research based on specific needs and perspectives

1.2 Challenge own assumptions and preconceptions about the research process and potential information sources

1.3 Select relevant historical and contemporary sources for investigation


2 Conduct critical analysis

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify and investigate issues and ideas in the development of visual communication

2.2 Evaluate ways in which meanings, messages and information are communicated in both a historical and contemporary content

2.3 Seek out and compare the critical views of others in chosen area of inquiry

2.4 Allow the process of analysis to take exploration of issues in new and potentially unintended directions


3 Present ideas about visual communication history and theory

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Develop substantiated opinions and ideas about visual communication history and theory

3.2 Make informed contributions to professional discussions of visual communication practice as a result of research

3.3 Present ideas in writing with clarity and accuracy


4 Develop own practice from research

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Determine potential for integration of research findings into own work

4.2 Relate visual communication history and theory to business practice considerations

4.3 Recognise connections and associations between history, theory and contemporary practice

4.4 Develop relevant ideas about how research impacts on own professional practice and its future direction

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a studio and computer laboratory using industry standard tools and resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study.In class activities will include:

  • class exercises
  • tutorials
  • practical demonstrations
  • workshops
  • group discussion
  • review and revision
  • peer learning
  • peer teaching and class presentations
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • workshopping of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback

Out of class activities may include:

  • independent research
  • independent project based work
  • studio practice
  • online tutorials and activities
  • review and revision

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

There will be a number of prescribed tasks and projects (see Assessment Tasks below).

This course will be delivered in the same weekly session as COMM5974C - Make a presentation - BSBCMM401. The following timeline contains activities for both courses.


Session Description





Icebreakers, Course breakdown, description of assessment tasks




Lecture: Difference between graphic design and fine art.

Role of designer in relation to client and target audience.

Presentation and class discussion




Design Elements and principles tutorial.

Task 1- Design Elements and Principles





Task 1 DUE- Design Elements and principles task due end of class.

Lecture: Early nineteenth century Graphic Design influences 1920s,

Dada/Constructivism, Composition.





Lecture/ presentation: colour blocking.

Formative task 2 - Colour Blocking Task

Brainstorming and mind maps





Formative task 2 -Colour Blocking Task DUE
Group feedback and critique

Project 1: Social poster

Lecture: The Poster and Delivery of Summative 1

The design process- creating ideas and useful thumbnails.






Composition principles and elements.

The Grid, in class task.

Review of poster designs and progress on project 1.






Project 1: Social poster, review and DUE date.

Symbols/pictograms Create symbols/pictograms

Formative task 3 - Pictograms In class task






Create symbols/pictograms

Formative task 3 - Pictograms In class Task Due end of class





Project 2: Giants of Design Booklet

Delivery of Summative task 3.

Designers allocated to students.






No Class - Public Holiday




Project 2: Giants of Design Booklet

Delivery of Summative task 3.

Designers allocated to students.





Project 2

Giants of Design presentations (Part of overall mark for Giants of Design)






Project 2

Folding and booklet prototyping..

Students to work on Giants of Design booklet - concept stage






Project 3

Students to work on Giants of Design booklet - development stage, review and feedback.






Project 3: Giants of Design Booklet DUE

Students to work on Giants of Design booklet - final stage and hand in

finished booklet.





Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no compulsory prescribed texts in this course. This course has recommended books listed under ‘References’

You are advised to look at the Learning Hub at myRMIT site for ongoing updated information. A range of learning resources and references are provided throughout the year.

You will require a personal storage device and tools as outlined in tool kit list.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access to the library resources.

Amongst the library’s electronic resources is the ability to access for online tutorials and lessons. You may be given these tutorials (and other resources) to supplement your classroom learning. The University Library has extensive resources for Design students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment tasks will require you demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills through practical projects and/or exercises and written reports. The assessment tasks are:

An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Assessment Tasks

Tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both.
Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks and you should engage in all formative tasks.
This course has 3 Summative Tasks, all of which must be completed/submitted. Each task has an allocated percentage of the total grade. You are required to demonstrate all learning outcomes to a satisfactory standard.

Formative assessment
Design principles and elements exercises which will be delivered throughout the semester and explore the following:
• components of a brief
• image creation
• intellectual property and copyright
• environmental concerns
• class discussions and presentations
• feedback

Assessment Tasks
Project 1: Social Poster. (50% of final grade for COMM7341C - Research Visual Communication History and Theory)

Research a social issue – make a poster around an issue incorporating contemporary design trends.
DUE: Week 8

Project 2: Giants of Design Presentation. (100% of final grade for COMM5974C - Make a Presentation)
Present your research of a renowned graphic designer. In-class presentation
DUE: Week 13

Project 3: Giants of Design Presentation. (50% of final grade for COMM7341C - Research Visual Communication History and Theory)
Research a graphic designer – make a booklet in the style of the designer. This printing will incur some out of pocket costs
DUE: Week 16

At the completion of the course, grading will be offered in addition to, and after, competency based assessment.

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment are:
CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information


The major aspect of your learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity for success.



You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. Student feedback at RMIT


Student Progress

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy



When submitting work for assessment you are required to complete a declaration of authorship. This must be done for every summative assessment task. This statement acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications. For non-­digital submission use the printed form provided. For digital online submission please use e­ Submission process.Information regarding the e­Submission process


Special Consideration Policy, Late Submission & Extensions

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level.

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Pick the following link for details on applying for Special consideration

Any student seeking an extension, should aim at doing so a minimum of 2 days before the deadline. Work submitted late and without an extension at any point will incur late penalties in accordance with university policy. If you require an extension you must complete an extension form with evidence supporting your application and hand this to your instructor. Further links ­ Application for extension of time


On Time Submission and Impact of Late Submission

On time submission is an important factor in your assessment. Employability skills are embedded in all courses and these include Planning & Organising and Self-management. For this reason, late work impacts on your overall grade for each assessment task.

The following adjustments for late submission will be made: Work submitted late will be assessed for competency only. Submissions are only permitted during the period that the competency is scheduled.


Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity. Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview