Graphic Communication

Head of Department: Miss E Jones

Graphic Communication introduces students to a visual way of conveying information, ideas and emotions, using a range of graphic media, processes, techniques and elements such as colour, icons, images, typography and photographs. They should also consider the use of signs and symbols, and the balance between aesthetic and commercial considerations.

Students will also understand that Graphic Design practitioners may work within a small team environment or work as freelance practitioners. They may be responsible for a particular aspect of the Design or Production process or for the entire design cycle. They will need good communication skills in order to liaise with clients and to promote themselves as graphic designers.

Drawing in Graphic Communication is essential, from initial design roughs to final drawings, including digital drawings.

Year 11 Course Title: Graphic Communication

Exam Board & Code: Edexcel (1GC0)  Full GCSE Course Specification (PDF)


Component 1: 60% (72 marks) - Personal Portfolio (internally set)

Component 2: 40% (72 marks) - Externally Set Assignment

GCSE Course Study Breakdown (Key Stage 4)

Year 9 - Rule Britannia;  students study British Art and Design.

Term 1: 
Students focus on typography, communication graphics and advertising. They will learn how to create varied typography using different drawing methods and explore iconic British branding such as the 2012 Olympic logo design.
Term 2:
Introduction to numerous illustration techniques which focus on iconic objects and items linking to the theme Rule Britannia. Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their observational drawing skills as well as work with a range of different mediums such as paint, pencils, pens, pastels and collage.  Students will develop their iconic illustrations into design for print where they will use printing methods such as lino and foam board. 
Term 3:
Thjis term's focus is on the British postage stamp where students will study the history behind this iconic design.  Students will review the skills and processes learnt throughout the year, as well as the artists/designers studied, to produce a larger-than-life postage stamp to reflect the theme Rule Britannia.

Year 10 - Freedom

Terms 1 - 3:
Throughout Year 10 students work on a project based on ‘Freedom’. All students are encouraged to work independently and develop their own ideas and artistic outcomes based around the theme.

They use lesson and home learning time to complete various tasks in their sketchbook outlined by the teacher each half term. All students are working towards a ten hour (two day) exam at the end of the year, which shows how they have developed both their Art skills and ideas for ‘Freedom’.

Year 11

Term 1: Mock Exam
This is usually the past exam paper from the previous year. Students use the Edexcel exam paper and plan independent journeys in their sketchbooks to improve their art which culminates in a 10 hour exam, where they produce a final piece.
Term 2: Exam
The Edexcel exam paper is published in January and the students then have Term 2 to create a sketchbook which works towards a two day exam to create a final piece.
Term 3:
Any remaining time in Year 11 is used to complete unfinished work, improve coursework or complete extension tasks.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

Year 7 - Pop Art inspired design

Term 1:
The ‘Onomatopoeia’ project introduces popular comic book designs by the artist Roy Lichtenstein. Pupils will develop their understanding of colour, composition and colouring techniques.
Term 2:
Term 2 introduces the artist Andy Warhol and his ‘repetitive’ design technique. Students will have the opportunity to create an inspirational design piece – the Campbell Soup illustration.  Year 7 students will continue to reflect the Pop Art style through studying the artist Michael Craig-Martin and will learn the three compositional elements as well as juxtaposition. Illustrations of everyday objects will be used during the design for print process.
Term 3: 
This term introduces the artist Burton Morris who is renowned for his vibrantly coloured images of iconic brands such as Tomato Ketchup and Coco-Cola.  Pupils will continue the theme with a focus on confectionary packaging design by studying the brand, design and typography used in various vintage sweet wrappers.

Year 8 - Graffiti: students study famous graffiti artists and designers

Term 1:
This terms artist study is Keith Haring who is renowned for the Change For Life Campaign which consists of brightly coloured figures. Pupils will recreate famous pieces of work using different colouring tools such as pens, pencils, collage and print making processes.
Term 2:
Term 2 has a focus on the street artists Banksy and Blek Le Rat who are both well-known for their inspirational stencil designs. The initial part of this design task is drawing the ‘Brick Wall’ which is a popular background for graffiti and street art.  Pupils will learn how to create silhouette images and stencils to reflect the designer’s style which will later be added onto their brick wall design. 
Term 3:
Students are introduced to the ‘Wall Project’ which encourages pupils to take their own interests and share their views on a particular topic in a creative way. Pupils will choose a blank wall and fill it with creative hand draw illustrations.  Pupils will learn how to create their name typographically using different drawing methods such as perspective drawings and 3D drawing.