Intensive Foundation Course
The course ethos
We Teach You From the Ground Up
Regardless of your skillset we will start you from scratch and give you the mad skillz you need in order to practice design at a professional level.
Equipped With The Relevent Skills
You will complete the course with a well-rounded portfolio showcasing your skills.
This course is for people who want to become graphic designers yet do not feel they need a government accredited qualification to do so.
Loaded With Value
The graphic design industry is reputed to be an industry based on portfolio. This considered, The Graphic Design School believes that offering an alternate to the government accredited qualification pathway offers students the flexibility to undertake study without the price tag attached to a qualification. If you need the qualification for your skills see the CUA40720 Certificate IV in Design Course.
Self Paced Course
Setting a schedule? Students have up to 12 months to complete the 11 modules. As the course is self-paced, you can decide how many hours a week you wish to concentrate on your study. An approximate guide is 700 hours to complete the 11 modules.
Some of the Reasons Our Students Have Cited
One of the biggest reasons to undertake design study is to enable you to visually communicate in the most clear, concise (and of course most beautiful) way. Whether you are looking to undertake design for a career change or to better communicate in your current career. The Intensive Foundation Course offers students an affordable and thorough ‘toe in’ to the incredible world that is graphic design.
We have stripped the ‘fussy’ stuff involved in achieving a qualification (WHS for example) from the Intensive Foundation Course, the 11 Modules you will undertake are all about design, design, design, design. No need to learn how to report a broken nail to a Safety Marshal in this course!
Who's it For?
If you don’t think you will need a qualification for your current or future roles then this is the course for you. If you change your mind at the end of the Intensive Foundation Course you have up to 6 months to decide to upgrade the qualification. Making this an excellent option. Oh and BTW, whether you are undertaking the full qualification or the Intensive Foundation Course, we love on you just the same, the same support, the same quality feedback, the same quality course content and access to everything.
The 11 modules within the course have been designed to nurture a full understanding of the philosophies and ideologies that underpin good graphic design, from the ground up!
Module 1 offers an overview of what graphic design is and the immense professional opportunities it provides. Students will be inspired and enlightened whilst being taken on a journey to the great works of past and present iconic graphic designers. You will be introduced to the most popular designer sites encompassing work within the various industries that designers work in.
Definition: A definition of graphic design and its specialised industries.
History: The history of written communication from ancient to present times with visual examples of pivotal movements and designer work.
Specialities: Explanation of the various specialities within the industry of graphic design. An understanding of graphic design’s role in future industries.
Social Networks: Introduction to professional organisations and affiliations that will enrich the student’s understanding of the profession.
- A definition of graphic design.
- An introduction to pivotal historic and contemporary designers.
- An introduction to the various specialities included in the graphic design profession.
- Introduction to online design resources that will inspire and enrich student’s education throughout the module.
In this module, students will begin putting design elements and principles into practice. Students will begin to make decisions using the visual language of a designer. By doing simple studies, this module will introduce students to Adobe Illustrator™ software.
Vocabulary: Design elements and principles.
Studies: Illustrated studies reinforcing the concepts and vocabulary of design. Refinement of final studies using Adobe Illustrator™ software.
Software: Introduction to vector-based computer software Adobe Illustrator™.
- A working knowledge of design elements and how to use them.
- A working knowledge of design principles and how to use them.
- An introduction to design vocabulary needed to evaluate solutions and communicate as a designer.
- Ability to manipulate space to communicate specific objectives.
Typography is a critical skill to the graphic designer. In Module 3, students will get an overview of what typography is, and the integral role it plays in graphic design. They will learn the history and evolution of the alphabet and typographic design and will advance into basic theory and practice.
History: Students will be introduced to the evolution of the alphabet and letter-form design.
Vocabulary: Students will learn type families, type anatomy and type principles.
Studies: Students will learn how to illustrate the basic type families and apply tools to them.
Software: Students will learn typographic tools available in Adobe Illustrator™ software.
- A knowledge of the evolution of the alphabet & letter-forms.
- A knowledge of the history of typographic design.
- An introduction to typographic vocabulary needed to communicate as a typographic designer.
- Ability to classify the different classifications of typography.
In Module 4, students will learn the critical elements and principles of colour that create meaningful design. Students will be introduced to the relative theory of colour and will learn the vocabulary and tools needed to create and talk about colour design.
Vocabulary: Students will learn the vocabulary associated with colour theory.
Studies: Students will display a working knowledge of the concepts in this Module by completing several computer based colour studies using templates provided.
Software: Students will learn the colour tools available in Adobe Illustrator™ software.
- A knowledge of different types of colour perception.
- An understanding of the colour vocabulary needed to communicate as a designer.
- An introduction to the colour theories needed to work with colour.
- Ability to manipulate colour using basic colour tools.
In Module 5 students will advance their knowledge of typography by learning how to apply graphic design elements and principles to typographic design. All studies in this Module will be computer based.
Vocabulary: Students will learn advanced typographic theory and vocabulary.
Studies: Students will display a working knowledge of the concepts in this Module by completing several computer based typographic studies using templates provided.
Software: Students will learn advanced typographic tools available in Adobe Illustrator™.
- An expanded knowledge of type anatomy, tools and vocabulary.
- An introduction to the elements, principles and theories of design as they apply to typography.
- The ability to create letterforms, lines of type and body copy, using Adobe Illustrator™ software.
In Module 6 students will get an overview of photography. They will learn the basic tools they need to shoot photography as a graphic designer, will learn how graphic designer’s work with professional photographers and will learn how to source online stock photography. They will be introduced to pixel-based graphic design software Adobe Photoshop™.
