Want to be a graphic designer, but have no experience? Open Colleges Graphic Design Pathway is the answer! Combining the entry-level Graphic Design Essentials with the Diploma of Graphic Design, the Pathway covers everything you need to step straight into the professional design industry when you graduate:
You’ll cover all the design basics including: typography, image, colour and tools, before moving on to master client briefs, advanced digital design, technical skills and creative practice.
Responding to the demands of the industry, the Pathway has units which explore the highly prized skills of user experience, digital design, and company branding and identity.
During your studies you will build a portfolio of work that will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the design process to potential employers and clients.
Designed to get you ready to launch into the industry, the Pathway also includes the module ‘Your own practice’. During this module you will learn to master your own work, compete in a digital world and effectively market yourself and your work.
If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation as you may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and may be able to complete your studies faster.
As this is a pathway program, there are no formal entry requirements.
Minimum Age Requirements
You will need to be at least 18 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.
English Language Requirements
This course requires you to read comprehensive learning content, interpret a range of assessments, undertake research and engage in online discussion forums. As such, entry to the course requires English proficiency to Year 10 level.
OC recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standards. OC will endeavour to provide assistance to learners who experience difficulties with these skills.
This is an entry-level course, suitable for new students of graphic design. Basic computer skills are needed.
You will need to have proficient computing skills to undertake this course.
This includes the ability to:
use the computer, mouse and keyboard with proficiency in skills required to integrate software packages, save files and search the internet
use the computer and design software (Adobe Creative Suite) for creating designs
attach and use peripheral devices such as a scanner, digital camera, media storage (e.g., flash drive for design storage)
scan hand drawn conceptual images
save a compressed file (.zip)
save a PDF File
If you do not possess these skills you will be directed to do a relevant Open Colleges Skill Builder Course.
Students need to have access to:
Microsoft Office 2013 or above
Adobe Creative Suite subscription
Broadband Internet connection. Please note, ADSL2+ minimum, is recommended due to the volume of downloading and uploading large files required by the course.
RAM: 8GB minimum. 16GB is recommended
1280 x 800 display (1280 x 1024 recommended) with 16 – bit colour and 512 MB of V RAM
Access to a printer and associated software
Scanner and associated software
File compression software
Hard disc storage 1T. or above.
Back-up: External Hard drive 1T or above.
a Cloud account e.g. google drive, Dropbox
A drawing tablet (Wacom) recommended but not required
Mac OS users:
Mac OSX El Capitan v 10.11.4
Microsoft Windows 8.1 or higher (Windows 10 recommended)
1 .3GHZ minimum or faster processor (2GHz recommended)
Learners require a digital camera or mobile phone with camera and related software for taking photos for design tasks and projects and documenting design processes.
To successfully complete this course, you will require the following basic computing skills on enrolment. This includes:
Basic skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
Accessing and searching the internet
Downloading and saving documents from websites
Uploading documents through websites/Cloud computing
Understanding of participating in online discussions
Attach and use peripheral devices such as scanners, digital cameras, media storage (e.g., flash drive for design storage).
Saving a compressed file (.zip)
Saving a PDF File and multipage PDF’s
Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images
Connecting digital video devices and downloading and storing videos
Compressing image audio and video files
It is also highly desirable that entrants have:
Familiarity with Internet searches
Experience with social media platforms
Basic experience with Adobe Creative Cloud software
Equipment & Tools Required
This course requires the use of design industry software. You will need access to the Adobe Creative Suite, which can be purchased on subscription through the Adobe Creative Cloud (ACC). The ACC subscription is not included in the course fee. Student subscriptions are available at a reduced price. Refer to the Adobe website www.adobe.com.au.
A list of recommended readings, online resources and texts will be provided to the student. Students may choose to purchase a text at their own expense.
You will be encouraged to become student members of the Design Institute of Australia – the peak professional body for design professionals. Information on the Design Institute of Australia is provided in the first Study Period.
Language, Literacy and Numeracy
Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.
You will complete the Graphic Design Essentials first and then progress to the Diploma of Graphic Design.
Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Module, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you'll be given access to the next Module.
Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.
Graphic Design Essentials
Graphic Design Essentials
Elements and principles of design
The design process
The design brief
Digital Design - Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
Produce typographic design solutions
Research type as visual communication
Analyse design needs
Develop ideas for typographic solutions
Manipulate and integrate type
Integrate type within the overall design
Evaluate typographic design solutions
Create and Manipulate Graphics
Create and manipulate graphics
Analyse design needs
Develop and refine ideas for graphics
Manipulate graphic objects
Finalise technical aspects of graphics work
Evaluate graphics work
Integrate colour theory and design processes
Research information on colour theory and design processes
Communicate ideas through the application of colour and design theory
Evaluate design work
Research and Visual Communication
Research visual communication history and theory
Select focus for research
Conduct critical analysis
Present ideas about visual communication history and theory
Develop own practice from research
Drawing and Illustration
Refine drawing and other visual representation tools
Evaluate the role of drawing in professional practice
Support practice through experimentation with drawing and visual representation
Develop individual approach to use of drawing
Develop and refine illustrative work
Interpret briefs for illustrative work
Test design approaches for illustrative work
Produce finished illustrative work
Branding and Identity
Develop graphic designs for branding and identity
Interpret creative briefs
Evaluate potential approaches to branding and identity
Generate and assess ideas
Develop designs to support branding and identity
Evaluate design work and process
Design and manipulate complex layouts
Analyse design needsAnalyse design needs
Develop and refine layout ideas
Create and manipulate layouts
Evaluate design work
Finalise technical aspects
Print and Packaging
Produce graphic designs for 2-D and 3-D applications
Interpret briefs for 2-D and 3-D work
Collaborate and liaise with others
Develop and present ideas for 2-D and 3-D work
Plan and organise the production of work
Realise 2-D and 3-D designs
Evaluate own work
Prepare digital images for pre-press processing
Consult with pre-press bureau about formatting requirements
Prepare files for pre-press processing
Wrap up and review print preparation
Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief
Establish design requirements
Develop and refine design brief
Negotiate terms and conditions
Create mass print media advertisements
Interpret creative brief
Create mass print media advertisement
Work with photomedia in creative practice
Explore the potential of photomedia in own work
Experiment with photomedia
Create and present finished photomedia work
Digital Design and User Experience (UX)
Investigate technologies for the creation of digital art
Research digital technologies
Select digital technologies for in-depth exploration
Integrate technologies into own work
Manage digital technologies in professional practice
Identify project requirements
Generate ideas for interactions
Draft interaction design specifications
Finalise interaction designs
Your Design Practice
Develop and extend design skills and practice
Acquire and develop technical skills
Develop conceptual skills and ideas
Develop own voice
Evaluate own work
Research work opportunities
Develop graphic design practice to meet industry needs
Develop an industry focus for design practice
Address key legal and safety requirements for graphic design practice
Research and evaluate graphic design trends
Develop skills to meet trends
Develop own response to changing trends and technologies
If you choose to pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a 15% discount (unless otherwise advertised).
Pay 50% Deposit
If you choose to pay 50% of your course fees up-front, you'll benefit from 50% of the standard (or advertised) discount.
Pay for your course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.
zipMoney Payment Plan
If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, we can assist by organising zipMoney to pay your course fees directly to us on your behalf, and you pay this loan back to ZipMoney over a period of agreed time with them. zipMoney provides you flexible options of selecting a 24, 36 or 48 months interest-free payment plan (dependant on which course you are enrolling into) to suit your lifestyle, giving you more flexibility than ever before.
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MD Faridul Islam is the trainer and assessor of Digital Design and Graphic Design. He has been teaching at Open Colleges since April 2018. MD has more than 10 years’ experience in the design industry, including seven years of teaching design in VET. MD has obtained several qualifications from a range of design courses, including; Masters in Digital Design, Graduate Certificate in Design, CIV in Graphic Design, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Diploma of Screen, and Media and Diploma of Multimedia.
MD has solid industry experience in graphic and digital technology-based designs. His areas of expertise are – logo design, illustration, web design, 3D design, UI/UX, branding and identity, digital design including game development. As a designer, MD believes there is no end of learning. Design is his passion. As a trainer, he learns every day and loves to share his skills among keen design cohorts.
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