Course CodeBIT205
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
Landscapers need Graphic Design Skills 
  • To show the design ideas to clients
  • To clearly instruct contractors how to build the garden
  • To have a legal record of the contract they are entering into with a client
  • To be able to produce marketing materials that promotes and sells their business

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Graphic Design
    • Scope of Graphic Design
    • Where Do Designers Work?
    • Careers in Graphic Design
    • Skills Required
    • General Roles of a Graphic Designer
    • Nature of the Work
    • Art Director
    • Graphic Designer
    • Brief History of Graphic Design
    • The Language (Graphics Terminology)
    • Application Software
    • Examples of Software
  2. Design Fundamentals - line, tone, colour, etc.
    • Design Elements
    • Design Criteria
    • Theories of Composition
    • Practical Devices of Composition
    • Gestalt Principles of Perception
    • Choosing Images
    • Choosing Computer Formats
  3. Colour Theory and Applications
    • Colour Formats
    • Hex Colours
    • The Difference between Coloured and White Light
    • Differences in Colour
    • The Meaning of Colours - Emotional Response
  4. Typography
    • How Much of an Impact?
    • Typography (Lettering) Size
    • Typography Weight
    • Typography Colour
    • Typography Location
    • Typography Styles
    • Choosing Fonts
  5. Illustration - methods & techniques
    • Traditional Illustration
    • Illustration Today
    • Illustration - Methods & Techniques
    • Processing Images
    • Tonal Zone System
    • Sketching an Initial Design
    • Digital Illustration
    • Raster Graphics
    • Vector Graphics
  6. Logotype Design
    • What Is A Logo?
    • Creating Logos
    • Designing Business Cards
    • Designing Letterheads
    • Designing Banners
  7. Layout Design
    • Getting the Message Across
    • Effective Organisation
    • Attract Attention
    • General Guidelines
    • Key Elements & Principles of Layout
    • The Design Process
    • What Software Does A Graphic Artist Use?
  8. Design Systems and the Design Industry - design briefs, how to bid for jobs, etc.
    • Significant Design Sectors
    • Primary Design Areas
    • Scope and Nature of the Graphic Design Industry Today
    • Design Systems
    • Designing to Persuade
    • Design to Inform
    • Design to Educate
    • Design to Entertain
    • What Is A Design Brief?
    • Example Layout of a Design Brief
    • Web Page Design
  9. Comparative Design - lessons from other designers (lots of research)
    • Important People in The History Of Graphic Design
  10. Design Project - a practical project applying everything prior to this.
    • Important People in the History Of Graphic Design
    • What Is PBL?
    • Problem Definition
    • People you work with and Mode of Interaction

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Landscape design work may to some extent be created with a computer by today's designers.

The term "CAD", meaning computer aided design; refers to the use of computer software to create plans.

Landscape designers have access to all sorts of software programs that can be used. Most are limited in what they can be used for. Some nevertheless are very useful.

Application software refers to these specific programs and may be in the form of a single program or a collection of programs (software package) which can be used to perform particular tasks. In some cases a group of related programs may be sold as a software suite.
The software is however only a tool, and it is important that you understand that fact!
A gardener cannot prune a plant properly just because he is using a great pair of secateurs. Similarly, a designer will never design anything properly by just learning how to use a certain software package. Software packages are always changing; but the fundamental graphic design skills you need to create a good plan; will never change. This course will first and foremost, give you those graphic design skills; and those skills will in turn, allow you to better use any software  you encounter.
There are a number of different categories of application software used in graphic design.
  • Photo manipulation software – colour correction, re-touching, re-sizing and composing images.
  • Illustration software – logo design, pattern creation, font manipulation, drawings, etc.
  • Desktop publishing software – layout of pages, brochures, posters, magazines, books etc.
  • 3D rendering software – creating three dimensional images for still images or animation.
  • Animation software – animating for web, billboards, movies or mobile devices.
  • Web design and development software – creating web pages, online advertising etc.
  • Video editing software – creating and editing videos for presentations, creating elements to be used in advertising, creating short films for clients.
  • Architectural software - such as computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software used to draw plans.


  • It is a mistake to think that you can learn to use a particular software product, and will then have all the skill and knowledge needed to be a designer for years to come.
  • Different design companies work with different types of software; and even different clients may require a designer to work with different types of software.
  • The most appropriate software for you to use today, may often become redundant and inappropriate in a few months time.
    • Industry standard software can change overnight and sometimes disappear without warning; simply because something new and better has been released; or because one company has bought out and closed down it’s competition.
Your aim as a student of graphic design should be to understand the components of a design, so you can better select and arrange components appropriately in a piece of art work (or a plan). Once you grasp these skills, you can then apply them in any situation, for any type of landscape design, and with any type of software, you encounter. This course well help you achieve just that!


Graphic design skills enable you to make decisions such as what colours and fonts to use in a design, and much more.

Landscape design enables you to make decisions about what hard and soft landscape components to use, and how to arrange them on a plan.

Computer aided design simply allows you to represent your graphics and landscape design skills, on a computer; and from there generate a plan.

Unless you first learn about both graphics and landscape design; CAD is a relatively useless tool. Once you understand graphics and landscape design, you then have the awareness needed to make proper choices about if you will use CAD or not; and if you do -what programming you will choose to use.

Meet some of our academics

Christine ToddUniversity lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.
Gavin Cole Gavin started his career studying building and construction in the early 80's. Those experiences have provided a very solid foundation for his later work in landscaping. In 1988 he completed a B.Sc. and a few years later a Certificate in Garden Design. In the mid 90's he worked as a manager and garden designer with the well respected UK company -The Chelsea Gardener. A few years later he formed his own garden design business, at first in the UK, and later operating in Queensland Australia. He has since moved to, and works from Adelaide. Apart from his work in landscaping, Gavin has been a prolific garden writer and a tutor with ACS Distance Education since 2001. He is currently part of the team of garden experts that produce Home Grown magazine.
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Rosemary Davies Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences. Initially she worked with the Department of Agriculture in Victoria providing advice to the public. Over the years she has taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing

Check out our eBooks

Landscaping with Australian PlantsDiscover more about Landscaping with Australian Plants with this ebook, add a different design element in your garden by using beautiful and highly practical Australian Native plants. Attract wildlife, save water by using plants that are suitable for your area. Perfect for passionate gardeners, students and gardening professionals.
Photographic TechniquesExplore how to take better photos. This is a book packed full of practical tips, from the authors own experience, coupled with a solid introduction to well established and widely practiced photographic techniques. This is a well illustrated, excellent reference for students of photography; and an equally useful source of inspiration to the amateur photographer.
Garden Design Part 1This stunning full colour Garden Design ebook is full of useful tips, information and inspiration. It contains around 300 colour illustrations! It is comprised of three parts: Design, How a Garden Functions and Aesthetics (making it look good).
Garden Design Part 2Part 2 of the Garden Design Series is an inspiring accompaniment to the first book, but works equally well in its own right. It's brimming with ideas and practical advice for designing a wide variety of different gardens. You will learn about different styles of gardens and how to create a style to suit a site or client. It contains around 300 colour photos! Written by John Mason over several decades of visiting and photographing gardens, writing, teaching and creating gardens.



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