Course Title: Integrate colour theory and design processes

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2019

Course Code: GRAP5390C

Course Title: Integrate colour theory and design processes

School: 320T Architecture & Urban Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C4382 - Certificate IV in Design

Course Contact: Alistair Briggs

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 9446

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Kathy Holowko



Nominal Hours: 30

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 there will be an introduction to colour theory, and you will explore ways to integrate colour theory and design processes into your two-dimensional or three-dimensional design work.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUAACD401 Integrate colour theory and design processes


1 Research information on colour theory and design processes

Performance Criteria:

  • Identify and access relevant sources of information on colour theory and design processes
  • Research historical and contemporary approaches to colour and design in the context of a work project
  • Evaluate information with consideration of how colour and design issues may be integrated into the design process
  • Consider intellectual property and other legislative requirements relevnt to design processes


2 Communicate ideas through the application of colour and design theory

Performance Criteria:

  • Experiment with selected materials, tools and equipment to determine new ways in which colour theory and design processes may be integrated
  • Explore and develop new ideas through a process of experimentation
  • Achieve solutions by working with the elements and principles of design and different aspects of colour



3 Evaluate design work

Performance Criteria:

  • Reflect on own application of design process and success in communicating concepts
  • Identify areas for future improvement, especially in terms of own skill development
  • Discuss completed work with others and respond positively to feedback

Learning Outcomes

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
• ‘workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback

Out of class activities will include:

• independent project based work
• online tutorials and activities
• independent research
• studio practice
• review and revision

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

There will be a number of prescribed tasks and projects (see Assessment Tasks below).

This course will be delivered in the same weekly session as VART6407 - Develop and refine illustrative work - CUAILL401. The following timeline contains activities for both courses.


Week Session Description Assessment

Learning Elements


Learning Elements



Introduction to computer use and file management.

Overview of course content.

• Colour theory lecture

Intro to Project 1: Colour collage - Due week 4

Explore colour mixing by producing painted colour samples using gouache and coloured paper. 


Colour theory lecture continued - Creating emphasis

Create a set of colour swatches. 

Assemble low contrast base layer of collage


Intro to InDesign software. 

Class exercise to initiate use of InDesign in production of layouts and management of folio of work.

Assemble high contrast top layer of collage.

Submit via Indesign template for feedback. Review Project 1



Present work in progress for feedback

Project 1


Project 1: Colour Collage - Due

Intro Project 2 Task 1- Promotional postcards

- bring camera next week

Project 1 Due 1,2,3

Project 2 Task 1:  Produce a set of 3 illustrated promotional postcards 

Project 2 comprised of 4 separate tasks involving figurative drawing and mark making in a variety of media, using both manual and digital processes, leading to the production of the final set of illustrations

Photo shoot at local site. (eg Brunswick built environment). 

Task 1 - Lay out a grid of images in InDesign.


Project 2 Task 2: Generate 2 drawings using traditional tools from reference generated in photo shoot. Scan.

Project 2 Task 1 Due

Photoshop colour exercise

Project 2 Task 3: Explore technique for adding colour: Create wet media marks, scan and colourise in Photoshop 

Refine postcard designs and respond to feedback.


Project 2 Task 2 Due
8 Project 2 Task 4: Digital composition: Use digitally coloured marks (Task 3) to enhance scanned drawings (Task 2). Project 2 Task 3 Due 3,4


Project 2: Completion 

Place final postcards designs in InDesign template, complete questionnaire.

In-class presentation of postcards for feedback.

Refine postcard designs and respond to feedback.

Submit: pdf of completed InDesign template to Canvas


Present work

for feedback

Project 2 Task 4


Finalise Project 2: Postcards for assessment

 Preparation for Project 3: Vector self portrait 

Introduction to vector graphics (Illustrator)

Tasks 1-3: Vector and Pen tool basics.

A look at examples of the medium and discussion of its character and possibilities. 

