BMA0X141 – Design: An Introduction

Module code
Module title
Design: An Introduction
This module offers students an introduction to conventional design practice, for both screen and print. The course facilitates students' exploration of the distinctive qualities of digital media through image manipulation. Students will acquire basic skills in the computer software and development processes involved in the production of digital media. It also includes an overview of historical and contemporary graphic design. Students will explore the relationship between design elements and their contribution to the graphic communication of concepts.
NZQA Level
Level 5
NZQA Credits
Delivery method
  • Web-Based
Learning hours
Directed hours
Self directed hours
Total learning hours
Resources required
Learning and Teaching Resource
2.1Develop a process for systematically addressing visual situations
discuss, reflect and interpret project briefs
participate in directed research and practical assignments
demonstrate the systematic development of a process through the generation, regeneration, manipulation and synthesis of ideas
define a self-critical working process for developing and refining ideas

2.2Understand the fundamental principles and mechanics of computers
demonstrate a basic understanding of computer file systems
demonstrate a basic understanding of digital formats
demonstrate efficient use of a computer laboratory environment

2.3Develop an understanding of the process of manipulating images in a digital
explore means of generating images on the computer
utilise input devices to transfer non-digital imagery into the computer
develop a basic knowledge of software used to manipulate digital images
develop a basic understanding of the technical issues surrounding the computer screen as a presentation medium

2.4Understand typography as an element in visual communication
consider the relationship between typeface choice and communication
explore and integrate type as a design element
consider the functional role of type communication

2.5Acquire a basic understanding of graphic visual communication
experiment with and control a variety of traditional and non-traditional graphic design materials
develop a series of works to test the formal consistency of visual communication
demonstrate a basic understanding of composition in response to visual situations

2.6 Understand selected research methods and their relevance to a graphic and digital design
produce written comparisons and analyses of selected texts
produce oral and written descriptions of self practice
use conventional forms of writing to analyse texts
participate in conventional presentations of outcomes
test the use of selected methods in the production of works
3.1Formal qualities of graphic elements
File formats (vector vs. bitmap)
Colour setup (spot colour vs. process; RGB vs. CYMK)
Scale (resolution)

3.2The computer and the digital environment
Parts of the computer
Creating, modifying and saving files
Copying files and making backups

3.3Bitmap based
Properties of bitmap
Colour models
Image manipulation and generation

3.4Vector based
Properties of vector
Colour models
Image manipulation and generation

Formal and functional exercises for integrating type with images
Type classification
History of type development
Integrate type and image, considering the contribution of form to communication

3.6Composition and layout
Collecting and recording graphic symbols through study and drawing
Layout structures for print and screen
Explore digital and non-digital graphic design processes
An introduction to graphic design / digital practice

3.7Contextual Study
Introduce the history of design
Contextual research into design values
Case studies and selected readings

Assessment Criteria
Through submission of all studio work, research and notes. Criterion referenced using self, peer and tutor assessment methods.

Assignment One
20 percent

Assignment Two
30 percent

Assignment Three
50 percent

To pass this course students must pass all assignments and accumulate
an overall course mark of no less than 50

1)Attendance requirements of the School of Media Arts must be observed.
2)If you wish to be assessed in te reo Mori, please inform staff at the beginning of the module so that processes can be put in place to manage this in a timely fashion.