Course Title: Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: GRAP5371C

Course Title: Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C6152 - Advanced 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

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 course 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:

BSBDES502 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 Proactively seek, review and act on information needed to inform constructive communication with client 1.6 Build trust and respect between self and client through effective communication and demonstration of professional integrity


2 Develop and refine design brief

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Develop concepts and ideas for inclusion in design brief, taking 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 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 specialist advice when developing formal agreements or contracts, and seek appropriate assistance

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a studio, workshop or classroom 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 may 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




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 (TBC): Practicing 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


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. Project 1 introduction. Homework: Reverse brief.

Task 3


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. Send draft for client approval. This could be a sketch, mock-up, or work in progress.

Project 1 concept due.


Project 1: Confirm agreements. Clarify needs and get advice if necessary. Begin production.



Respond to feedback and finalise project. Record response material for evidence guide. Workshop: Confirm agreements in writing – compile all written agreements. Find examples of written agreement templates for graphic designers or small businesses in Victoria, Australia.



Submit Project 1 final files and documentation of process. Check through evidence and record project 1 in the checklist (evidence guide). Project 2 introduction. Information and resources relevant to the job. Homework: Reverse brief.

Project 1 due.


Project 2. Establish design requirements. Develop and refine design brief, send concept for approval. Proactively review information by participating in a workshop on your reverse brief. Discuss with peers. Accurately record this process. Send draft for client approval. This could be a sketch, mock-up, or work in progress.

Project 2 Reverse brief and concept due


Project 2: Confirm agreements. Specialist advice on agreements or contracts. Begin production. Discussion: Communication with client. Challenge yourself and your ideas by pushing your concept further while anticipating the client’s needs.



Production: Get effective feedback. Respond to feedback and improve the design. Record process. Discussion: Clarify and document roles and responsibilities. Specialist advice on agreements or contracts – get advice, or record where you can get advice if you need it.

Finalise design requirements


Production: Prepare documentation and presentation to client. Project 2 is due next week. Workshop: Confirm agreements in writing – compile all written agreements so far. Make a simulated invoice.



Submit Project 2 final files and documentation of process. Prepare course content for grading. Confirm the work has been finalised.

Project 2 due.


Check through evidence and record project 2 in the checklist (evidence guide). Folio: Prepare course content for grading. Folio: Prepare course content for grading.

Course concludes

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Ambrose, G and Harris, P 2011. Packaging the Brand : The Relationship Between Packaging Design and Brand Identity, AVA Publishing, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Graphic Communications Open Textbook Collective 2017, Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals

Leonard, N and Ambrose, G. 2012. Basics Graphic Design 02: Design Research : Investigation for Successful Creative Solutions, ebook, AVA Publishing

Lupton, E and Phillips, J 2015. Graphic design: The new basics, 2nd edition, Princeton Architectural Press.

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.
The assessment tasks are:
Learning exercises
Major project/s incorporating design and print outcomes
Research reports and/or presentations

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

Assessment Tasks

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include individual briefs, in-class exercises, tests and assignments.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

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

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=qwxbqbg739rl1

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 in this course are:

Project 1: Client 1

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

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. This sort is very common for a junior designer. 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 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.


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