Course Title: Develop professional illustrations

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2018

Course Code: GRAP5379C

Course Title: Develop professional illustrations

School: 320T Architecture & Urban 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: 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 course 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 to produce 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:

CUAILL501 Develop professional illustrations


1 Interpret the illustration brief

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Analyse the illustration brief for key communication objectives
1.2 Develop an understanding of the broader context for the illustrative work
1.3 Discuss and develop shared understanding of illustration requirements with relevant people


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 ideas for the illustrative work
2.3 Evaluate current and emerging trends in illustration for potential ideas
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 Collaborate with others, including experts, to maximise contribution of ideas
2.7 Assess 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 on evolving personal style in illustrative work
3.5 Engage in an ongoing process of testing, creative collaboration and refinement during the process


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 acceptance


5 Evaluate effectiveness of illustrations

Performance Criteria:

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

Learning Outcomes

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

Week/LocationLearning Activities and/or Assessment TasksDue
Week 1 / Studio 2 515.02.015 In this module, you will set up your user profile for Canvas and RMIT Google Apps. Our first task is to re-examine some of the underlying principles behind successful illustrations – "successful" because the use design elements and principles (E&P) to communicate an idea, feeling or concept. Update Canvas bio Task 1.
Week 1 self-directed study Complete any unfinished tasks before the next class. They need to be done in order to access the next week's notes. Readings: Leonard, N and Ambrose, G, 2012. Design research investigation for successful creative solutions. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Academia, viewed 12 December 2017, <>. pp. 8–35.
Week 2 / Studio 2 515.02.015 In this module, you will be looking at examples of contemporary illustration and connecting them to design elements and principles (E&P). In your groups, complete the slideshow of different examples of illustration that effectively use a chosen design element or principle. You will also register an account with Adobe Stock. E&Ps Task 2
Week 2 self-directed study Readings: This week's readings are to help prepare you for Project 1 next week. It's a short article and a video. Heffner, A 2011, What is Typographic Illustration?, viewed 19 January 2018, <>.
Week 3 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Project 1 introduction. Generate a response through creative thinking exercise. Determine what is on trend by analysing the current market and two examples. Discussion: Who own the copyright if you sell it as a stock image? Or, what creative commons license did you release it on, and what does that mean for your work? Analysis of the assessment requirements.  
Week 3 self-directed study Complete the analysis and objective setting for Project 1. Readings:,
Week 4 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Really push the ideas and come up with something memorable that will be popular. These should be in the form of sketches. Experiment with materials that could enhance your key message. Next week you will be in full production mode. Bring in any materials you need for production.  
Week 4 self-directed study Make some independent progress on this project. This could mean refining you illustration or trying out other materials. Or even capturing what you have in a better way, like photographs or video.
Week 5 / Studio 2 515.02.015 In this module, you will create your finalised illustration, ready to be distributed on your platform of choice before the next session. You will submit your progress, give and get feedback from your peers to help you finalise the illustration. Don't forget to record your process! Video as much as you can! Next week you will finalise the documentation and evaluate your work. Please bring in any videos you recorded, sketches, photos, etc. Project 1 draft due.
Week 5 self-directed study Review the work of a peer from Project 1 draft. Keep the feedback positive and constructive. If you want to collaborate with other students to help you give the feedback, that would be ok. Ideally you will finish your illustration before the next session. In class we will look at putting together the process documentation, but you will have more time to do that.
Week 6 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Production. Turn your drawing into a vector illustration. You might also bring it into other software to enhance it. Make sure you keep a linear version.  
Week 6 self-directed study Consider putting the work in your documentation for Project 1 up on Behance – after all, you've already done the work!. This could help increase your digital footprint. Glitschka, V 2017, 'Understanding Behance' in Social Media for Graphic Designers, online video, viewed 7 August 2017, <>.
Week 7 / Studio 2 515.02.015 This week we will experiment with printing your work. In this module, the other focus is on documentation and evaluation. A potential challenge is that stock image websites can take a while to approve the artwork – and they may reject work that is low quality, or for other reasons. In this module, there will be some suggested options for dealing with this. For submission, you will photograph a print or mock-up of your illustration and put it together as a folio page. Project 1 due
Week 7 self-directed study You will need to respond to any feedback or requests for evidence in your submission, so keep an eye on Canvas and your email for feedback.
Week 8 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Class picks a theme for Project 2. Respond to brief with a sketch. Workshop your idea with a creative thinking exercise. Resubmission of Project 1 for unsatisfactory work. Explore the requirements of the brief. By next week you need to have your drawing complete. Consider recording the drawing process. This looks great in your folio! A video would be best. Next week you will begin the process of completing it. Taking some inspiration from the work of Mike Lowry, fill up four pages (two double-paged spreads) filled to the brim with ideas. Use a felt-tipped pen or dark pencil and two coloured markers. The emphasis is on quantity, not quality. This might take over an hour.  
Week 8 self-directed study Readings; Murril, S 2016, Illustrations Are More Than Digital Eye Candy, 7 July 2016, blog entry, viewed 12 July 2016, <>.
Week 9 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Peer feedback session. Answer the following for them Does it fit with the theme? How do you know? Does it have enough detail to provide an opportunity to experiment with digital inking? If not, how could it be changed? The aim is to make a detailed illustration. Project 2 concept sketch due.
Week 9 self-directed study Readings:
Week 10 / Studio 2 515.02.015 By now you should have a complete illustration. Add dimension through shadow, highlights and texture. make a mock-up of your design on a t-shirt. Do this first in case you run out of time! You can set this up today, and then replace your finished image before you submit.  
Week 10 self-directed study Note: The priority is to submit your design on time. You can do a custom mock-up before next week for your folio. Give it a go!
Week 11 / Studio 2 515.02.015 There are few tasks to do, but you can do them at your own pace. Use this time to improve any images you have used in your eportfolio. Try experimenting with different ways of presenting your illustration in your folio. Put the work on Behance, or Instagram! At the end of this session, we will go through Project 3, but you don't have to start it. It's time for a break! Discussion: analysing and assessing your own work. Evaluate: This is a short bit of writing. It assumes you set your goals at the start of the project. It would be okay to workshop this section with your peers to figure out how best to evaluate the quality of your work. Upload artwork for Project 2.
Week 11 self-directed study Upload work ASAP. Comment and vote on the work of your peers.
Week 12 / Studio 2 515.02.015 During this session you will look at your feedback and votes on Threadless from Project 2, and update your documentation for submission. Photograph your work and submit as a folio page. (optional). Submit a concept for approval for Project 3. In your eportfolio under Project 3: Summarise the brief. Identify key issues that impact on Project 3. Set objectives. Key issues Include a summary of the requirements of doing pro-bono work for a community sporting group in order to build your folio. Key issues will include: - creative, technical or business issues - legal and ethical requirements - production factors for both print and digital formats. Research trends in illustration that will inform your work. Project 2 due.
Week 12 self-directed study Decide on a client for Project 3. This might involve writing some emails. You can do this during class if you like.
Week 13 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Submit your concept (this must be done first). Do the manual part of your illustration. Peer review of concepts. Concepts discussion due.
Week 13 self-directed study Online discussion and peer feedback.
Week 14 / Studio 2 515.02.015 A full session of production. Record this progress. Update documentation. Progress due
Week 14 self-directed study Online discussion: Post progress for peer review.
Week 15 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Finalise your work and publish, or submit to the client.  
Week 15 self-directed study Put together documentation ready for assessment.
Week 16 / Studio 2 515.02.015 Review the success of all three projects. If there's no feedback from Project 3, focus on the more personal and career objectives. Project 3 due

