Course Title: Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2016

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
  • evaluation & critique including feedback & assessment

Out of class activities will include:

  • independent project based work
  • online tutorials and activities
  • independent research
  • site visits
  • social & other networking

Teaching Schedule


Week beginning

Session description

Learning Elements



4 July

Creative brief

Course overview. Write a creative brief. Define the design problem/identify the need.



11 July

Research. Ideation.

Submit brief. Finalise brief, negotiate and submit. Type and image research. Apply creative thinking techniques. The pitch for your design solution(s).

1, 2


18 July

Style guide.

Show research. Produce style guide, aka the pitch. Formalise your design ideas for approval by creating a mini style guide, so it can be discussed and refined with others. Review of complex masking techniques in Photoshop.



25 July

Production. Package 1.

Submit the pitch(es) – client signs off. Present your ideas for Project 1 as a one-page style guide, with an example 2-page spread and package design.



1 August

Production. Package 1.

Setting up custom press checks.



8 August

Production: Package 1.

Create and submit a mockup (prototype). Begin production on catalogue.



15 August

Production: Catalogue

Product retouching techniques.



22 August

Production: Catalogue

Peer review and re-evaluate both products.



29 August

Project 1 due. Presentations.

Project 2 briefing

Undertake critical analysis of sources and extract key information to inform the design project. View and assess contracts between you and the client.



5 September

Project 2: Creative brief: Research

Conduct a market analysis with a view to projecting trends for the following year. Design research.



12 September

Creative brief: Customer and ideation

Showing your understanding of the brief, and establishing the requirements. This will be sent to the client for agreement.


Mid semester break September 19–October 2


3 October

Project 2 Production

Respond to feedback be refining your design ideas. Production on product 1.



10 October

Project 2: First prototype

Present your first prototype to the class and client

2, 3


17 October

Process document

Group activity: What evidence needs to go into the process document?



24 October

Finalise all production. Files will need to be sent off to print this week or early next week. Focus on production of mockups.



31 October

Assessment week. Appointments with individual students as necessary. No formal session, but the lab will be open for use. Finalise production of hardcopy elements. NB You will present your work to the client during the exhibition.



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


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

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

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

Faulkner, A and Chavez, C 2015. Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release), ebook, viewed 21 January 2016, .

Other Resources

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: Package & Catalogue

Write a creative brief. Create a catalogue/lookbook for 5–10 unbranded stationery products, plus a package for a product of your choice. Present your process and outcomes.

The aims are

  • Practical demonstration of skills through the development and finalisation of a design brief.
  • Effective collaboration and communication skills to work with others to develop and refine a design brief.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the design process.

Due week 9, week beginning 22 September.

Project 2: Industry brief

Create package designs for an industry partner. Present your process and outcomes.

  • Practical demonstration of skills through the development and finalisation of a design brief.
  • Effective collaboration and communication skills to work with others to develop and refine a design brief.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the design process.

Due week 16, week beginning 31 October


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

CA - Competency Achieved - Ungraded

DNS - Did Not Submit for Assessment

NYC - Not Yet Competent

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. Attend all sessions to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.


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

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.

Cover Sheet for Submissions

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work (hardcopies). This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

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

Course Overview: Access Course Overview