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 is nurtured through the course with 1:2:1 feedback on your 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 in the course. You can purchase this for $29.99 a month via Further information will be given once enrolled in the course.

What you learn

  • Use design elements and principles when designing patterns.
  • Apply the creative design process to 2D forms.
  • Identify and use appropriate software to generate designs and patterns.
  • Communicate design concepts and choices in both visual and written formats.

Practical Exercises

As a short course, there will be a number of tasks and exercises to cement your learning. Culminating in a final project to hone your new learned skills.

How you learn

Our online courses are designed to optimise your touch points and 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 is a subscription-based model, with full access to all published resources for the published duration of the course. (See the specific course page for more details.)

You can also read more here on our FAQ section

Course Price: $650 inc. GST.

Course Duration: 6 Modules (10 hours).
Subscription Duration: 8 weeks from date of purchase




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
  • Tools
  • 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.


“Design the world you want to live”


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.

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