Learn graphic art to draw better landscape plans -100 hour course for garden designers, landscape architects, planners and engineers.

Course Code: BIT205
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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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


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.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

Accredited ACS Global Partner

ACS is a silver sponsor of the AIH. The principal, John Mason, is a fellow. ACS certificate students are offered a free membership for this leading professional body.Provider.

Member of Study Gold Coast

Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (UK)

Recognised since 1999 by IARC

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

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 Depart

John Mason (Horticulturist)

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 edito

Christine Todd

University 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.

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