Course Title: Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: GRAP5340C

Course Title: Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C6127 - Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design

Course Contact: Brad Reich

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 9438

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Leigh Milward

Nominal Hours: 65

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

In this unit you will develop the skills and knowledge required to identify the range and scope of a professional design brief. You will negotiate to establish the requirements, expectations, terms and conditions of the brief and present the outcome to the stakeholders.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBDES502A Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief


1. Establish Design Requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Identify and make appropriate contact with relevant stakeholders for the design project, in addition to the client 1.2. Identify and source information and references relevant to the design project 1.3. Undertake critical analysis of sources and extract key information to inform the design project 1.4. Liaise with client and other key stakeholders to determine overall objectives and parameters for the design project 1.5. Pro-actively seek, review and act upon information needed to inform constructive communication with client 1.6. Build trust and respect between self and client through effective use of communication skills and demonstration of professional integrity


2. Develop and Refine Design Brief

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Develop concepts and ideas for inclusion in design brief that take account of overall objectives and parameters 2.2. Undertake own analysis of concept and challenge ideas and approaches taken to ensure responsiveness to project needs 2.3. Present ideas in an appropriate format/medium and seek feedback from key stakeholders 2.4. Use effective communication techniques to generate discussion, debate and critical analysis 2.5. Re-evaluate and refine options based on own analysis and discourse with others 2.6. Establish and agree on final nature and scope of design brief with client and accurately document details


3. Negotiate Terms and Conditions

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Negotiate and agree terms and conditions of the brief in accordance with relevant organisational and professional standards 3.2. Clarify, agree and document roles and responsibilities of those involved in the project 3.3. Confirm agreements in writing in accordance with organisational requirements 3.4. Identify the need for and seek specialist advice in developing, formal agreements or contracts where appropriate

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate your competency in the above elements.

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:

  • demonstrations and presentations by teacher
  • peer teaching and class presentations
  • group discussion
  • review and revision
  • peer learning
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • ‘workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback

Out of class activities will include:

  • independent project based work
  • online tutorials and activities
  • independent research
  • studio practice
  • 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).





Establish design requirements. Writing a creative brief.

Write a brief, including specifications, timeline and estimates of costs. Submit for approval.



Respond to a request for a job. Determine what the client wants. Deliver files.



Write short reflection on Task 1. Skin retouching techniques.

Guest speaker: Practising graphic designer on responding to a brief.

Task 1


Respond to brief for Task 2. In studio conditions, respond to a job, record time, present files to the client.



Write a short reflection on Task 2, identifying critical questions, sources of expertise that could have improved the job. Discussion: How do you present concepts to a client? Class determines schedule for next week’s excursion.

Task 2


Excursion. Responding to briefs quickly and dynamically means keeping abreast of current trends and issues and maintaining peer networks. Explore contemporary art, design locations and group activities.



2.5 hour package challenge. Identify contracts or agreements relevant to that sort of job, or sources of expertise. Design a package concept in a short time under studio conditions. Prepare to send off to client as a concept presentation.

Task 3

Easter Break


Project 1: Establish design requirements. Develop and refine design brief, send concept for approval. Discuss with peers. Accurately record this process. Negotiate terms and conditions.



Project 1: Confirm agreements. Clarify needs and get advice if necessary. Begin production. Send draft for client approval. This could be a sketch, mock-up, or work in progress.



Finalise project. Collate material for documentation.

Project 1 draft due.


ANZAC Day Public Holiday. Submit Project 1 final files and documentation of process.

Project 1 due.


Project 2. Establish design requirements. Develop and refine design brief, send concept for approval. Discuss with peers. Accurately record this process. Negotiate terms and conditions.



Project 2: Confirm agreements. Clarify needs and get advice if necessary. Begin production. Send draft for client approval. This could be a sketch, mock-up, or work in progress.



Submit Project 2 final files and documentation of process. Prepare course content for grading.

Project 2 due.


Folio: Prepare course content for grading. Check over evidence guides.

Evidence guide due.


Folio: Prepare course content for grading.

Course concludes

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Dewis, G 2014. The Photoshop Workbook: Professional Retouching and Compositing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques, ebook, Peachpit Press, viewed 24, January 2016, .

Heller, S, and Vienne, V 2015. Becoming a Graphic and Digital Designer : A Guide to Careers in Design, Fifth edition, Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey.


Johansson, K, Lundberg, P and Ryberg, R 2012. A Guide to Graphic Print Production (3rd ed.). Hoboken, Wiley.

Leonard, N & Ambrose, G. 2012. Basics Graphic Design 02: Design Research : Investigation for Successful Creative Solutions, ebook, AVA Publishing, viewed 3 February 2016, .

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 written tasks. Assessment tasks are:

  • Design Project 1 (50% of final grade)
  • Design Project 2 (50% of final grade)

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 2 Summative Tasks, both 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.

Project 1: Client 1 - due Week 11

Respond to a request for a job. Collaborate with a client to develop and refine a design brief. Deliver files to agreed specifications, including agreement on ownership. Add this evidence to your evidence guide.

Your basic task will be to create adaptable promotional images for the client, that can be modified by anyone with a low level of skill in Photoshop, Illustrator or Acrobat. You may also need to deliver the files in other formats.

Project 2: Client 2 - due Week 14

Respond to a request for a job. Collaborate with a client to develop and refine a design brief. Deliver files to agreed specifications, including agreement on ownership. Add this evidence to your evidence guide.

This is a simulation, but you will work with a real client. The client will give you a theoretical budget. From this figure, determine how many hours and what can be deliver within the budget. You will be contacted via email with a request and the parameters, and you will respond. You will work out the specifications and deliverables and negotiate any other aspects.

At the end of the course, you will resubmit both projects as a folio for grading, along with an evidence guide.


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

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency is 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