Course Title: Source and apply information on the history and theory of design

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: GRAP5334C

Course Title: Source and apply information on the history and theory of design

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4312 - Certificate IV in Photo Imaging

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Naomi Herzog
Phone: 9925 4170

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


Course Description

In this course you will be able to source, understand and apply information on design history and theory with particular emphasis on design in photography. This course will cover current and more traditional trends in design and examine photographic design history and theory.
You will be identifying and producing images that demonstrate the critical elements and principles of design that contribute to a final image or work.

This is also reflected in the training and assessment of this unit.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBDES305A Source and apply information on the history and theory of design


Element 1. Collect information on history and theory of design

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Identify and access relevant sources of information on design history and theory
1.2. Organise research material and findings for current or future use in design practice, in a manner which facilitates easy access and cross-referencing


Element 2. Apply information to own area of work

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Evaluate information in the context of current design practice
2.2. Assess ways in which aspects of information on design history and theory could be used or adapted to inform current practice
2.3. Use relevant information in a culturally appropriate way to develop an understanding of own area of work


Element 3. Update and maintain knowledge of design trends

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Identify and use opportunities to update and expand knowledge of design trends and developments
3.2. Incorporate and integrate knowledge into design activities

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to source, understand and apply information on design history and theory with particular focus on design in photography. You will be able to identify and produce images that demonstrate the critical elements and principles of design that contribute to a final image or work.

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will consist of:
In class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
• lectures & tutorials
• class exercises
• class presentations
• group discussion
• online research
• work shopping of students’ own projects

Out of class activities include, but are not limited to:
• research (online /library /public displays/galleries)
• independent project based work

Teaching Schedule

WeekClass contentAssessment DueElements
1 Assignment Briefing / Overview of semester/ Planning Timeline
Assignment Briefing – Design: Elements & Principles
 Assignment Briefing 1, 2,
2 Design Elements Lecture - The Frame –
Prac - Local shoot – the frame
 Formative 1 Local Shoot 1, 2,
3 Design Elements Lecture - Composition –
Prac - Local shoot – Composition
 “                   “ 1, 2,
4 Design Elements Lecture - Rule of thirds theory –
Prac - local shoot – Rule of thirds
  1, 2,
5 Analysis of 3 photographers – class crit “                   “ 1, 3
6 Design Elements Lecture – Line
Prac - Local shoot – Line
 “                   “ 1, 2,
7 Design Elements Lecture – Colour
Prac - Local shoot – Colour
 “                   “ 1, 2,
8 Design Principles Lecture –– Design principles (balance, proportion, rhythm, unity, emphasis)
Prac Local shoot – personal choice
 “                   “ 1, 2,
9 Colour science – ep 3
Compositional exercise
 Formative Item 2 due 2, 3
10 Design Lecture - Typography & the image  1, 2, 3
11 Class work on Compositional exercise  2, 3
12 Class work on Compositional exercise  2, 3
13 Project work, Feedback sessions –Local Shoot - strongest design element highlighted Formative Item 3 due 2, 3
14 Project work, Feedback sessions –Local Shoot - strongest design element highlighted Formative Item 4 due 2, 3
15Project work – feedback session - Local Shoot - strongest design element highlighted   2, 3
16 Class presentations Summative Item 5 due 3
17 Assessment Week - Non Attendance week  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Freeman M., The Photographer’s Eye - Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos. Focal Press, 2007
Szarkowski J., The Photographer’s Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information and to make use of RMIT’s library database facilities.

Other Resources

Personal data storage device (min 2), personal computer with Photoshop CS5, access to Video/Audio capture and lighting equipment as required. Access to RMIT labs with video editing computers.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this class requires you to:
• Integrate a specific Design element into your images
• Research & analyse work by well known photographers
• Arrange typographical elements within an image utilising the principles and elements of design and photography


Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.
For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Assessment items include:
1. Local Shoots
a. Local Shoot – The frame
Week 2
b. Local Shoot – Composition / Space
Week 3
c. Local Shoot – Rule of thirds
Week 4
d. Local Shoot – Line
Week 6
e. Local Shoot – Colour
Week 7
f. Local Shoot – Student’s choice
Week 8
Students are required to apply the key elements discussed in the lecture and incorporate these into images photographed locally which are then uploaded to the server.
2. Local Shoots Report
Report reviewing the images selected from the local shoots
Due – Week 9
3. Compositional exercise – text & image
Applying the elements & principles of design complete the compositional exercise provided to integrate various components of typography into a series of images.
Due – week 13
4. Analysis of a Photographer’s three works
Select 3 works by a photographer and analyse these in respect to application of design theory and principles
Due – week 14

5. Digital Folio – 4 images
- Text & Image
Using an image from your studio class, develop a typographical element that integrates well into the design.
– 3 selected Local Shoots,
Review the work from the local shoots and the top three that best represent the selected subject. Present these in a digital folio
Due – week 16

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment:
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 through the course contact in Program administration.

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
All students must complete a submission cover sheet for each piece of submitted work.

RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

All students have access to the myRMIT copyright shell. The myRMIT copyright shell contains information on copyright, plus also examples on how to use copyright works as part of your projects and assignments.

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)

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. Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:

Course Assessment Committee/Program Advisory Board
These committees promote the early identification of students who are not achieving acceptable academic performance. The Course Assessment Committee provides identified students with assistance and seeks to ensure such students are aware of the range of support services available to them at the University.

Student Feedback
Students are offered opportunities to provide feedback through a variety of mechanisms including online surveys conducted at the end of each course or semester, student complaints and Student Staff Consultative Committees

Course Overview: Access Course Overview