Unit of competency details

BSBDES301A - Explore the use of colour (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 18/Apr/2008

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBDES301 - Explore the use of colourUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 24/Mar/2015

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SIR07 - Retail Services Training PackageRetail Services Training Package 3.0-3.4 
SIB10 - Beauty Training PackageBeauty Training Package 1.1-1.2 
SFL10 - Floristry Training PackageFloristry Training Package 1.0 
MSF - Furnishing Training PackageFurnishing Training Package 1.0-1.3 
LMT07 - Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training PackageTextiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package 4.0-4.1 
LMF02 - Furnishing Training PackageFurnishing Training Package 6.0-8.1 
CUV11 - Visual Arts, Crafts and Design Training PackageVisual Arts, Crafts and Design Training Package 1.0 
CUV03 - Visual Arts, Craft and Design Training PackageVisual Arts, Craft and Design Training Package 3.0 
CUF07 - Screen and Media Training PackageScreen and Media Training Package 1.2 
CUA - Creative Arts and Culture Training PackageCreative Arts and Culture Training Package 1.0 
BSB07 - Business Services Training PackageBusiness Services Training Package 5.0-9.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SIR50212 - Diploma of Visual MerchandisingDiploma of Visual Merchandising 1-2 
SIB30110 - Certificate III in Beauty ServicesCertificate III in Beauty Services 1-2 
SFL30110 - Certificate III in FloristryCertificate III in Floristry 
MSF60113 - Advanced Diploma of Interior DesignAdvanced Diploma of Interior Design 1-2 
MSF50213 - Diploma of Interior Design and DecorationDiploma of Interior Design and Decoration 
MSF40213 - Certificate IV in Furniture Design and TechnologyCertificate IV in Furniture Design and Technology 
MSF40113 - Certificate IV in Interior DecorationCertificate IV in Interior Decoration 
MSF31313 - Certificate III in Kitchens and Bathrooms - Retail ServicesCertificate III in Kitchens and Bathrooms - Retail Services 
MSF31013 - Certificate III in Interior Decoration Retail ServicesCertificate III in Interior Decoration Retail Services 
MSF10113 - Certificate I in FurnishingCertificate I in Furnishing 
Items per page 10 | 20 | 50 | 100
Displaying items 1 - 10 of 34


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100501 Graphic Arts And Design Studies 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100501 Graphic Arts And Design Studies 25/Jul/2008 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to explore the use of colour and to apply colour theory.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to any individual whose work involves the effective use of colour, and who needs to understand the basics about the way colours work. Artists, designers, photographers, lighting technicians, digital media specialists and visual merchandisers are just a few examples of people who need these skills.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Source information on colour and colour theory

1.1. Identify and access sources of information on colour and colour theory 

1.2. Evaluate and collate information to build a knowledge of colour and its application in different contexts

2. Experiment with colour

2.1. Test different colours and colour combinations through experimentation 

2.2. Use own ideas as a way of testing, challenging or confirming colour theory

2.3. Ensure safe use of materials , tools and equipment  during experimentation with colour

3. Communicate concepts and ideas through use of colour

3.1. Investigate how colour might be used to communicate a particular idea or concept 

3.2. Select materials, tools and equipment relevant to the idea or concept

3.3. Apply colour in a way that communicates the concept or idea based on own knowledge of colour and colour theory

3.4. Review and reflect on own use of colour and what it communicates

3.5. Seek and obtain feedback from others about the way colour has been used and its success in communicating the concept or idea

3.6. Present and store work any samples  in a way which takes account of the need for professional presentation and potential relevance for future work

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • literacy skills to read and interpret information about colour and colour theory
  • numeracy skills to calculate quantities and proportions of different colours
  • visual literacy skills to make judgements about the way that different colours work together and in conjunction with other elements.

Required knowledge 

  • colour attributes and colour relationships
  • different colour theories and their applications to different contexts
  • emotional, cultural and situational aspects of colour
  • individual interpretation and choice in relation to the use of colour, and the potential limitations of theory
  • materials, tools and equipment required to experiment with colour in relevant contexts
  • ways in which other practitioners use colour in their work.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • effective use of colour to communicate a concept or idea
  • knowledge of colour theory, the effects of colour and its potential use in different contexts.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to materials, resources and equipment needed to apply colour in the relevant work context.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • evaluation of colour samples produced by the candidate to communicate a concept or idea
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of colour theory and use of colour by different practitioners.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Sources of information on colour and colour theory  may include:

  • anecdotal sources, personal observation
  • art and design work
  • books and magazines
  • characteristics of materials, for example paints, pigments
  • scientific texts
  • web-based resources

Experimentation  may involve playing with:

  • application of light, for example in a theatrical context
  • colour attributes in hue, chroma, value
  • colour grading
  • colour models (emotional, physical and psychological effects of colour)
  • colour scales
  • colour schemes
  • effective colour relationships, for example harmonies and discords

Materials , tools and equipment  may include:

  • air brushes
  • brushes
  • cardboard
  • digital equipment
  • fabrics/textiles/plastics
  • glue
  • gouache, watercolour, acrylic
  • hand tools
  • light sources/equipment
  • lighting gels
  • measuring tools
  • pastels, colour pencils, crayons
  • range of papers
  • receptacles
  • rulers
  • software
  • sponges
  • spray gun

Idea or concept  to be communicated may relate to a huge range of activities such as:

  • advertising and promotion
  • artistic works
  • exhibitions or events
  • fashion designs
  • interactive digital media products
  • interior designs
  • jewellery design
  • lighting designs
  • object or product design
  • sign making
  • theatrical props, sets or scenic art

Samples  may be:

  • colour wheels
  • colour swatches
  • constructed
  • digital output
  • drawn, painted, printed
  • photographs
  • sample boards
  • transitory, for example natural and artificial lighting effects

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Design - Design Process

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Training component details
The following details are displayed for each different NRT:-

Training packages

- Training package details
- Training package components


- Qualification details
- Qualification components

Accredited courses

- Accredited course details


- Module details

Units of competency

- Units of competency details
- Unit components

Skill sets

- Skill set details
- Skill set components

Click on the Export link to export the NRT information to MS Word or PDF.

Click on the Manage notification link to create or change a notification for this NRT.

When selecting the Display history check box a set of tables will appear displaying a log of historical values describing what has changed and when over time.

If you have access to make changes to an NRT, click on the Edit link on the upper right hand side of the summary box.