CAB115 - Introduction to Advertising Design and Layout

Outline info
Last revision date Sep 30, 2019 12:53:22 AM
Last review date Dec 2, 2019 12:15:20 AM

Subject Title
Introduction to Advertising Design and Layout

Subject Description
This subject provides an introduction to the general field of advertising layout, graphic design, and visual communication. Topics covered will include the use of space, color and form, print production, principles of layout and design, and basic typography. The focus will be on the applications of these principles to the creation of print advertising materials.

Credit Status
Creative Advertising Diploma Program

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate and provide visual compositions that will demonstrate control of the mass/space elements, variables, and modifiers.
2. Produce visuals showing the relationship of focal areas.
3. Understand the relationship developed through various combinations of shapes used for visual composition and layout.
4. Demonstrate a working knowledge of color theory and analysis, by producing visuals which will result in a predictable response by the viewer.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of the various color systems available and the printing process.
6. Demonstrate a working knowledge of type fonts/styles and their applications by specifying type to be used for particular end usage.
7. Demonstrate basic control of type by producing specific layout using type font/styles
8. Formulate and compose a written rationale for visuals.
9. Demonstrate visual creativity and communication through completing class projects.
10. Produce print advertising layouts from thumbnail stage to finish concepts.
11. Utilize basic copywriting skills to develop advertising concept layouts.
12. Be an active participant contributing effectively to the assigned tasks and the process of group work within in-class and/or workshop exercises for evaluation.
13. Understand the purpose of, and effectively meet all deadlines and project requirements.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

CAB200, CAB214, CAB333, CAB252, CAB262 

Topic Outline
A: The Creative Process

• Creativity: What it is
• Creative People: Who they are
• Basic Advertising History (1920 to current trends)
• Recognizing and Stimulating Creativity
• Creative Development
• Analysis and Problem Solving
• Rationalization

B:  Advertising Layout & Design Principles
• Design of Advertising Campaigns
• Communication with Visual Elements
• The Mass/Space Elements and Variables
• Visual Modifiers
• Basic Graphic Composition
• Advertising Design/Layout

C: Colour Theory
• Creative Use of Colour
• Structure of Colour
• Colour in Advertising

D: Typography
• Legibility, type font/styles and communication through type
• Type Applications
• Terminology and Type Measurement

Mode of Instruction
Lectures, presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on workshops with one-on-one consultation regarding projects in progress.  This subject requires the student to be involved in self-directed learning and full participation. 

Prescribed Texts
Hey Whipple Squeeze This, Luke Sullivan 4th Edition
Creative Advertising, Mario Pricken, 2nd Edition
Advertising Concept Book, Pete Barry, 2nd Edition

Reference Material
Reference Material
Communication Arts Magazine Annuals and monthly editions
Print Magazine  
Advertising Annuals, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles
The One Show Awards annual
Advertising Age
Fast Company
Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works
From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor
Ogilvy On Advertising

Required Supplies
Layout visualizing pad, translucent  #2, or #3, 14" x 17"
Moleskin Sketch Book (Blank)
Grey Scale Markers (to be detailed in class)
White Masking tape, presentation quality, 1" width
Box of Black Pilot brand Fineliner Brand markers
Red (2) Pilot brand Fineliner Brand markers
18" imperial steel ruler (with cork backing)
Simple compass (a geometry set quality)
A series of pencils: 4H, 2H, H, 2B, or mechanical pencil with these leads
Set (48) of full colour pencil crayons (Prismacolor or equal)
Cutting Instruments:
• Scissors, #11 X-Acto knife (and spare blades), Utility knife with snap-off blades
Small bottle of rubber cement
White plastic eraser
Erasing shield
board illustration board, cover stock paper
black foam core (at a later date)

Additional Materials:

Loose-leaf binder, calculator, gluestick, paper clips, stapler, three-hole punch.
From time to time the student will be required to purchase other materials such as tracing paper, and other miscellaneous supplies as required for specific projects.

Student Progression and Promotion Policy

Grading Policy

A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices. (

Modes of Evaluation
Every assignment, test, or piece of work you do will be considered as a vehicle for evaluation.

This includes your willingness to Participate in the process of the class.
Class participation requires your presence in the class.

All will be considered for evaluation in assessing the final grade.

Progress Semester Projects 75%
Assignment 1 - Journal 10%
Assignment 2 - Perspective 10%
Assignment 3 - Layout 10%
Assignment 4 - Type 15%
Assignment 5 - Colour Design 10%
Assignment 6 - Ad Layout 10%
Assignment 7 - Organization 10%
Final Advertising Campaign Layout Project 20%
Professional Practices  5%

Class Participation

Many classes include presentations by students.  This is how you “brainstorm”.  All students are required to attend every class regardless if they or their team is presenting that day.   Learning about trends as well as the history of the leaders in the business is an important component to understanding how advertising works.  Attendance is therefore an integral component of the course. 


