The Certificate course in Design Techniques introduces students to fundamental aspects of Graphic Design. The elements and principles of design are explored and applied in projects throughout the course. Students gain industry related software skills and develop their practical abilities through the exploration of key design areas including typography, illustrated type, identity design and layout. Practical skills acquired culminate in a portfolio with which students can enter the job market.

Minimum entry requirements: Pass on National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) and basic computer literacy

Adobe Photoshop (Basic)
This module serves as an introduction to the use of the Photoshop CS6 interface as a digital workflow solution to students specialising in most visual communication avenues. The module covers the essential tools and workflow most commonly used in both photographic and design practices, such as the Adobe Photoshop toolbox, options bar and applications panel; using Adobe Bridge; using smart objects and filters; understanding file types and file preparation for output.

Adobe Photoshop (Intermediate)
This module builds on existing skills of the Adobe Photoshop course and explores more of the advanced techniques available so as to ensure seamless operation and application of tools, workflows and processes involved in editing. Adobe Illustrator (Basic)

During this module, students explore the possibilities that this design software has to offer. Students are familiarised with the sophisticated tools and techniques of Adobe Illustrator and they design various types of images from logos and business cards to artwork. This module familiarises students with the various tools featured in Adobe Illustrator and processes involved in generating artworks.

Adobe Illustrator (Intermediate)
This module builds on existing skills of the Adobe Illustrator course and explores all of the more advanced techniques available in creating complex designs and artworks through the use of the powerful tools offered by the software.

Adobe InDesign (Basic)
This module explores Adobe InDesign, the premier editorial layout and type management programme in the creative industry. The student will become familiarised with the process of creating most large documents such as magazines, manuals, brochures, catalogues or books. The student will learn through practical classes how to create such documents and incorporate their own content.

Adobe InDesign (Intermediate)
This module builds on the existing skills of the Adobe InDesign course and explores all of the more advanced techniques available in creating complex designs and artworks through the use of the powerful tools offered by the software.

Elements & Principles of Design
During this module, students are provided with the knowledge and understanding of the elements and principles of design in order to develop their visual acuity with regards to practical projects. Furthermore, students will have to display an understanding and basic competence in the use of the relevant design software.

Colour Theory
This module exposes the student to the idea that images themselves can communicate in the same way that language does. Various media and styles are explored to inform a multi-disciplinary approach to design. The understanding of basic colour theory and colour combinations informs the process of creating and selecting images, one of the most important tasks as a designer.

This module focuses on the introduction of typography, its history and various detailed examples. Students are introduced to the idea of typography as a powerful tool for communication that is able to shape the meaning of the text. Successful communication through typography is explored in this module.

Illustrated Type
This module focuses on the development of hand-drawn type. Students are introduced to the treatment type as an illustrated component. The manner in which the execution of illustrated type influences the expression of the content is explored. The elective module thus introduces the students to basic principles of illustrated type and offers insight into experimentation processes relevant to generating successful hand-drawn type.

Identity Design
During this module, the student is enabled to use basic and fundamental knowledge regarding branding and graphic design to create a fresh and efficient corporate identity, complete with logo and other visual media to accompany it. The learner will be able to conceptualise a brand identity and transfer that idea into functional corporate media.

Layout Design
This module facilitates the understanding of page layout and the relation between image and text together with page activation for various format sizes and scales. Students are encouraged to work with a combination of different styles and media in order to successfully integrate image and type in the relevant design software.

During this module, the work completed throughout the certificate in Design Techniques is presented in a portfolio, under the guidance of the subject expert. This portfolio is extremely important when showcasing your body of work to potential employers.

Program taught in:
  • English

See 3 more programs offered by The Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences »

Last updated April 26, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Feb 2020
1 year
58,000 ZAR
By locations
By date
Start Date
Feb 2020
End Date
Application deadline
Start Date
Feb 2020
End Date
Application deadline

Feb 2020

Application deadline
End Date
Application deadline
End Date