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

None required.


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

Faulkner, A and Chavez, C 2016. Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2017 release), ebook, Adobe Press.

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

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

Zeegan, L, 2012. The fundamentals of illustration. 2nd ed., Lausanne : La Vergne, TN: Ava Pub. ; Distributed in the USA & Canada by Ingram.

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. 
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


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:
Illustration project/s

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


Assessment Tasks

Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both. 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 in order to get a satisfactory outcome. To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Project 1: Stock image - Due week 7

Create a stock image in self-directed brief designed to generate passive income or increase your digital footprint. Sell the illustration as a stock image, or release on a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0 AU).

In this scenario, you are a new freelancer. Make illustrated type with dimension, texture, and tone e.g. it could look shiny, rough, or dripping. This stock image has a variety of applications; greeting card, social media, or in-store display. Think of word or phrase that is could sell, like “Sale!, “2019”, “Happy Mother’s Day” and so on.

This project documentation also tells the story of your objective setting, creative thinking and collaborative process. This forms a significant part of the assessment.

Project 2: Themed - Due week 11

Respond to a brief and create an illustration, but theme time you have to apply it to something and create an image for a folio (or to promote the illustration). Come up with a memorable response to the brief. Take into account intellectual property requirements. Submit an analysis of your work and a summary of the skills used.

Project 3: Graded - Due week 16

Note: Only students who have gained competency (submitted Projects 1 and 2 by the due date to a satisfactory level) are eligible for a grade. You do not have to meet the grading qualities to pass the course.

The aim of this graded project is for you to demonstrate additional employability skills, not just in making an illustration but with working to a brief or for a client and demonstrating the value in your work process.

For this project, you can find your own brief that will allow you to demonstrate these skills. It can be a commercial or non-commercial job, a competition or volunteer work. Working with a client who can give you critical feedback will maximise the opportunities to demonstrate the skills. There is an emphasis on creating work that may help in securing future employment and creating a professional process document.

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:
Click 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.
Click 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.
Click the following link for Cover sheet for submission of works

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.
Pick the following link for more information Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview