Navigate to resources by choosing units within one of the unit groups shown below.
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
- Graphic Communication is defined here as the practice of creating work to convey information, ideas and emotions through the use of graphic elements such as colour, icons, images, typography and photographs.
- Learners must explore, acquire and develop skills, knowledge and understanding through the application of techniques and processes specific to their chosen area(s) of study of Graphic Communication.
- Learners must explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary graphic designers and the different purposes, intentions and functions of graphic communication as appropriate to their own work.
- Learners must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding through area(s) of study relevant to Graphic Communication.
Areas of study
Learners are required to work in one or more area(s) of Graphic Communication, such as those listed below. Combinations of these areas are also possible.
- Communication graphics
- Design for print
- Interactive design (including web, app and game design)
- Package design
Learners must demonstrate the ability to work creatively with processes and techniques appropriate to the chosen area(s) of study such as: computer aided design, web design, apps and games, letterforms, typography, drawing, book illustration, print, photography and package design.
Learners will be expected to demonstrate skills, as defined in the Art and Design Core Content section of this specification, in the context of their chosen area(s) of Graphic Communication.
In addition, learners will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:
- develop ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing sources
- apply an understanding of relevant graphic communication practices in the creative and cultural industries to their work using image and typography
- renew their ideas as work progresses through researching, selecting, editing and presenting graphic communication artefact(s)/product(s)/personal outcome(s)
- record their ideas, observations, insights and independent judgements, in ways that are appropriate to the Graphic Communication title such as, drawing, photographing or applying collected material
- use appropriate specialist vocabulary through either visual communication or written annotation, or both, within Graphic Communication
- use visual language critically as appropriate to their own creative intentions and chosen area(s) of study through effective and safe use of:
- use drawing skills for different needs and purposes, appropriate to the area(s) of study used. Drawing may take the form of illustrations, layout and typography using appropriate media and materials
- realise personal intentions in Graphic Communication, through the sustained application of the graphic communication process.
Knowledge and Understanding
Learners are required to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding listed below through practical application of skills to realise personal intentions relevant to their chosen area(s) of Graphic Communication.
Learners are required to know and understand how sources inspire the development of their ideas.
Reference should be made to the following:
- the work and approaches of graphic communication from contemporary and/or historical contexts, periods, societies and cultures
- contemporary and/or historical environments, situations or issues
- other relevant sources researched by the learner in their chosen area(s) of graphic communication
- the ways in which meanings, ideas and intentions can be communicated through visual and tactile language, using formal elements, including: colour line form tone texture
- the characteristics, properties and effects of using different media, materials, techniques and processes, and the ways in which they can be used in relation to learners’ own creative intentions and chosen area(s) of Graphic Communication
- the different purposes, intentions and functions of Graphic Communication in a variety of contexts and as appropriate to learners’ own work.
To encourage learners to think conceptually they should be supported in the generation of individual ideas that explore their skills and understanding and promotes thinking and creating at an independent level.
Learners should explore and reference seminal and bespoke artists, designers and other stimuli to inform and inspire personalised responses. Research is an integral part of the development of a learners ideas and should be referenced in a focussed and sophisticated manner; showing critical analysis of a diverse range of sources with a clear link between the context and the concept.
Set tasks and briefs should allow learners to access the higher levels of the mark bands whilst still allowing for creativity and risk-taking.
Exploration of a wide range of graphic communication mediums and techniques should be encouraged. Learners may choose to use some of these mediums or techniques as a starting point for projects or alternatively they may use set directives/briefs or lead from their own ideas or interest.
Throughout the process students should build on knowledge and skills, exploring and engaging in a range of graphic design aspects. This process should be documented and show practical and analytical skills.
As centre resources may differ, students are encouraged to utilise their knowledge of resources and sources to best advantage their work. They should demonstrate their ability to work creatively with various processes and techniques appropriate to their chosen area of study. Their development should then culminate in a holistic realisation of personal intentions, through the sustained application of the Graphic Communication process.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
Artists and Designers work should be fully understood and documented through personal and insightful comments to show understanding and to allow the work to be suitably influenced. If learners fail to do so, the work may lack substance and this could hinder the development of a fully formed idea.
The body of work should flow and progress cohesively. Often students will digress, allowing the body of work to become disjointed, lack cohesion and ultimately it may not fully reach fruition.
Learners should concentrate on selecting suitable pieces of work to present and not become focussed and consumed by quantity as apposed to quality. Appropriate and considered refinement should always be key.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
The learning that occurs when working through this topic will help to underpin learners’ knowledge in other areas of the specification.
The body of work should show a clear and concise journey of discovery and exploration centred around an idea or theme - ultimately realising intentions and appropriately fitting the assessment objectives.
Illustration project – create a set of postage stamps.
Learners should explore contextual references and show their understanding through insightful comments and visual analysis.
Produce a range of observational drawings exploring the chosen theme, using various/appropriate media, materials and techniques.
Produce a presentation pack for the stamp collection – Learners could use 2D design to produce a net for the pack which could then be cut on CAM Equipment such as a laser cutter.
Learners could choose various themes for stimuli – for example; New York, African animals (the big five), WW1, London Monuments or even ‘Current Events’. Alternatively they could be given a list of suitable themes to choose from. Artists references could include John Banovich (‘African animals’) or Marcus Jansen who is known for his paintings of New York and in dealing with topics of war and conflict through his work. Students could take inspiration from or work in the style of the artist; producing artist copies and observational drawings from primary and secondary sources.
Learners should then develop these into their own illustrations to be used as the stamp design. Ideas could then be explored and further refined using programmes such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to make the designs fit for purpose; adding authentic detail such as the Queens head and price etc – to avoid copyright students could design their own Queens head using illustrator. Students must then produce a presentation pack to showcase their stamp collection. They must use their own artwork on the pack relevant to their theme. 2D design could also be used to produce a net for the pack.
Using the work of artist John Banovich (information and examples of his work can be found in the link) for inspiration - students could explore texture and expression within painting to produce imagery which could be used within the stamp collection design for the project above.
Using the work of artist Marcus Jansen (information and examples of his work can be found in the link) for inspiration - students could explore abstraction using texture and expression within painting to produce imagery which deals with political themes and current events.
To the right is a link to information and examples of the work of designer Christopher Dina, Who’s print works entitled ‘Iconic London’ and ‘The City of New York’ explore the use of historical landmarks showing enthusiasm for a persons hometown. Students could use this as inspiration to produce a personal illustration project based around their hometown, using iconic buildings within their city/town.
Learners could produce a research page showing an understanding of the artist and the context in which the work was produced.
Learners could produce a research page showing an understanding of the artist and the context in which the work was produced.
Investigate artists and practitioners whose work could be seen to be similar to these initial investigations and developments. Record and present findings in written and visual formats.
Digital artist Christopher Dina and Illustrator Jonathan Allardyce are well known for their stylised fruit Illustrations. Using these for research and inspiration students write a brief to create branding and packaging.Students could be given a brand name to base their project around. In order to push creativity and allow students to think outside the box other artists such as Archimbaldo could be used for more creative and unusual inspiration. Students should consider how the branding will be used for the company logo, product labels, packaging and promotional materials such as fliers, business cards and display stands.
Learners should explore various artists/designers relevant to the Jam Company project and produce information pages discussing the practitioner and the context in which the work was produced
Students could produce an analysis of the artists/designers work using insightful annotation and/or a visual analysis of the work.
Christopher Dina’s projects entitled ‘Fruit’ and ‘Vegetables’ could be used to explore line, colour and simplified shapes. Learners could produce observational drawings - exploring their own use of line and colour. These could then be developed into more simplified drawings and used to produce prints.The link to the right offers information and examples of the designers work.
Jonathon Allardyces unique comic style illustrations of fruit, vegetables, jars and bottles can be used to explore the use of tone, form and texture within Graphic Communication. Students could explore their skills in computer aided design to produce and render their images.
These could be hand drawn images which are scanned and rendered using Adobe Illustrator or photoshop, or digitally produced from scratch using illustrator or a Graphics tablet.
To the right is a website that offers information and examples of the illustrators work.
Learners take inspiration from a more creative/indirect source. Using the artists works as inspiration learners explore compositional techniques and more unique ideas for the jam company branding project. This could be a source to help learners think ‘outside the box’ by exploring the combination of fruit and the human form.Information and the complete works of Giuseppe Archimboldo can be found on this dedicated website.
Learners could use the information from the projects found at ‘Digital Arts Online’ to explore the various elements of branding. This could be used for short tasks based around typography or colour or ultimately develop into creating their own branding for a company/product.In the graphics section of Digital Arts Online - ‘This Weeks best branding projects’ - you will find examples of various branding projects such as the three examples in the link below. Each of the three projects stages is explained in detail and discusses concepts as well as the creative processes involved in branding. There are links to Creative Agencys, and designers such as - Above+Beyond, Charlie Smith designs and The Partnership, who worked on the three projects. There are also links to their websites, which have further information and explanation about each project.
Students use Photoshop/ Fireworks to start looking at the basic imagery/design of a web page. They can then move to basic coding.
The link to the right is an excellent source of ideas for teaching the basics of web design.
The link first concentrates purely on the design/imagery of a web page using Photoshop or Fireworks and then moves onto basic coding using HTML and CSS. The article gives guidelines on how best to teach new students web design, as well as ideas for various different tasks to build students skill level. This resource could be used to help students develop a simple webpage.
Using inspiration from the cutting edge design and layout of Dazed Digital, learners should produce their own website for the youth of today, featuring articles and imagery from popular culture and current events.
Using artist Paul Klee for inspiration learners create the Graphics for an animation in photoshop and then develop it using adobe after effects.
The adobe education exchange has some fantastic resources and ideas that help make teaching and learning more inspiring and also aid technological advances. The link to the right is to an animation project with lesson plans and some resources.
The students in this particular example used artist Paul Klee as inspiration for their work. The students then worked cross curricular with music students and their animation was set alongside a piece of Jazz music.
Using RANKIN’s iconic and cutting edge fashion magazine Dazed and Confused for inspiration – Students could use InDesign to produce their own fashion magazine front cover.
Links to Dazed and Confused magazine online and cover pages in RANKIN’s online portfolios can be found using the links to the left.
An introductory tutorial for how to use InDesign can be found using thie link to the right.
Learners produce marketing/merchandising materials such as posters, flyers, wristbands, lanyards and tickets for a festival of their choice/creation.Taking cultural inspiration from iconic festivals such as Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury and Download Festival, Learners could use Adobe InDesign to create the layout and design of their marketing material. This could be used alongside other software such as illustrator and Photoshop to help create their desired outcomes. Once the marketing/merchandise range has been completed, students should consider ways in which to display the flyers etc by designing and producing containers e.g. display boxes for shop counters to hold the flyers as well as creating point of sale displays. Students could use 2D design and laser cut to help produce these.
Infographics are a big part of the world we live in. Learners will have seen many Infographics but perhaps haven’t thought about how they are used or what information they can hold. The following is a link to an exercise/mini project exploring the use of Infographics and how to create them (includes resources).The link to the right has lots of useful examples of info graphics, as well as some teaching ideas based around creating them. It also has some useful teaching and learning infographics to display in your classroom.
The link provided has a lesson plan and resources based around teaching students the basics of Typography. Using this, learners explore and understand the basics such as letter anatomy, serifs, cases and styles of lettering.There are worksheet resources - which the learners can use and also a development activity based on using artist Charles Demuth for contextual reference and inspiration.
Students could use typography to create visual imagery such as portraits. Students should focus on creating shape, form and texture, by varying the tone and scale of their type, as well as using varied fonts. These could be hand drawn or digitally produced.The link to the right shows examples of work produced using adobe Photoshop.
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