Course Title: Develop professional illustrations

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: GRAP5345C

Course Title: Develop professional illustrations

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C6127 - Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design

Course Contact : Leigh Milward

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 9426

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 70

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 create professional illustrations for a range of purposes in both print and digital formats.You will use a range of advanced techniques within work that conveys strong conceptual and theoretical development and engagement with the creative brief. You will develop and extend illustrations using both manual and digital tools.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUVILL501A Develop professional illustrations


5. Evaluate effectiveness of illustrations

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Evaluate completed illustrations in terms of success in achieving objectives
5.2 Assess work against other creative, technical and business considerations
5.3 Analyse and evaluate feedback from client and others
5.4 Reflect on own role in design process and note areas for future improvement


1. Interpret the illustration brief

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Analyse the illustration brief in terms of key communication objectives
1.2 Develop an understanding of the broader context for the illustrative work
1.3 Develop shared understandings


4. Finalise illustrations

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Negotiate and agree to modifications and amend as required
4.2 Develop accurate and comprehensive documentation to support the production process
4.3 Present final illustrations and documentation to relevant people and confirm


2. Generate and assess ideas for illustrations

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Evaluate the specific context and proposed media for the illustrative work
2.2 Identify and source references that inform illustration in the relevant context
2.3 Consider current and emerging trends and thinking about illustration
2.4 Explore and experiment with different approaches and techniques for communication of key messages
2.5 Create appropriate relationships between different visual components
2.6 Maximise contributions of others through collaboration on ideas, including other experts as required
2.7 Reflect on ideas for technical, creative and budgetary implications
2.8 Refine and select approaches that best balance the overall needs of the brief


3. Create illustrations

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Create impactful illustrations through effective engagement with the elements and principles of design
3.2 Use advanced compositional skills to establish strong spatial relationships in illustrations
3.3 Create appropriate mood and feeling in illustrations
3.4 Develop and reflect evolving personal style in illustrative work
3.5 Engage in an ongoing process of testing, creative collaboration and refinement during the process

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 lab 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




Revision: Quick and dirty photoshop
Revision: Patterns and swatches in Illustrator
Project 1: Design & Design Research
A small folio of exercises: two parallax wallpapers and one page of design research.

 2.1-8, 4.1-3,
3Excursion: NGV Australia: ’Emily Floyd: The Dawn’ and David Shrigley. Readings: The role of research in design. 2.2, 2.3
4Project 1: Design Research
Putting design research into your practice.
 1, 2
5Project 1 due
In-class assessment of project 1.
Project 2: CFMEU Work safety
A splash page and spot illustration for the CFMEU that combines a hand-rendered illustration with digital painting techniques.
Confirm the interpretation of the brief.
Put together process document
4.2, 4.3

Project 2: Idea generation and sketching.
Roughs due next week.
Colouring techniques in Photoshop

7Project 2: Development of sketches.
Using stock images to quickly present your work.
8Project 2 draft submission and progress interview.
Smartlayers in Photoshop. Developing your own display templates for your folio.
 3, 5.

Project 2 due. Feedback and display of folio-ready page.

Depending on client availability, this may happen outside of studio hours at a location in the city.

Project 3: Victorian Roller Derby League.
Produce a poster and Facebook banner, using a modular design and smartlayers. Idea generation and sketching. Roughs due next week.Confirm the interpretation of the brief. Estimated cost: $40–$80
Put together process document. Film: Whip It (2009).

4, 5
10Project 3: VRDL Extend and refine idea generation
Put it into a client-friendly format. Due next week.

Project 3: VRDL Present roughs.
A client meeting simulation (this may actually be a real scenario, depending on client availability) and put your ideas into context of contemporary illustration practice.

 2, 5.1-3
12Project 3 production.
Draft submission is due next week and forms part of your assessment.
13Project 3 draft submission and progress interview.
Peer feedback. There is also the possibility of client feedback this week.
 3.5, 4,
14Project 3 production.
Respond to feedback and prepare work for submission. Evaluate work.
15Project 3 files due.
Project 3 will be printed and mounted this week. Working files and a print-ready PDF will be submitted to the server. Your process document will be submitted to Blackboard.
Work will be assessed during classtime, but final grades will be informed by client feedback.
 4, 5.1-4
16Project 3 assessment week. Work will be displayed and evaluated by VRDL representatives and staff. 4, 5.1-4

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

None required.


