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This unit introduces learners to 2D, 3D and time-based digital applications. The scope offered to the designer working with these interactive tools is wide-ranging. Creative approaches can be applied to exploring the potential of software applications in extending drawing and painting techniques. There are possibilities for both artists and designers to develop new strategies in working practices through reflection and reaction to the results of digital experimentation. In this unit, learners should explore bitmap and vector graphic applications, and address the constraints associated with modelling 3D. They should also reflect on the potential of time-based software to be applied to creative and effective presentations of these elements.

The unit encourages learners to question the roles of form, function, culture, context and concept in relation to materials, techniques and processes and to reflect on their own distinctive approach to design. 

Work produced for this unit should be in the learner’s own design specialism and may take the form of case studies, critical essays and practical projects that demonstrate an understanding of these issues and develop personal interpretations of them. 

Learners will find that in practice, these areas are not always distinct from each other and that one can interweave another eg an investigation of the relationship between form and function might raise issues around truth to materials. 

This is a realistic reflection of the ever-shifting emphasis that design has in a socio-cultural context that is constantly being reinvented by technological advances, globalisation, mass media and the emergence of internet-based communities that straddle the traditional place, language and ethnicity.

In this unit learners will be encouraged to develop visual thinking and creativity as fundamental to all design work. It will enable learners to experiment with drawing approaches and techniques in order to broaden their experience and understanding of visual language. Learners will need to use traditional art and design materials and media, as well as extending their visual language and creativity through experimenting with unusual materials and media.

This unit focuses on understanding and applying the design development cycle when creating a new product or improving an existing product or service. The design development cycle encompasses the process from initial concept through to design and production, including reviews at various stages. Learners will explore the stages and methodology relating to design methods and apply them to their own work. Learners will be encouraged to develop an analytical and methodical approach and to use evaluation and review to develop work. Design methods used to develop products or services should be innovative and could involve a new product, an improvement to an existing product or the application of new technology or materials.

In this unit, learners will understand how to produce creative solutions to design and communication projects and how to prepare work for presentation to a client, as well as for production. This unit builds on a selection of skills achieved in previous units. These skills will combine and interrelate giving an experience of the total design to production process and how it is managed effectively. This unit should be undertaken by learners working in groups, which will also develop essential communication and team building skills.

This unit will give learners experience in applying the fundamental principles of managing text, material, and images; using traditional skills to complement and inform digital editorial design. Learners should understand the conventions of editorial design and creatively explore ideas to structure and present material imaginatively. Learners should be able to produce solutions which communicate effectively in a variety of editorial design contexts. In addition, learners should be able to use appropriate technical language fluently to discuss their work.

This unit is designed to enable learners to become confident in using research techniques and methods. It addresses the elements that make up formal research including the proposal, a variety of research methodologies, action planning, carrying out the research itself and presenting the findings. To complete the unit satisfactorily, learners must also understand the theory that underpins formal research.

The actual research depends on the learner, the context of their area of learning, their focus of interest and the anticipated outcomes. The unit draws together a range of other areas from within the programme to form a holistic piece of work that will make a positive contribution to the learner’s area of interest. Learners should seek approval from their tutors before starting their research project.

This unit focuses on understanding and applying the design development cycle when creating a new product or improving an existing product or service. The design development cycle encompasses the process from initial concept through to design and production, including reviews at various stages. Learners will explore the stages and methodology relating to design methods and apply them to their own work. Learners will be encouraged to develop an analytical and methodical approach and to use evaluation and review to develop work. Design methods used to develop products or services should be innovative and could involve a new product, an improvement to an existing product or the application of new technology or materials.

The purpose of this unit is to introduce learners to the fundamentals of Graphic Design through the use of the industry-standard Adobe design application suite. 

Particular emphasis will include the development of basic skills in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

Learners will become familiar with the core functionalities of each application, including grids, resolution, document setting and file formats for print and web.

The web is an integral component for communication in art and design disciplines and applications. Through online galleries, practitioners' websites, agencies, graphic and new media creatives, to aspects of social networking and communication, media and entertainment the web is central to how we communicate today. This unit allows learners to work in a web-based context, by posting a website on the internet or an intranet.

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