Vocabulary: Students will learn the tools and vocabulary associated with printing and photography.
Studies: Students will display a working knowledge of the concepts in this Module by completing a studio style photoshoot. They will also create their first advert design.
Software: Students will learn basic photo manipulation tools Adobe Photoshop™ software.
- An understanding of the basic tools for photography.
- An understanding of vocabulary, resolution and file formats.
- The ability to create an impacting photographic compositions.
- The ability to crop and manipulate photographs to enhance meaning.
- An introduction to layout and advert design.
In Module 7, students will use the tools they have learnt to create typographic systems. This is how dynamic logotypes are made. Students will be introduced to the creative process and will learn how to use it to create, analyse and manage concepts. They will also learn how to manipulate letterforms to create legible, well crafted, dynamic and meaningful word-marks.
Process: Students will learn the processes and tools associated needed to create meaningful design concepts.
Studies: Students will display a working knowledge of the concepts in this Module by completing several computer based typographic projects using templates provided.
Software: Students will use illustration and Adobe Illustrator™ software to illustrate, design and refine projects.
- An understanding of the creative process.
- The ability to generate, analyse, edit and refine concepts.
- The development of a dynamic unified mark.
- The development of a typographic logotype.
Module 8 is all about systems. Students will begin to show a command for design principles by creating a graphic interpretation of an organic subject. This project reinforces the creative process and the integral part that research plays in concept and design. Students will use illustration and Adobe Illustrator™ software to develop their marks.
Process: Students will follow the creative process to define their own goals for the projects in the Module.
Studies: Students will conceptualise, develop and refine design systems based upon an organic form of their choosing. They will further this knowledge by creating an iconic system.
Software: Students will use advanced Adobe Illustrator™ software knowledge to illustrate, design & refine projects.
- The ability to create, identify and refine advanced design systems.
- The ability to evaluate design decisions to enhance communication and simplify graphic systems.
- The development of a dynamic, unified organic form.
- The development of a unified series of icons.
- Working with the Adobe Illustrator™ tools in a more advanced way.
In Module 9, students will learn the essential elements of composition and layout design. Students will create dynamic typographic compositions in multi-page layout programme, Adobe InDesign™.
Vocabulary: Students will reinforce vocabulary from earlier modules that applies to typographic layout.
Studies: Students will learn how to manipulate typographic principles to create dynamic layout design.
Software: Students will be introduced to Adobe InDesign™.
- Advanced understanding of proportion and its application in layout design.
- The ability to create unified systems out of dissimilar elements.
- The ability to manipulate typographic tools to create dynamic layout.
- The development of a type and image project.
- An introduction to multi-page layout planning, design and software.
- The development of advanced typographic layout.
- The development of a multi-page magazine layout.
In Module 10, students will begin to make their own decisions to create professional quality, self-guided work.
Students will now have a good knowledge Adobe Illustrator™, Photoshop™ and InDesign™. They will know the strengths and weaknesses of each graphic design programme. They will also have the ability to brainstorm and create their own design and communication goals for their projects. This Module will allow students to analyse previous work and rework it into real-world projects for their first graphic design portfolio.
Projects: An instrumental module in the course. Students will deepen their knowledge of working with the design brief and idea generation. Design a complex corporate identity system, package design project and design campaign.
Software: Students will identify which programmes are right for each design task from the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.
- The ability to define project goals.
- The ability to create a complex working design brief.
- The ability to critique, analyse and develop professional quality design.
- The development of corporate identity systems, packaging and design campaign.
Module 11 will teach students the importance of marketing themselves and their work. Students will begin to refine their professional portfolio; design a personal identity system, learn basic professional practices and how to further their design education.
Resources: Students will be introduced to various graphic design job resources.
Studies: Students will learn how to design a personal identity system, and create a professional graphic design portfolio with a design system in place.
Software: Students will use the appropriate software for the projects.
- An introduction to career opportunities in graphic design.
- The ability to create and design a personal identity system.
- The ability to develop a healthy professional practice.
- The ability to create a design system and impactful portfolio.
I was able to work from home after the course. I also didn’t ever feel alone, I was always on the forum and teacher’s portal working through any challenges.
You can take it anywhere with you and it ﬁts in nicely with the rest of life. I now work as a freelance designer in my hometown of Melbourne.
TGDS worked with me and took the time for me to understand the course before signing up. They made me feel like I was in good hands, they even helped me with the important decision of which Mac to buy!
You must be 18 and over.
We like to talk to all students before they enrol, choosing the right course requires a tailored approach. Reach out to us via email or if you're a Chatty Cathy (take's one to know one) request a callback in the form found in our footer.
If you've read this website backwards and forwards and would like the more nitty-gritty stuff, our support page is where the nits and grits live.
Web design students must be qualified graphic designers or experience developers to enrol, if you are unsure about your eligibility please contact us.
There’s no need to have any prior knowledge for our graphic design courses. We'll teach you from the ground up you’ll gain all the knowledge and skills you need to become a graphic designer, as well as learning the major design software packages Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
Please note the Design@Work course teaches only InDesign.
Web design students must be qualified graphic designers or experience developers to enrol, if you are unsure about your eligibility please contact us.
Upon successful completion of the Intensive Foundation Course you may upgrade to the CUA40720 Certificate IV in Design Course. The upgrade cost is the price difference between the two courses, as at today is $790AUD
Our tutors grade and give valuable feedback on all of your assignments. Tutors are accessible via our incredible forum, should you need a point of contact (or a few) prior to submitting your assesments.
Ready to get Started?
You can enrol any day of the year. As we are online and training is self paced, there is no pressure. Enrol when you are ready to start, from anywhere in the world.
Click the link below to check out our flexible payment plans!