You are advised to look at the course myRMIT site for ongoing updated information.

Drawing from life : the journal as art, Jennifer New, 2005.

Hand to eye : a survey of contemporary illustration, Angus Hyland; Roanne Bell, 2003.

Illustrators unlimited : the essence of contemporary illustration, Robert Klanten, et al, 2011

Vitamin D2 : new perspectives in drawing, Matt Price ed., 2013

Adobe Creative Team. (2013). Adobe® Illustrator® CC Classroom in a Book®. Adobe Press.
Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book - Illustrator 17.1 Update (January 2014). (2014). Adobe Press.

Chen Design Associates, 2006. Fingerprint: The art of using handmade elements in graphic design. Cincinnati, Ohio : Newton Abbot: How; David & Charles [distributor].

Crawford, Tad, author, & Bruck, Eva Doman. (2013). Business and legal forms for graphic designers (Fourth ed.). New York: Allworth Press.

Hall, A. (2011). Illustration (Portfolio (Laurence King Publishing)). London: Laurence King.

Leonard, Neil, and Gavin Ambrose. (2012). Design Research: Investigation for Successful Creative Solutions. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Academia, 2012. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed January 19, 2015).

Male, A. (2014). Illustration: Meeting the brief. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts

Pash. (2005). Inspirability. Cincinnati, Ohio: HOW Design Books.

Tattersall, N. (2012). Curvy #8. Surry Hills, NSW, Australia.

Zeegen, Lawrence, and Louise Fenton. (2012). The Fundamentals of Illustration. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Publishing SA. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed January 19, 2015).

Other Resources

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. A range of learning resources and references are provided throughout the year. Additional information relating to this will be provided on an ongoing basis. A digital resource folder resides on network server. Further information regarding access to this is available in the ‘Computer Survival Kit’ provided during orientation.
You will require a personal storage device and tools as outlined in tool kit list.
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.

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 of the library resources.
The University Library has extensive resources for Graphic 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 Mary Mavroudis

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 visual tasks. Assessment tasks are:

  • Design Project 1 (20% of final grade)
  • Design Project 2 (30% of final grade)
  • Design Project 3 (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. Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both.
This course has 3 tasks, all of which must be completed/submitted. To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Task 1: Folio. (Formative)

A collection of exercises covering the basics of the course. Students will quickly produce two parallax wallpapers for iOS8, and one small visual research essay on a contemporary illustrator. Due week 5.

Task 2: Workplace safety illustration. (Formative)

CFMEU workplace safety graphics. Interpret the theme into a splash page and spot illustration for the CFMEU that combines a hand-rendered illustration with digital painting techniques. Successful submissions will be used on the web and possibly in print. The aim of this project is for you to create a body of illustrative work for use in a range of media, both print and electronic, and work confidently with the elements and principles of design across multiple illustration contexts. Due week 9.

Task 3: Rollerderby poster and banner. (Summative)

The poster and banner will be designed in a way that the text could be changed by anyone who knows how to use Photoshop, and so can the logos, by advanced use of smart layers in Adobe Photoshop. For example, use of smart layers to change the colour of uniforms in the poster. Successful submissions may be put into production by thre VRDL in 2015/16. The aim of this project is for you to create a body of illustrative work for use in a range of media, both print and electronic, and work confidently with the elements and principles of design across multiple illustration contexts. An important part of this assignment is primary research, and you will be required to attend a rollerderby bout before the commencement of this assessment task. Due week 15.

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

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 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 to be successful in this course.

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:
Pick the following link to access the Student feedback webpage

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.
Pick the following link to access the Student progress policy webpage

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.
Pick the following link for Cover sheet for submission of works

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.
Pick the following link for details on applying for Special consideration
Further links - Application for extension of time

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity.
Pick the following link for more information Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview