Design and Visual Communication (Graphics)

What is the study of Design and Visual Communication about?

Design and visual Communication is a subject that engages students in a purposeful study of drawing and design that challenges them to develop and graphically communicate their thoughts and design ideas.

Design and Visual Communication connects strongly to the technology learning area and supports a particular form of technological practice that employs visual communication knowledge and techniques to develop conceptual designs or technological outcomes of a graphical nature.

Why study Design and Visual Communication?

The study of Design and Visual Communication enables students to conceptualise, develop and communicate design ideas and potential outcomes, it will provide them with the skills to interpret and communicate visual information in other learning areas.

The growing roll of visual communication within contemporary society demands that students develop their ability to interact critically with and interpret visual messages. Students who develop this ability, together with an understanding of design will be better able to recognise and predict the potential future influences on, and impacts of, visual communication and design in their own and others  graphic practice and outcomes.

Students will develop an ability to interpret and critique a range of visual codes in which knowledge is expressed and strengthens the key competency, using language, symbols and text.

The development of intellectual and practical ability in design and visual communication also contributes to developing the key competency of, thinking, particularly the creative and critical thinking skills.

Students studying drawing and design and undertaking design and visual communication gain knowledge and skills that enhance their ability to visualise reason and make informed decisions.


Most students at Year 9 will be exposed to Design & Visual Communication for one semester (two terms) through the options rotation structure.

At Year 10 Design & Visual Communication is a full year option.

At Years 11 to 13 Design & Visual Communication offers a full course of NCEA Achievement Standards. There are no exams for DVC, as all work is internally assessed or externally moderated.

Design & Visual Communication is a University approved Subject.

Design and Visual Communication career pathways

Architecture Engineering Metal Fabrication Computer Industry Building Industry Landscape Industry
Housing construction design Product Engineer Sheet metal worker Graphic art Light timber framed construction Landscape Architect
Light commercial construction design Civil Engineer Boilermaker  Graphic designer Light commercial construction Landscape Designer
Commercial construction design Mechanical Engineer Steel erector Computer graphics Commercial construction Landscape Construction
Industrial construction design Structural Engineer Custom fabrication   Industrial construction  
Draftsperson for all of the above Military Engineer