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Module XUE-4031:
Applied Digital Graphics

Module Facts

Run by School of Education and Human Development

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Mrs Katie Roberts-Tyler

Overall aims and purpose

Visual communication is increasingly important in the global information economy. The purpose of this module is to develop the technical and creative skills needed to plan, design and implement an applied digital graphics project in a professional context, alongside understanding of key production processes and professional practices relevant for producing printed tangible outcomes. It also aims to explore the ways in which companies express and communicate product attributes, identity, and values through visual branding.

Course content

Introductions to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator; Creating and transforming vector graphics; Photo editing and manipulation; Visual branding; Product attributes - Concrete (physical) and abstract (emotional); Visual communication and language; Graphic design processes; Creative design briefs; Defining and creating graphic styles.

Assessment Criteria


Assignment 1 70% and above: Comprehensive and fully referenced market and brand research, resulting in excellent insight and synthesis in the development of a professional range of design proposals. Excellent structure and presentation. All proposals are equally validated and justified, and are of a professional standard.

Assignment 2: 70% and above: Excellent application of graphics, highly original and creative outcome. Masterful application of graphics, outcome is highly original and of a professional/commercial standard.


Assignment 1 50-59%: Suitable market and brand research, resulting in a logical design proposal. Links made between research and proposal. Some consideration to structure.

Assignment 2 50-59%: Suitable application of graphics, demonstrating an understanding of visual language in relation to attributes and brand, with some application of current theory.


Assignment 1 60 -69%: In-depth and relevant market and brand research, insightful synthesis in the development of a range of design proposals. Good consideration to referencing and structure.

Assignment 2 60 -69%: Effective application of graphics, demonstrating a good understanding of visual language in relation to attributes and brand, with some originality, and relevant application of current theory.

Learning outcomes

  1. 4- Apply effective communication methods and techniques in relation to attributes, identity and value.

  2. 1- Implement the creative process in a graphic design context.

  3. 2- Undertake and present salient market and brand research.

  4. 3- Present a range of viable options in response to a given design brief.

  5. 5- Utilise graphic design software and understanding to design and produce a creative outcome.

  6. 6- Initiate, develop and realise an original creative outcome, which demonstrates initiative, personal responsibility, autonomy and a critical awareness of current practice, and audiences.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Research presentation and creative proposal 30
Creative digital outcome 50
Final Design Presentation 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Research and individual design project (coursework)


3 x 2hrs


10 x 2hrs


Transferable skills

  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others


Reading list

Ambrose, G., & Harris, P., 2008. Fundamentals of graphic design. AVA Publishing

Ambrose, G., & Harris, P., 2017. Packaging the brand: The relationship between packaging design and brand identity. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

Anton, K. K., & DeJarld, T. (2018). Adobe InDesign CC Classroom in a Book (2018 release): The official training workbook from Adobe. San Jose, CA: Adobe Press.

de Soto, D., 2012. Know your onions - graphic design: How to think like a creative, act like a businessman and design like a god. 2nd edn. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers B.V.

Elam, K., 2004. Grid Systems:principles in organizing type. 1st ed. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

Faulkner, A., & Chavez, C. (2018). Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book: 2018 release. San Jose, CA: Adobe Systems Incorporated

Muller-Brockman, J., 2015. Grid SysGrid systems in graphic design: a visual communication manual for graphic designers, typographers and three dimensional designers. 9th ed. Zurich: Verlag Niggli.

Wood, B. (2018). Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book: 2018 release. San Jose, CA: Adobe Press.

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: