VCE Visual Communication and Design

The Visual Communication Design study examines the way visual language can be used to convey ideas, information and messages in the fields of communication, environmental and industrial design.

Visual communication design relies on drawing as the primary component of visual language to support the conception and visualisation of ideas. Consequently, the study emphasises the importance of developing a variety of drawing skills to visualise thinking.

Students use a design process to generate and develop visual communications. The design process provides a structure to organise design thinking and is shaped by considerations of aesthetics and functionality, as well as social, environmental and economic factors.

Students develop the skills to manipulate and organise design elements, design principles, selected media, materials and production methods when creating visual communications. Creative, critical and reflective thinking (design thinking) supports students to progress through and focus on the design process.

Throughout the study students explore manual and digital methods to develop and refine presentations.

Students investigate the work and practices of Australian and international designers selected from a variety of social, cultural, historical and contemporary contexts. Through their research they build an understanding of the important role of visual communication design within society. They are able to draw upon this knowledge as inspiration to support the development of their own visual communication design work. With practice, students gain confidence in using visual language and are supported to reflect on and critique their own and others' visual communications.


Visual communication design can inform people's decisions about where and how they live and what they buy and consume. The visual presentation of information influences people's choices on what they think they need or want. The study provides students with the opportunity to develop an informed, a critical and a discriminating approach to understanding and using visual communications, and nurtures their ability to think creatively about design solutions. Design thinking, which involves the application of creative, critical and reflective techniques, processes and dispositions, supports skill development in areas beyond design, including science, business, marketing and management.

Through the consideration of ethical and environmental sustainability issues, students are able to make informed choices that affect current and future practices. The study of Visual Communication Design can provide pathways to training and tertiary study in design and design-related studies, including graphic design, industrial and architectural design and communication design.


The study is made up of four units:

Unit 1: Introduction to visual communication design
Unit 2: Applications of visual communication design
Unit 3: Design thinking and practice
Unit 4: Design development and presentation


Each unit deals with specific content contained in areas of study and is designed to enable students to achieve a set of outcomes for that unit. Each outcome is described in terms of key knowledge and key skills.


The Cross study specifications comprise study specific content applicable across Units 1 to 4. These specifications refer to definitions of visual communications, drawing methods and applications and the design process



There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education.