Work in advertising is dependent on deadlines; therefore, deadlines set by the professor must be met. Late assignments will not be accepted. All assignments are to be handed in at the beginning of class on the due date or unless otherwise stated. Any assignment handed in after the beginning of class will be assessed, but a grade of F will be given. In the event of extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances or prior arrangements agreed to, the late assignments may be accepted at the discretion of the professor. 

If rough work for an assignment is not shown at designated workshops when required, the final comprehensive version will receive a grade of F.

Tests and Exams

You must write subject tests and exams at the designated time. A student who is absent for a scheduled test or exam with a valid reason (acceptable to the professor) must inform the professor before the test. 

Evaluation of Student’s Performance

Evaluation will be based on a demonstration of your ability to meet the subject outcomes and objectives set out in project outline and this subject outline. Your attendance, attitudes, work habits, initiative, articulation, alertness and effort will also be taken into consideration when assessing final grades. 

Student Appeals

Students must keep all assignments, including drafts and outlines, and exercises until they receive their final grade. 
No appeal will be considered unless a complete file is submitted at the time of the appeal. A lost assignment is no excuse. 
If the student disagrees with the evaluation of the assignment or with the final grade, the student must first discuss the matter with the professor in an attempt to resolve the disagreement. If the matter is not resolved, the student should discuss the problem with the Program Coordinator. 

For subject final grade appeals please consult Seneca College Academic Policy.


In the advertising industry, creating a memorable impression is essential to sell a product. Creating a lasting and positive impression is also essential to sell one’s self. 

Throughout the student’s college career, the professors will encourage the student to build and maintain standards of excellence in personal presentation, classroom contribution, oral communication and written work. 

Unless otherwise stated, all assignments must be word-processed. Otherwise a grade of F will be given.

Typing, spelling, grammar and composition, copy preparation, style and accuracy will be assessed on all assignments. Any assignments with more than five errors in any of the above areas will be returned to you for correction and resubmission before a grade will be given. A penalty of 10% will be applied to the grade for the completed assignment. 

If comprehension is a problem, the student will also be asked to redo the assignment before a grade will be given. 

A student who consistently turns in assignments with errors in the above areas will be referred to a Writing Clinic at another campus for further help.  A penalty of 10% will be applied to the grade for the completed assignment.

Student Access to Evaluation Documents

1. Evaluation documents are papers and materials used to evaluate the performance of students. For example: homework assignments, tests, examinations and projects.

2. Once submitted to the College by you, these evaluation documents (or a reproduction copy of such documents) becomes the property of the College. 

3. You have the right to access all written evaluation documents that you submit. 

4. In the event that a professor wishes to retain, for future reference or teaching purposes any of your evaluation documents in his or her files, individual students, upon request, must be permitted to view and discuss such documents with the professor concerned. 

Language Standards

In accordance with the School of Marketing policy, all written assignments will be evaluated for standards of language use in addition to content. Assignments which contain grammatical, spelling or other errors of language use will be returned to students and a grade of incomplete recorded until the assignment has been brought up to an acceptable standard. A penalty of 5% will be applied to the grade for the completed assignment.

Other course information

A professional, business-like attitude is essential to succeed in today’s highly competitive job market.  Professionalism means having a positive attitude in class, demonstrated by excellent attendance, attentiveness in class, punctuality, participation and courtesy. Participation involves being present at the start of the class and participating in all class discussions and projects.
Dropping a Subject

It is the responsibility of the student wishing to drop this subject to notify the professor and the Office of the Registrar on/or before the deadline stated in the Student Handbook.   A "Timetable Change Form" must be completed and signed by the MFD coordinator and delivered by the student to the Registrar by the deadline.

Student/Faculty Consultation Outside Classroom Hours

Students are encouraged to consult the professor with subject-related questions outside class time. To arrange a consultation at a mutually agreeable time, students should speak with the professor during regularly scheduled classes or in the professor's office or via e-mail.

Attendance (Absences/Lateness)

Much of the material in this course is not readily accessible to students, other than receiving instruction in the classroom. Regular attendance and punctuality are essential and important. The professor will keep a record of attendance. 

A five-minute leeway will be allowed for arrival at the beginning of a class. After that, admittance will only be permitted at the break. No leeway will be allowed following the break. Late arrival or early departure will however, be recorded as an absence. 

If you will be unavoidably late or absent, you should notify the professor, preferably prior to class. If you are absent for 3 or more classes over the semester, without a valid reason, you will not be eligible for makeup privileges. A doctor’s note will be required if a student is absent for 3 or more consecutive classes due to sickness. 

Additional information is detailed in Academic Policy Section 7

Approved by: Angela Zigras