What is the Surface Design Diploma?

The Surface Design Diploma teaches you how to create designs that are suitable for a wide variety of applications including homewares, textiles, paper products and fabrics.  Surface Design offers an attractive balance between creativity and technical confidence.

How can I become a Surface Designer?

There are two steps to achieve the skills required to be a Surface Designer.

  • Step 1 – Complete the CUV40311 Certificate IV in Design
  • Step 2 – iscd Surface Design Diploma

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;

  • Set up your own freelance Surface Design business
  • Work in a design studio
  • Design, manufacture and sell your own product range

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

Surface Design Diploma
Surface Design Diploma
Surface Design Diploma
  • To extend and apply your colour and design skills to a fascinating array of projects from swimwear to wallpaper; giftware to soft furnishings.
  • Computer skills using Adobe Illustrator, which will give you exposure to industry’s technical requirements, however hand drawn designs are also seen as an important feature of your skills 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
  • How to 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 an thorough understanding of the design profession
  • Understanding a client’s briefing and needs
  • Developing an artistic and practical perspective
  • Development of a design story to a commercial brief
  • Researching the industry, including knowing the market and textile studios
  • Mixed media exploration, resist and printing techniques
  • Mono printing, collage and textural effects
  • Introduction to acrylic painting skills, pencil and crayon
  • Fabric dyeing
  • Advanced colour theory and design development
  • Advanced drawing skills: materials, techniques, theme, composition, line, shape
  • Design styles and techniques, designing for specific shapes, uses and spaces
  • Repeat patterns and textural effects, understanding printing requirements.
  • Translating original hand-made designs into computer images
  • Developing computer generated workable designs
  • Marketing and managing your creative business

Assessments are made up of a series of research and practical briefs that include;

  • Bed Linen Design
  • Wallpaper
  • Outdoor fabrics
  • Swimwear

Pre-requisite courses

  • CUV40311 Certificate IV in Design

You can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the forms of credits or a course waiver if you have like-for-like Units of Competency, skills and knowledge.

  • Surface Design Diploma

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

  • Surface Design Diploma

    We cater for your needs and lifestyle with campuses located in Sydney and Melbourne and our distance education program.

  • Surface Design Diploma

    Work with our industry partners on design briefs and graduate with real-world experience.

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
  • JDK Tea Towels

Industry Awards

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

Study Options

Study from just one day a week and choose from two intakes each year / Mornings + Evenings + Weekends class options to choose from.


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

Info Sessions & Open Days

Join us at an up coming Information Session or Open Day to find out how you can turn your passion for design into a career.

Learn More

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.”

iscd General Manager,Lucy Sutherland

Is this course not quite right for you?

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.