Introduction to Design Fundamentals

Design Defined

When someone mentions "Design" it's likely that their understanding of it may be different to yours. It's because there are many different categories of "Design".

There's Interior Design, Environmental Design, Graphic Design, Information Design, Instruction Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Automotive Design, Aeronautical Design and so on.

In this module we use the term "Design" to mean Visual Communication ( definition | link ) and specifically, Web Design / Multimedia Design.

Regardless of the type of Design, there exist a set of guidelines and definitions known as Elements and Principles of Design that when followed, maximise the likelihood of your visual design being a success.

From colour to shape to texture, scale to spatial relationships, these guidelines can make the magazine, web page, interior design and even architecture easier to read, understand and live with.

At the end of this module you'll have an introductory understanding of the value of, principles of, and scope of Design but more importantly, have a chance to put into practice what you are shown.

Studying Design

Design fundamentals underpin everything in the field of visual communication. If you have a solid understanding of them and apply them to your work it makes your message, product or service easier for the viewer to understand, remember, engage with, and / or buy.

Good Design keeps clients happy, is easily read and understood, doesn't age, can be applied to various media, adds value to the message and adds worth to what you do.

People notice good Design and it reflects positively on your abilities. Clients will keep coming back.

Here at TasTAFE Creative Industries, we have found it takes a new student approximately 1 year of solid study (on-campus) to fully understand and implement Design Fundamentals and develop an "eye for Design". For online study this generally takes longer.

If you're new to Design, be patient and practice, read Design books, magazines, subscribe to Design-related websites and forums, (there's several useful links in this module alone as well as our Design Forum) accept feedback from as many people as you can and you'll get there in the end.

If you expect to understand Design from just this won't. What it will do is provide a starting point for learning Design Fundamentals.

You'll need a camera
Modules in this course rely heavily on using a digital camera for learning and assessment tasks. It's assumed that you can use a digital camera to capture an image, download it, re-size it and email it as an attachment. The Digital Imaging module just prior to this should have prepared you with the necessary skills to take, edit, export and publish/ submit a photo.

How will I be assessed ?

In this module there are several Learning Tasks that grow your skills to a point where you should feel ready to do an assessment.

The are two assessment tasks. One uses a scenario (oppostie) often faced by entry-level designers; adding content to an existing layout, documenting and expressing the design solution using a Style Guide.

The other is based on Rules of Composition for Photography. For more detail on the assessment tasks see Lesson 9.

The Unit
This module uses the following unit (link to :

BSBDES302 Explore and apply the creative design process to 2D forms

The Lessons

Like the rest of the modules in this qualification, this module is divided into lessons. They progressively build your skills so start at the beginning and sequentially move through them.

In each lesson there's a task (or tasks) where you can practice what you're being shown. You need to submit these tasks for feedback. To many students, the feedback is the most important part of the qualification.

Next Lesson

Introduction to Design Terminology and your first task.