The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Provides an opportunity for the development of skills and knowledge in the research and illustration of ideas for visual storytelling in transmedia practice. This includes the translation into illustration of appropriate text. Topics may include the expression of ideas as narrative, self-promotion, marketing, storybranding, editorial and/or institutional illustration modes including cartooning, children's book illustration, illustration for animation, and visual storytelling techniques for film and social media.

Emphasis will also be placed on group interaction and participation in creative design team strategies.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Evaluate the most suitable media/technique to convey the appropriate message through visual imagery

2. Demonstrate skill in a variety of illustrative, imaging techniques and materials, and technologies

3. Discuss, plan and implement graphic imagery responses for a given brief

4. Show and present, in a professional manner, a portfolio to demonstrate creativity, versatility, technical knowledge and a broad base of understanding about the range of styles, techniques and platforms for visual storytelling

5. Display an ability to creatively translate a literary text into a visual form in transmedia practice


The content of this course addresses the issue of critical thinking in Design and Visual Communication creative processes where, with the notable exception of self-promotion works, all work undertaken is subject to a given design or illustration brief. The student will be encouraged to make informed choices for media, grounds and tools to enable problem solving and successful illustrative solutions to be achieved. Project work will extend the basic drawing and rendering skills that a student has developed in level 1000 Drawing courses and the student will be required to link digital technology tools with set problem briefs. Similarly, students that have taken film, photography or animation electives will also refine their visual communication skills by linking digital technology tools with set problem briefs. 

Individual problem-solving and research skills will be a required part of the storytelling process and, in some instances, group and multiple tasking interactions may be utilized to emulate the industry studio.

Topics may include:

  1. Experimentation and exploration of a broad range of illustrative and image making media
  2. Appropriate use and function of new technologies
  3. Selection of media and style appropriate to the given brief/assignment
  4. Preparing illustration and/or imaging suitable for use across media platforms
  5. Editorial illustration, children's books, cartoon, animation, film and digital imagery
  6. Colour psychology
  7. Project planning

Assumed knowledge

DESN1200 - Basic Drawing for Design and DESN2211 - Visual Narrative

Assessment items

Project: Project 1 - Define & Act Methods 2 Ideas - Storyboarding & Narrative - 50%

Project: Project 2 - Character's Language - Characters in Application - 50%

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks starting in week 1

Weeks 1, 4, 5, 6


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1