Artistic graphic design: developing our future creative thinkers
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 5, 27 July 2018, p24
Australia has a vibrant arts and design community, known internationally for its unique style and growing conceptual imprint.
The Federal Minister for Communications and the Arts maintains that a “sharper focus is needed to help students develop at the intersection of creativity, innovation and technology”, calling upon the education sector to equip students with a conceptual focus and an innovative approach to reach design solutions.
I am passionate about the creative arts and have studied the role of visual literacy at a doctoral level; my dissertation researching the way in which words and images interact, both to complement and contest, to communicate on varying levels of acknowledgement and understanding. I believe that focusing on the fundamentals of visual literacy, and the importance of understanding semiotics, will give each student a strong foundation for developing highly-polished conceptualisation skills and problem-solving abilities.
21st Century students have the technological savvy to learn how to use the Adobe Design Suite and construct visual outcomes for varying purposes in creative subjects; however, the how is never a problem; it is usually the why. Where my students differ is that they approach the software with a higher comprehension of why - they are creating elements to reach a certain outcome, and what end it will achieve.
Meridan State College has a thriving arts department. The college prides itself on producing highly competent students who are encouraged to utilise forward critical and creative thinking, and who are prompted to employ innovative approaches in their creative subjects. Within the arts department, we are building a strong design culture, transforming a single year nine artistic graphic design subject of 25 students in 2017 into a very popular elective for both year nine and ten students, numbers of whom are now in excess of 130 in 2018.
The artistic graphic design subjects support students through fundamental practices and principles of design, including conceptually focused hand-drawn creative in year nine through to highly detailed digital design in year ten, with portfolio-standard work being produced. The students are now understanding the reason why they are producing a piece of work and have a strong grasp of how the elements they use will influence the perceptions of their viewing audience.
Meridan State College is moving leaps and bounds ahead with its new-found design culture. The college is forming strong ties with the University of the Sunshine Coast, with a view to creating a pathway for developing students who show an affinity for the creative arts and have career aspirations in the creative industries. With the new design curriculum approaching in 2019, and a strong focus on conceptual design and creative approaches, we are excited to see where it can be taken and how our current design students can grow and develop; now, and into the future.