Basic instruction on the Pen tool

• Take a some self portraits over the break, practice the pen tool


Assessment of

Project 2

  Mid semester break      

Site visit day - city in combination with brief/ design components class

Project 3 Task 1: Produce photograph for Vector self portrait 

RMIT gallery - look at identity for self portrait, take photos


Vector exercise - Digital pizza

Preparation for Project 3: Vector self portrait

Project 3 Task 1 due  1,2,3  1
13 Project 3 Task 2: Prepare photographic reference suitable for vector self portrait and generate photoshop templates


Project 3 Task 2 due

Project 3 Task 3:  Produce layered Illustrator file

Demonstration of prescribed technique for constructing vector self portrait: precisely replicating specific paths using the Pen tool in Illustrator. More vector basics. Reference Lynda tutorial

 Project 3 Task 3 due

Project 3 Task 4: Precisely replicate a given image using the Pen tool

Replicate given vector image using vector drawing tools to build up layered composite.

Manage colour fills using swatches.

16 Project 3 Task 4: Continue with construction of layered portrait image, using colour to represent 3D form.  

Project 3: Complete Vector self portrait

Create background for portrait with reference to concept of spatial clarity. 

Embed template images and submit as directed.

Optional extra task: experiment with alternative stylised version of portrait in retro airbrush style.


Project 3: Complete Vector self portrait

Create background for portrait with reference to concept of spatial clarity. 

Embed template images and submit as directed.

Optional extra task: experiment with alternative stylised version of portrait in retro airbrush style.

19 Assessment and review  Project 3  1,2,3  1,2,3
20 Assessment and review, Collect submitted work      


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no compulsory prescribed texts in this course. This course has recommended books listed under 'References'.


Resources and References:    

Josef Albers, Interaction of Colour. (Swanston Library Restricted collection. RARE 752A332.iJ)
Johannes Itten The art of color : the subjective experience and objective rationale of color
David Hornung. Colour: A workshop for Artists and Designers
Ludwig Wittgenstein. Remarks on Colour
Munsell’s Colour Tree (Reserved in Brunswick Library)
Colour wheels available from staff room

Other Resources


Josef Albers, Interaction of Colour.

(Swanston Library Restricted collection. RARE 752A332.iJ)

Johannes Itten The art of color : the subjective experience and objective rationale of color

David Hornung. Colour: A workshop for Artists and Designers

Ludwig Wittgenstein. Remarks on Colour

Munsell’s Colour Tree (Reserved in Brunswick Library)

Colour wheels available from staff room.

Other resources

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: Colour exercises and projects.
An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Assessment Tasks

This course has 3 Projects.  You are required to demonstrate all learning outcomes to a satisfactory standard.

Project 1 Colour Collage - Due week 4

Project 2 Illustrated Postcards
  Task 1 Produce a layout of reference photos in InDesign
  Task 2 Generate drawings of subjects from photo shoot.
  Task 3 Create and digitally colourise wet media marks
  Task 4 Combine line and colour elements to compose illustration
  Project 2 Final outcome  - Due week 10
  1. Grid of photos
  2. Set of illustrated postcards

Project 3 Vector self portrait 
  Task 1
Pen tool exercise
  Task 2 Pen tool exercise
  Task 3 Vector exercise. Copy given image using vector tools.
  Project 3 final outcome Vector self portrait - Due week 19

You are required to demonstrate all learning outcomes to a satisfactory standard.
You will receive feedback with verbal and/or written evaluation of your progress within class time. 
The submitted projects will be assessed with written feedback as well as a checklist that relates to separate components of the project and the overall outcome.

This course is assessed for competency. At the completion of the course, you will be deemed competent or not yet competent

CA Competency Achieved 
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 you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Feedback - 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 & 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 competency assessment. 
Submissions that are assessed as Not Satisfactory can be re-submitted once and this is only permitted during the period that the competency is scheduled.

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. Submission cover sheet

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

Credit Transfers and Recognition of Prior Learning
Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).  Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process
that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC).
RCC applies only if you have previously demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.
Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course

Course Overview: Access Course Overview