What is Surface Design?

Surface Design is a form of commercial illustration. Put simply it is about learning how to create designs and then put them into technical repeat. The Surface Design Diploma teaches you how to create designs that are suitable for a wide variety of applications including homewares, textiles, paper products, fabrics and many other surfaces. It is a great skill for illustrators, graphic designers, or anyone looking to create their own range or range of products.


Special Offers

We do offer promotions throughout the year. Click here to learn more about actual offers.


How can I become a Surface Designer?

The first part of your Diploma of Surface Design consists of the Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715).  This teaches you the foundation skills needed to understand the elements and principles of colour and design. Then, the Diploma steps you through the specialised skills needed to be a successful Surface Designer.

When you graduate the Surface Design Diploma, we’re here to help with opportunities on our job board and our professional workshop; Design to Market

From just one-day per week you can become a qualified Surface Designer

Course Overview

Our Surface Design Diploma is the perfect balance between creativity and technical computer skills.

What you’ll learn

  • Colour and design knowledge for swimwear, wallpaper, gifts and soft furnishings
  • The technical requirements of being a Surface Designer with Adobe Illustrator,
  • Hand drawing skills and learn to work with a variety of mixed media
  • To present designs and concepts at a professional for clients and employers
  • Create mood boards to develop design themes and colour palettes for you and your client
  • To recognise trends and how to apply these trends

Career Outcomes

After the Surface Design Diploma, many graduates secure positions in:

  • Setting up your own freelance Surface Design business
  • Working in a design studio
  • Designing, manufacturing and selling your own product range

You can keep up to date with current jobs that are available now in the design industry on our job board.

Surface Design Diploma
Surface Design Diploma
Surface Design Diploma
  • Colour and design skills are applied to an array of projects from swimwear to wallpaper, giftware to soft furnishings
  • Adobe Illustrator + Photoshop skills, which will give you exposure to Industry’s technical requirements, and hand drawn designs which are also seen as an important feature of your skill set and portfolio
  • You will learn how to meet professional standards for presentation of concepts and will produce a quality portfolio of work to equip you to present to potential clients and employers
  • Create style and mood boards which form the basis of learning how to research and create design themes, innovative solutions and colour palettes for yourself and your clients
  • Style, trend interpretation and application and a thorough understanding of the design process
  • Designing to a brief
  • Industry research
  • Mixed media and printing
  • Hand drawing techniques and mark making
  • Media techniques
  • Repeat patterns
  • Designer identity
  • Business practices

Assessments are made up of a series of research and practical briefs. Some examples include:

  • Tote bag design
  • Bed linen design
  • Cushion design
  • Wallpaper design
  • Outdoor fabrics range
  • Swimwear range
  • Tea towel design
  • Creative identity brief
  • Presentation techniques

High School Certificate or Vocational Certificate IV or higher (delivered in English)

  • Surface Design Diploma

    With over 30 years of design industry experience and a forward-thinking focus and creative and supportive environment.

This course includes industry briefs and awards to provide you with strong foundations of working within the design industry.

Industry Partners

  • Emily Ziz Style Studio
  • Sheridan Bed Linen
  • Porters Paints
  • Charles Parsons

Industry Awards

  • Tea Towel Design
  • Bed Linen Design
  • Wallpaper Design
  • Surface Designer – Graduate of the Year
Surface Design Diploma


Contact us on 02 8355 3838 or 03 8372 0000 to chat with a specialist course advisor about your study options, or let us know a little bit about you and we can call you back.

Request a call Back

Campus Tours & Open Days

Join us at an up coming Open Day or book a Campus Tour with one of our student advisors and see how you can turn your passion for design into a career opportunity.

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iscd News

Want more about iscd? Read our blog posts to find out what is going on at our campuses and find out about study insights from our educators
and students.

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The school’s strong industry connections and flexible study options are integral to helping students achieve their goals. “Whether students attend our North Sydney or Melbourne CBD campus or study online, everyone receives the support they need to realise their potential.”

WENDY GREENHALF,General Manager iscd

Short Courses & Workshops

We have a number of workshops and short courses that run throughout the year. Here are some courses and workshops that relate to this course.

Upskill your current qualifications

Already qualified in most of these course subjects? You might like to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning and expand your current skill set with one of our specialised diplomas.