The GMT-Consortium Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF) will be a cross-dispersed, optical band echelle spectrograph to be delivered as the first light scientific instrument for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) in 2022. G-CLEF is vacuum enclosed and fiber-fed to enable precision radial velocity (PRV) measurements, especially for the detection and characterization of low-mass exoplanets orbiting solar-type stars. The passband of G-CLEF is broad, extending from 3500Å to 9500Å. This passband provides good sensitivity at blue wavelengths for stellar abundance studies and deep red response for observations of high-redshift phenomena. The design of G-CLEF incorporates several novel technical innovations. We give an overview of the innovative features of the current design. G-CLEF will be the first PRV spectrograph to have a composite optical bench so as to exploit that material's extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion, high in-plane thermal conductivity and high stiffness-to-mass ratio. The spectrograph camera subsystem is divided into a red and a blue channel, split by a dichroic, so there are two independent refractive spectrograph cameras. The control system software is being developed in model-driven software context that has been adopted globally by the GMT. G-CLEF has been conceived and designed within a strict systems engineering framework. As a part of this process, we have developed a analytical toolset to assess the predicted performance of G-CLEF as it has evolved through design phases.