Graphic Design


This programme prepares students for a career in Graphic Design, an industry that offers a broad range of creative and commercial possibilities. Students explore both traditional and digital media and engage in research, problem solving and visual communication. A diverse range of creative projects challenge and develop the student’s conceptual ability, theoretical knowledge and technical skills. Students are encouraged to present and contextualise their work within the historical development of design and contemporary practice.

Programmes used

Adobe® Creative Suite including:

After Effects, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop

Year Two

Year Two students engage in a broad range of design projects that introduce them to the fundamental processes, theories and practice of Graphic Design. Students develop their creative and conceptual abilities while also learning the basic technical skills they need to generate their ideas. We provide clear instruction and exercises that correspond with creative assignments so that students can apply and extend what they have learnt. All computer software is up to date and of international industry standard.

Year Three

In Year Three, students develop their own pathways through several specialised areas of Graphic Design. This includes options to focus on publication design, illustration, packaging design, brand and promotion, web design and motion graphics. Core topics also develop their art-direction skills and continue to extend their theoretical knowledge. Students spend time completing an internship in a commercial design environment, such as a publishing house, advertising agency or design studio. Students also create designs for local and international design competitions and work on live briefs from external clients.

Click on the image below to view or download the prospectus


Year Four

Year Four students extend all their creative and contextual skills by creating a self-directed studio project and a final portfolio of resolved work. There are both commercial and conceptual elements within Graphic Design and we offer an open and creative approach. Students can choose to tailor their final year studies towards their own preferred focus. They can create a more commercial project involving brand development or produce something inspired by personal interests, such as a social awareness campaign, or explore design issues through experimental projects. Theory and marketing topics and a programme of guest lecturers, individual supervision and group critique support their independent study.


Whitecliffe graduates may find employment in New Zealand or overseas, or develop their own freelance design and creative work. Graphic design is a diverse industry with work opportunities in design studios, publishing houses and firms specialising in brand identity, digital media and packaging. Advertising agencies, marketing consultancies and companies with in-house graphic design personnel also look to employ graphic design graduates who are passionate about their chosen career path.


Click here to view work by Graphic Design students.

Click here to see the online portfolios of the Graphic Design Graduates