A surface designer creates two-dimensional designs that are suitable for a wide range of applications. Applicable to fabric, fashion, bed and kitchen linen, homewares, stationery, retail packaging, graphic design executions and wallpaper to name a few. This requires versatility on the part of both the designer and the design as you work to different technical specifications for each.

In this course we teach you the foundations in creating original designs while creating your own pattern bank then working on Illustrator to gain the technical skills required to create and develop basic patterns into repeat. Your personal design style will develop as you progress.

Note – this course will require some additional supplies of a visual diary, pencils, paints, inks or Copic pens depending on which medium you want to experiment with. You will also require access to Adobe Illustrator. You will need this from module 4 onwards in the course. You can purchase this for $29.99 a month via www.adobe.com. Further information will be given once you have enrolled in the course.


Our online courses are designed to create a dynamic and engaging learning experience. All your support is through a dedicated online learning portal. When studying online with iscd you will become a member of a community allowing you the opportunity to share, learn and network with other students.

Your enrolment comes with full access to all published resources for the published duration of the course.

You can also read more here on our FAQ section.

Course Price: $499 inc. GST.

Course Duration: 6 Modules (18 hrs)

Subscription Duration: 6 weeks from date of purchase

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

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

You can complete your course online from
the comfort of your own home.


Module 1: The basics

Criteria of successful designs
Elements and principles in styling
The design development process
Mood boards and visual diary
Easy drawing
Drawing skills

Module 2: Colour and techniques

Colour wheel and dimensions of colour
Colour systems
Colour in design
Wet and dry media techniques
Design techniques
Mark making
Repeat systems

Module 3: Introduction to digital design – Part 1

Digital design, tools and files
Photoshop vs Illustrator
Keyboard shortcuts for AI
Panels, rulers, guides, colours and zooming
Saving your document

Module 4: Introduction to digital design – Part 2

Art boards
Editing an art board
File formats
Menu, zoom, rulers and guides
Setting up an art board in Illustrator

Module 5: Introduction to digital design – Part 3

Creating shapes in Illustrator
Using tools in Illustrator
Digital repeat systems
How to create a digital repeat

Module 6: Surface design in practice

In this module, you will bring everything into practice and work on a complete pattern package as part of the final design project.