Course Outline

DES305 Creative Branding and Design

Course Coordinator:Jaime Kiss ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

USC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course provides an advanced understanding of creative branding, packaging and commercial design practices. You will learn about the entire branding and packaging design process, from concept to creating innovative prototypes for a range of consumer products that effectively communicate in a competitive market. You will learn how to develop successful user-centred designs based on strategy, that address legal, environmental, social and ethical issues as well as production and client objectives and requirements.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Face to Face 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Synchronous All-cohort sessions 1hr Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) 3 times
Information session – Task information sessions 1hr Week 2 3 times
Learning materials – Asynchronous 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Synchronous All-cohort sessions 1hr Week 1 3 times
Information session – Task information sessions 1hr Week 2 3 times

Course Topics

  • Semiotics
  • Visual cues 
  • Elements of creative branding 
  • Packaging materials and sustainability 
  • User experience 
  • Problem solving and innovation 
  • Industry trends and new technologies 
  • Style guides 
  • Product photography 

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Critically evaluate and use problem-solving strategies and creativity to address a design challenge Creative and critical thinker
2 Interpret and reflect on design ethics and inclusive design practices to produce socially engaged, agile, relevant and impactful design outcomes Empowered
3 Apply design thinking. Use design software to produce visual design products. Empowered
4 Critically evaluate historical, technical and theoretical concepts to inform the practical application of sound design principles. Creative and critical thinker
5 Communicate knowledge, concepts and ideas to various audiences using a range of media. Engaged
6 Investigate and evaluate responsible design practices in developing design solutions that positively impact ecological outcomes. Sustainability-focussed

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable



Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Proficient in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

This course will include early formative feedback on assessment and academic progress in the form of one-on-one consultations, collaborative activities and in-class discussions.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Journal Individual 20%
1000-word equivalent
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 30%
Two final designs and support material (500 word project statement)
Week 5 Online Submission
All 3 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 50%
Creative branding brief (500 words), pitch and strategy presented as a professional PDF (or an alternative format negotiated with your tutor).
Exam Period To Supervisor
All - Assessment Task 1:Weekly Journal
You will evidence your analytical and critical responses to material presented in class. Class exercises and participation are important aspects of this course and will contribute to your ability to successfully complete this task.
Product: Journal
In most tutorials, you will participate in individual and collaborative activities and exercises designed to develop your knowledge and skills in creative branding and design. These will vary in format according to the weekly topic and may involve industry guests and simulated creative branding challenges and industry engagement. Instructions and templates are provided in Weekly Materials on Canvas.

You will submit a single PDF document along with the supporting materials – professionally designed in appropriate software (eg InDesign).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to meet the requirements of the project brief in a professional manner
1 3
Evaluation – historical, technical and theoretical concepts
4 6
Understanding of responsible design practices
1 2 6
Professional communication
4 5
All - Assessment Task 2:Semiotics and Design
You will explore and analyse semiotics and branding associated with packaging design to understand how design works in a social context. You will develop an understanding of how signifiers, symbols, colour and style can communicate to a specific target market and impact on the perception of a product. You will also learn that it is important to accurately follow the specifications of a brief. Class exercises are an important aspect of this brief and will contribute to your ability to successfully complete the project.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
The Semiotics and Design project will involve you developing two original designs based on the options provided in class. You will create and construct two contrasting prototype creative branding projects with a supporting reflective practice journal and support materials, including product research. Your designs will reflect on current social, cultural or political contexts and will explore the role of semiotics in creative branding.

A full project brief is available on Canvas in the Assessment Folder.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to meet the requirements of the project brief in a professional manner and use problem-solving strategies to address a design challenge
Application of research, ethical considerations and approaches to inclusive design practices to produce socially engaged and impacted design outcomes
Technical quality and application of design thinking and innovation in the final work
Professional communication
4 5
All - Assessment Task 3:Creative Branding Project
You will explore the branded environment and reflect on your position as a designer. You will identify and develop brand strategies that effectively communicate to specific consumer markets. This task will develop your awareness of design ethics and the role and responsibility of creative branding in contemporary society with an emphasis on environmental concerns, inclusive design principles and human-centred design solutions.

Class exercises are important aspects of this brief and will contribute to your ability to successfully complete the project.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
You will develop an original creative branding project in response to a client brief, campaign or simulated industry project introduced during the tutorials. 

You will develop an original concept, a branding identity system and brand strategy with a supporting style guide. Your portfolio of work will clearly reflect the target audience and will include research and development to provide the context for your original project. 

The format of your final creative branding project can be negotiated with your tutor but should include various touchpoints and approaches for launching your brand for public engagement. You will present your project during class as a design pitch and will submit your project as a portfolio of materials for online submission. 

A full project brief is available on Canvas in the Assessment Folder.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to use problem-solving strategies and creativity to communicate concepts to specific target audiences and address client briefs
Demonstrated understanding of design ethics and creative branding strategies to produce socially engaged, relevant and agile design outcomes for diverse audiences
Application of design thinking and technical quality in the production of final outcomes
Application of responsible design, industry practice and principles and understanding of sustainable design practices
4 6
Professional community and ability to meet the requirements of the project brief in a professional manner

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

This course requires some commercial software or hardware which is provided at USC campuses for student use. If you elect to do this course online, you may either; attend a campus at which it is available, discuss alternative open source solutions with your course coordinator that would enable you to demonstrate the learning outcomes, or if you prefer you may acquire this software and / or hardware at your own expense.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
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    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
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