Image Image

VCD Yr10 AOS 3 Promotional poster

Promotional poster in 'De Stijl'.

Outcome 2

On completion of this unit the student should be able to;

  • Research and incorporate their research into their work,
  • Use manual and digital methods to visualise ideas and create final presentations,
  • Create and use a grid for the organisation of content,
  • Create a presentation that fulfils the requirements of a brief.

What you will do

This unit is from the communication design field.

In this unit you will learn how to design a poster to promote and advertise the building you have been designing this semester. 

You will learn how to research designers from the past and use the aesthetics you find to create a theme for your work. You will also learn how designers use a grid to organise image and text content.

You will work with manual and digital techniques.

In this unit you will create visualisation and presentation drawings.

Quick menu

Model answers

Promotional poster using retro pastel shades. Vivian Phan, 2018.
Promotional poster based on a strictly Mondrian inspired grid. Eunice Abis, 2018.
For this poster the student researched colour chips from the 1950s. Georgia-Mae Salvo, 2018.
Sample promotional poster in the style of an art and design movement 'De Stijl'. R Roberts, 2018.

Learning intentions

Learning intentions should be set at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals during the task.

Read through the content on this page. Discuss what you think could be learnt and form them into three 'learning intentions'.  Use sentences like, 'I will learn about making 3d drawings', or I will learn about 'media codes'.

Write your three learning intentions.

For advanced learning intentions, go with 3 different levels. 

  • 1 - What you will learn. (For example, the media code of camera describes the techniques camera operators use to record a scene)
  • 2 - How what you will learn can be used to create meaning or structure. (For example, camera techniques are combined with sound and/ or editing to create suspense).
  • 3 - How could your understanding of the learning be extended or related to other learnings. (For example, the use of camera has changed over the years and the invention of digital formats have allowed anyone to become cinema photographers)

Success criteria

Success criteria should be negotiated between students and their teacher. The class group agrees about what is successful completion of the task. Identification of success criteria is done at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals.

Now that you are familiar with what you will learn in this task, it's time to lock in how you will be able to demonstrate that you know it, or can do it. 

Write three success criteria, using sentences like the examples in the next column.

I will demonstrate that I have mastered the learning by;

  • 1 - I Can identify all of the camera techniques used in the selected clip.
  • 2 - I can use a camera to film clips in the ways I have identified.
  • 3 - I can explain how camera is combined with other codes to create meaning in a narrative.

Effective rendering

Rendering to enhance form

In this section we will learn how to use tone and colour to create depth. This is called rendering to enhance form.


Click on the image below to visit my page on rendering. Read through the top section; 'Rendering for form'. In this section you will find out how shade can be used to create form on a shape.

As you go complete the tasks shown below.

The rendering page

Visit this page for your rendering pre-work.

task 1

1.1 Rendering for form

Complete these exercises. You will find them on the rendering page.

  1. Make 4 small cubes, render them with tone to show the light source falling from 4 different directions. Learn how each face of the cube will show a light, medium and dark surface.
  2. Make the tone strip to demonstrate a tonal range from white to black with pencil.
  3. Make a planometric cube about 120mm x 120 mm, divide each face into 9 squares, shade them to represent light, medium and dark shades of the black and white.

Design task

Starting out

A 'brief' is a set of instructions used to assist a designer understand what a client wants them to design. It doesn't describe the outcome, but tells the designer what the client wants from the finished design.

Take a look at the brief below. It will tell you who is wanting a design, what they want designed and what kind of restrictions they have for what it will contain and how it will work. 

The brief is your guide for this job.


The brief

'Marketco' is a new home builder designing contemporary homes in Melbourne. They are your client. BB specialise in homes that are inspired by styles from the past. You are required to design a poster to promote the building you have designed. 

The target audience is young adults who have an interest in design and architecture. As design literate people they have an understanding of the history of design.

The purpose of the poster is to promote your building and the context will be in home design magazines.

The expectation is that the poster will look as if it is created in the style of posters from the 'De Stijl' movement from early in the Twentieth Century, Holland. 

The constraints are;

  • Poster is A3 portrait,
  • Must include the following;
  • - text; (name of building), location, open times and dates,
  • - use a grid layout inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian,
  • - Include a planometric rendering of your building,
  • - colours; red, blue, yellow, greys, white, black,
  • - font styles; sans-serif fonts and original display font based on the kind of fonts seen in the 'De Stijl' movement posters.
  • Hierarchy should follow;
  • - building picture,
  • - building name
  • - other details


Let's look at what was driving 'Neo Plasticism'.

Watch videos to get an introduction to De Stijl painting through the art of Piet Mondrian.

Background to Neo Plasticism

Mondrian at Tate Liverpool and Turner Contemporary
Piet Mondrian | TateShots
Abstract Ideas: 100 Years of De Stijl

Research for style

Let's take a look at what exactly is 'De Stijl'.

Search up the names of the style, the artists and designers mentioned in the brief.

Searches on De Stijl

Posters by Theo Van Deosburg.
Paintings by Piet Mondrian

tasks 2

2.1 Research and responding to the brief

Search for the artists, designers and their posters mentioned in the brief. This will be your visual food for creating your own original grid design.

Make 2 A3 pages of research with annotations to describe the images you find. Collect at least two;

  • Mondrian paintings,
  • De Stijl Posters,
  • De Stijl font examples.

