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VCD Unit 1 AOS 1

Drawing as a means of communication.

Outcome 1

On completion of this unit the student should be able to;

  • create drawings for different purposes using a range of drawing methods, media and materials.

What you will do

This task is from the field of 'industrial design'. 

You will use 'observation', 'visualisation' and 'presentation' drawing in this task. 

Use observational drawing skills to record the form of a object. Then use visualisation and technical drawing methods to re-design a new version of the same object for a different audience or purpose. Finish off with presentation drawings to present your ideas to your client.

The intention of this Outcome is for you to develop the confidence and skills to make effective design drawings. Drawings used in Industrial or Product design are different from most 'art' drawings because they are intended to show the form and structure of objects. That is, they show both the outside surface and the internal structure of forms.

Quick menu

Model answer

A 'Client Presentation Board'. This is a presentation format for presenting a concept to a client. It shows my design journey from observation, through visualisation to presentation drawing.

Learning intentions

Learning intentions should be set at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals during the task.

Read through the content on this page. Discuss what you think could be learnt and form them into three 'learning intentions'.  Use sentences like, 'I will learn about making 3d drawings', or I will learn about 'media codes'.

Write your three learning intentions.

For advanced learning intentions, go with 3 different levels. 

  • 1 - What you will learn. (For example, the media code of camera describes the techniques camera operators use to record a scene)
  • 2 - How what you will learn can be used to create meaning or structure. (For example, camera techniques are combined with sound and/ or editing to create suspense).
  • 3 - How could your understanding of the learning be extended or related to other learnings. (For example, the use of camera has changed over the years and the invention of digital formats have allowed anyone to become cinema photographers)

Success criteria

Success criteria should be negotiated between students and their teacher. The class group agrees about what is successful completion of the task. Identification of success criteria is done at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals.

Now that you are familiar with what you will learn in this task, it's time to lock in how you will be able to demonstrate that you know it, or can do it. 

Write three success criteria, using sentences like the examples in the next column.

I will demonstrate that I have mastered the learning by;

  • 1 - I Can identify all of the camera techniques used in the selected clip.
  • 2 - I can use a camera to film clips in the ways I have identified.
  • 3 - I can explain how camera is combined with other codes to create meaning in a narrative.

Review drawing techniques. the brief.


The first part of our task is to ensure that we can recognise a range of Paraline, perspective and Orthogonal drawing systems.


Collect a file of 3d drawing methods

Refresh your understanding of drawing techniques by collecting a file of drawn objects using different drawing systems. Look for drawings using 'paraline' and 'perspective' and 'orthogonal' systems. Find examples of isometric and 1 and 2pt perspective and 3rd Angle Orthogonal projections. Annotate on the drawings with notes to explain how they function, how they look (aesthetics) or how structure has been handled. Stick a picture of each drawing system on sheets of paper as part of your reserach.


The next part of our task is to ensure that we are competent in being able to produce drawings in each system.

Work through tasks to review of paraline and perspective drawing systems in class tasks. Then, when you have a clear understanding of the task,  we will select a suitable object for your re-purposed design.

The brief

You are required to re-design and re-purpose a piece of house hold industrial design for a new audience and/ or purpose. 

Choose from a kitchen hand tool, or a workshop hand tool. Do not select electronics or appliances for this task.


The brief - 1

Write down the object you have selected in your visual diary.

Bring the object to school and take a series of photos of it. 


Answer the following questions in your visual diary;

  • What is the name of the object you have selected?
  • Research when it was designed or when the kind of article was invented?
  • What is it's purpose?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Describe the materials used,
  • What mechanical principles does it use?
  • How effective is it? Why?
  • Do you think it is well designed? Describe why/ why not.
  • Describe one industrial need and then one design decision that meets that need?

Freehand observational drawing

To draw an object is to really see it. We will begin the task by making drawings of our existing object.
We will begin to really understand the form of our object now as we use freehand observational drawing skills.

Did you know?

Observational drawing must be done from life. This means you must draw with the actual object in front of you - not a picture of it. The reason for this is drawing from life requires your analysis of real form, it gives your visual processing a workout. You cannot get that from flat shape.


observational Drawing

Use a range of freehand drawing techniques you feel comfortable with to make observation sketches of the chosen object to represent form and accurate proportions.

After you have made some loose drawings graduate to drawings of the object in freehand isometric and perspective projections.

See images below for ideas.


Make several sketches 'from life'. Use a drawing system that feels natural for you.
Observation is not always in 3d. Make a freehand 3rd Angle Orthogonoal drawing to learn the form.
And a freehand Isometric drawing. Try it freehand, maintain the correct proportions.

Rendering to depict form and surface

Next we move to representing the real surface of our product. We have to spend some time on rendering both form and surface.

Let's review a range of rendering techniques. We should be able to render a range of surfaces from shiny, matte and satin metal, painted surfaces, plastic and wood. You should also try some soft surfaces like fabric and leather.

Make a well proportioned line drawing of your object. Then photocopy it and apply rendering techniques to explore the object’s form and real surface. 


Rendering for form and surface

to learn about rendering in detail.


Here I have used coloured pencils to achieve three different effects. 1 - to create some shade to enhance the form of the mallet, 2 - to create 'wood grain' and 3 - to make 'cast' shadows on the object itself.



Apply your knowledge in rendering to enhance form, to represent surface and shadows to your origninal object drawing. 


Creative thinking


As designers we have to think creatively. We have to design. Sometimes to design is to invent and sometimes it is to adapt or modify. The essence of this creative task is to imagine a product differently. We need to suggest how we could adapt or modify it.


Here is a rendering of a chrome spanner by Laura Degiorgio 2013.
This is the final rendering of a children's spanner, redesigned by Laura Degiorgio 2013.

DECIDING ON A NEW audience and/ or PURPOSE

Now we have finished depicting a real, existing object let's get thinking about how we could modify the product. It is by looking at things differently that we come up with new and innovative ideas. To complete this task you chould change;

  • The purpose it is used for,
  • The context it is to be used in,
  • The target audience it is directed to,
  • The materials it is made from,

Some examples could include making it light weight, glass, biodegradable, disposable, collapsible, an animated toy for children, natural, paper or transparent.

I chose to design a collapsible mallet to serve the same purpose but in a different context and for a different target audience.



Make some notes to describe how you could re-imagine your product. Think deeply about who the product could serve, that it doesn't already. Think about what really different materials it could be made from, why? How could it be made recyclable? Sold in parts? Made by children? Open up your ideas here.

Describe the way you would like to re-purpose your object here - but before we lock it in we are going to try some creative thinking techniques next, to get our ideas flowing.


Generating and developing ideas

Creative thinking techniques

Thinking creatively means looking at something in a different way. It's not always easy as its hard to get passed the object in front of you. A can opener seems just a can opener. Hard to see it as anything else. To get creative try using these two techniques.


SCAMPER is a way to help us reconsider the way something is formed. Take your existing object then apply two or three of these verb processes to it;

  • Substitute one component for another different one,
  • Combine ideas from different products into one,
  • Adapt one part to become another function,
  • Modify the proportions of the object or its parts,
  • Put one bit to another use,
  • Eliminate as much as you can to simplyfy it,
  • Reverse the forms, the positions of the components.

Put on different hats

In this game we try to imaging that we are a designer from a different culture or a different point in history - of even in the future. Consider how the can opener (for example) might have been designed by a designer working in;

  • Harry Potter,
  • The Nazi regime,
  • The British Royal Family,
  • Willy Wonker,
  • The 19th Century Antarctic expedition.

Surely by trying to design for very different contexts will elicit a range of very different ideas.


Creative thinking
Choose 2 ways from SCAMPER and one from the different hats activities. Make one populated page of drawings using these techniques. Make sure you label your drawings, describing the technique you have used and the changes you have made.
The brief - 2

Revisit your notes from 'The Brief - 1'. Now that you have really thought about how you could re-design or re-purpose your object. Write a formal brief to describe the object you will design.

Use the following headings in your brief:

  • Client
  • Audience
  • Purpose
  • Context
  • Expectations and constraints

Generation of ideas

Use visualisation drawings to propose a wide variety of ideas for your design. Don't edit your ideas in this stage. Let them flow freely. Imagine your product in creative ways.

Generation of ideas is where most students need development. You are required to think freely, generating at least 6 different ideas on each page.

Populate your pages with drawings in different colours, different scales and with meaningful annotations describing how your work helps explore the brief. 

This stage requires you to make visualisation drawings.


Generation of ideas

Complete 3 pages of Generation of ideas sketches of your re-design. Use 2 and 3 dimensional drawing methods and adjust the scale of their drawings so that whole forms and/or details are explained.

Ensure you have at least 2 really different options to develop in the next stage.


My first option was to make a hinged body with a clip on telescopic handle. This option I didn't like much because I didn't think the head of the hammer had enough weight and the handle might slip off.
However, the telescoping handle gave me the idea for option 2. Then I built some more weight into it.

Development of concepts

Critical and reflecting thinking

This stage begins with critical and reflective thinking. This is where your design process will begin to converge a bit. Look over and evaluate the visualisation sketches you made in the Generation of Ideas stage.


Critical and reflective thinking

Write some notes beside your drawings to describe why you think each idea might be effective or not.

Use design language including design elements, principles and materials, methods or media. Then select 6 – 9 of the best drawings done in your previous process. Redraw them more formally to develop them. Use rulers and drawing instruments to draw accurately to scale.

Formal technical drawing

In this stage you will begin to develop the presentation drawings you will use in your design journey presentation. Here we will complete three drawings of your re-imagined product;

  • 3rd Angle orthogonal drawing,
  • Isometric drawing,
  • Perspective drawing.


Formal technical drawing (3 drawings)

3rd Angle Orthogonal drawing

Make a neat, correctly set up and ruled 3rd Angle orthogonal drawing of your chosen concept. Refer to my page on  3rd Angle Orthogonal drawing for further details on set out, labelling and dimensioning.

3 dimensional drawing techniques

Now make your neatly ruled and measured isometric drawing then a 2pt perspective drawing. 

Finish each drawing with heavy neat pencil lines ready to copy for your final rendering.


In this activity you will produce your final presentation rendering of your newly imagined product. Your rendering will need to show;

  • Form,
  • Surface, texture,
  • Shade.

 This is a presentation drawing.



Take a copy of one of your 3d drawings and use coloured pencils to render it to show;

  • Form,
  • Surface, texture,
  • Shade.

 This is a presentation drawing.

Scan, crop and enhance for use in the presentation board. Here is the rendering of my chosen option. I used colour pencils. It's really important to show your client how your idea will look in the materials your designing it for. I rendered it to show shiny metal and textured rubber.


Here is a ruled Isometric line drawing of my chosen option.
A fully developed presentation drawing rendered to show both form and surface.

Resolution of presentation

Client presentation board

As a designer you are required to present your ideas to your client in a 'pitch'. One way to do this is to create a 'client presentation board'. This is a presentation format.

In this task I am suggesting you create a presentation called 'My Design Journey'. As the intention of this task is to demonstrate your skill in observation, visualisation and presentation drawing you need to show your whole process.

Using Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, create a presentation board to demonstrate the journey from object to re-purposed/ re-designed object. Consider a grid layout, the design element shape and design principle cropping in your layout.

My tip is to use InDesign. You can Create Guides in the Layout menu. Professional designers use this to create a grid layout.

Prepare you full presentation showing your journey from observation, generation of ideas, refinement to presentation of your final design solutions.

Full col image header

Using InDesign, create a grid of guides.


Client presentation

Design and compose an A3 landscape presentation to depict your design journey in this task.

You must use a grid layout and show evidence of that grid in your final work.

You may choose which pictures or introduce new material for your presentation.

Print and hand in with your folio for submission.


Evaluation and deeper learning

In this section we will think about the learning we have done. We will review the main topics and evaluate our learning. Follow the steps in the tasks shown here to prepare your folio for presentation and grading.
What have I learnt?

Answer the following questions (on paper or if you use a computer, print them and stick them into your visual diary).

  1. Describe what is meant by the term 'industrial design'.
  2. What are three intentions of rendering?
  3. What is an advantage of paraline drawing?
  4. What is an advantage of perspective drawing?
  5. What would you do differently next time?
Putting it together

Find where you wrote up what you thought the success criteria might be. Check that you have done something for all of the steps you wrote down.

Print final and organise your folio for submission.

Check the assessment criteria below to see if you have prepared your folio for each criteria. If not, take the time to complete each section.

Hand up your work on the due date as instructed.


Evaluation and deeper learning
Complete the evaluation, deeper learning and rating tasks as shown above.
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Assessment criteria

The extent to which the student: 

  • Applies freehand and structured 3 dimensional drawing methods to represent form and render surface in observational drawings and visualisation drawings,
  • Applies 2 dimensional drawing methods to depict objects in multiple views,
  • Applies design thinking techniques to generate alternative ideas and reflect on their suitability
  • Uses manual, instrumental and/or digital drawing methods to to represent the form and structure of objects using appropriately selected media to render forms to represent form, light, shade, shadows, materials and surface,
  • Uses design elements and principles to present the 'design journey' in presentation drawings.

Please note: To achieve good marks in criteria based assessment you must remember to include some work for each part of the task required. Spread your time evenly across the task.