The Creative Process
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Winter 2021
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: PRE: Program acceptance, entrance requirements

Program(s): Advertising and Marketing Comm, Advertising/Marketing CommMgmt
Program Coordinator(s): Marc Doucette
Course Leader or Contact: Joe Musicco
Version: 20210118_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: N/A

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students explore the creative process used in the development of advertising content, with a focus on print and display media. Students formulate strategies in order to create persuasive communication pieces for a chosen advertiser, which relies on an understanding of the use of typography, layout design, headline development, and copywriting. Students also take an advertising idea from rough sketches through to final layouts and demonstrate the ability to conceive, write, design, edit, evaluate, and produce marketing communication materials using industry-standard techniques and principles.

Program Context

Advertising and Marketing Comm Program Coordinator(s): Marc Doucette
This course is the first offered within the creative stream of the advertising program and is essential for students considering a career in advertising. It introduces learners to the advertising creative process and provides practical tools and skills used in the development of multimedia advertising materials and content.

Advertising/Marketing CommMgmt Program Coordinator(s): Marc Doucette
This course is the first offered within the creative stream of the advertising program and is essential for students considering a career in advertising. It introduces learners to the advertising creative process and provides practical tools and skills used in the development of multimedia advertising materials and content.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability to apply strategic and creative thinking skills to the production of effective advertising and marketing materials.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Identify the key facts, the target audience, the objective and the main message of an advertisement through the development of a creative strategy.
  2. Recognize the various written and visual components of an advertisement.
  3. Generate multiple ideas based on a creative strategy.
  4. Develop hand-drawn concepts and rough layouts utilizing various advertising elements.
  5. Write effective advertising headlines and copy that relate to a specific target group in order to meet an established advertising objective.
  6. Design layouts using recognized design principles such as balance, eye flow and composition.
  7. Critique advertisements using specified criteria and principles.
  8. Produce a finished ad layout and copy sheet using industry-standard software.
  9. Explain their design choices for their original advertisement in the form of a presentation.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 5 Individual Creative Projects (5 @ 10%)50.0%
 Final Presentation20.0%
 Lab Work15.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
All courses within the Advertising and Marketing Communications - Management program use the same late penalty policy. The penalty for a late assignment is 10% of the total value of the assessment for the first 24-hour period after it is due. For every additional 24-hour period, 20% will be deducted. After the third day (72 hours), the grade will be recorded as a zero (0) for that evaluation. There will be no resubmission of work unless, under exceptional circumstances, this has been agreed to or suggested by the instructor. A student must average at least 50% on the non-group components of the evaluation plan (as well as at least 50% overall) in order to receive credit for this course.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication Skills - Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
  • Communication Skills - Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving - Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills - Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Show respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  • Personal Skills - Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.
  • Personal Skills - Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.
  • Information Management Skills - Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • Information Management - Locate, select, organize and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Portfolio

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: Multiple Professors
Resource(s): N/A
Applicable student group(s): Advertising students.
Course Details:

Module 1 – Introduction

  • Introduction to the course
  • What is advertising strategy? What is layout and copywriting?
  • Overview of the projects and evaluation plan
  • Mac Lab: Introduction to the Mac. Overview of projects and tests.


Module 2 – Creative Strategy

  • Ad preparation and planning: Creative briefs, objectives, and target markets
  • Project 1: 5W’s and 1H (10%)
  • Project 2: Creative strategy (10%)
  • Mac Labs


Module 3 – Copywriting

  • Types of headlines
  • Writing for print and display ads
  • Consumer language and body copy
  • Formatting copy sheets
  • Mac labs


Module 4 – Layout Design

  • Components of an ad
  • Layout design: principles and formats
  • Mac labs


Module 5  – Idea Generation

  • Idea generation: concepts, brainstorming
  • Headlines and visual approaches
  • Project 5: Concept roughs (10%)
  • Mac labs


Module 6 – Ad Production

  • Font styles and usage
  • Role and use of colour and composition in print and display advertising
  • Production of final ad
  • Lab - Digital layouts (15%)
  • Mac labs


Module 7 – Summary and Conclusion

  • Review of semester 1; Overview of semester 2
  • Project 7: Final ad presentation (20%)
  • Lab test (15%)


Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

[ Printable Version ]

Copyright © Sheridan College. All rights reserved.