Don't forget to write down where you found each image beside it. 

Layout structure

Let's take a look at how designers divide up their page when they make a poster. This skill is called 'layout'.

To set out your poster you are going to need a structure. Its like architecture in a building. Click the image on the right to visit this Year 11 page where I discuss grid layout in action. Read through the notes on the components of a 'grid layout' then complete the tasks below.

Click on this image to visit my page on grid layout.

Sketching 'thumbnail' layouts

A page of layout suggestions based on the research. Note the small size of a 'thumbnail'.

tasks 3

3.1 Grid layout deconstructed

Take an example like the newspaper page in the picture above. Deconstruct the grid layout and identify these components;

  • margins,
  • columns, 
  • gutter,
  • modules,
  • spatial zone,
  • flow lines.
3.2 Grid layout visualisation

Make one A3 page of thumbnail sketches of layouts for your poster. Indicate the area where the headings, images and colours will be.

Develop the skill of keeping your drawings loose, but working to the flow lines accurately. This is hard - but it's how professionals work.

Development and refinement

creating layout

In this section you will move from a large range of alternative design options to the one that you will use for your final poster. You will use critical thinking to choose the design you think is most suitable for development then work on the computer to set it out and create the design.

The order below shows the drawing of the house completed. You may not complete your drawing until the next step. That's ok you can come back to the layout then.

Setting out your layout in Illustrator

Beginning with flow lines
Working with spatial zones and modules.
Working with spatial zones and modules.

tasks 3

3.3 Grid layout in illustrator

Take an example like the newspaper page in the picture above. Deconstruct the grid layout and identify these components;

  • margins,
  • columns, 
  • gutter,
  • modules,
  • spatial zone,
  • flow lines.

Create a new A3 portrait file in Adobe Illustrator. Set out the page with columns and flow lines. Begin to create spatial zones and modules to build the layout you visualised.

adding tone and colour to your drawing

In this section you enhance the form of your building drawing in a number of ways. We begin with a natural mono chromatic rendering, then make it a bit more creative with colours inspired by De Stijl and finish with colours shifted to different planes to deconstruct the form.

Moving from line to tone to create depth

The original planometric line drawing.
The same drawing with tone used to create depth.

Moving from tone to colour to de stijl abstraction

In this drawing the tone has been replaced with colour in a 'realistic' or consistent manner to create depth.
In this illustration the colours have been moved to 'deconstruct' the house, in the same way as Piet Mondrian or Gerrit Rietveld would deconstruct planes and forms.

Examples of work in progress

Here the student is working with colour pallets she has researched from the internet. Vivian Phan, 2018.
A fantastic response for the project. Alena Nguyen, 2018.

tasks 4

4.1 Creating form with tone

Using the planometric drawing you made in the last Area of Study, colour the shapes layer with variations of grey to enhance the form.

4.2 Creating form with colour

To make your illustration ready for your poster, create a new layer and copy the tonal drawing onto it. 

Now use colour in place of the tone to create a more vibrant effect in a similar way to that which was done by the De Stijl artists.

Create your original font

To make your poster really say 'De Stijl' you're going to need an original title font based on the fonts used at the time. Follow these steps to create it.

Create your original font

Search up 'De Stijl' fonts.
I found this one by Theo Van Doesburg. I traced it with red squares in Illustrator. ( fonts-30202.html)
Take a look at this wonderful blocky font also by Theo Van Doesburg. ( fonts-30202.html)

tasks 5

5.1 De Stijl Font

Search up 'De Stijl' fonts. Copy an image and then create your own original font based on the image. Don't forget to reference the image you use. 

5.2 Complete poster

Add your font to the poster. Use the original font for titles only. Use other fonts for further information.

Students at work on the project

Starting to apply the hand created font to the poster.
Working with the grid and a healthy dose of asymmetrical balance.
Choosing a range of colours to balance in the grid.
Working up the design with hand created font.

Evaluation and deeper learning

In this section we will think about the learning we have done. We will review the main topics and evaluate our learning. Follow the steps in the tasks shown here to prepare your folio for presentation and grading.
What have I learnt?

Answer the following questions (on paper or if you use a computer, print them and stick them into your visual diary).

  1. What is the translation of De Stijl?
  2. Where did this art movement take place?
  3. Why did De Stijl architects and designers seem to want to shift colours and tones from their natural positions?
  4. Define the design principle 'hierarchy'.
Putting it together

Find where you wrote up what you thought the success criteria might be. Check that you have done something for all of the steps you wrote down.

Photograph and print pictures of your model. Put them in your visual diary and annotate them. Complete all the steps shown on this page.

Check the assessment criteria below to see if you have prepared your folio for each criteria. If not, take the time to complete each section.

Hand up your work on the due date as instructed.


Evaluation and deeper learning
Complete the evaluation, deeper learning and rating tasks as shown above.

Assessment criteria

The extent to which the student: 

  1. Research and incorporate findings from the research into your work,
  2. Use manual and digital methods to visualise ideas and create final presentations,
  3. Create and use a grid for the organisation of content,
  4. Use computer methods to create a presentation drawing including a 3 dimensional rendered planometric drawing,
  5. Create a presentation that comprehensively fulfils the stylistic and functional requirements of the brief.

Please note: To achieve good marks in criteria based assessment you must remember to include some work for each part of the task required. Spread your time evenly across the task.