Communication Techniques

  • Freehand Sketching
  • freehand sketching is a quick method that can be used to:
  • create design ideas
  • accentuate shape and form
  • Freehand means that no straight edges are used
  • pens and pencils


  • crating is where you draw a 3D box around the whole object to help break it down into a shape
  • enables you to draw in 3D
  • use a ruler to help you draw straight lines

IMPORTANT: you should always annotate your sketches against the design specification

Rendering, tone, and texture

  • rendering means applying colour shade to make it look realistic
  • you can create tone by using shading to show areas of light and shadow. Show where your light is coming from
  • you can add texture by using pencil or pen marks to create the illusion of a surface effect
  • these techniques can be used to illustrate different materials


  • marker pens are quick and effective
  • pastels are good for creating tone, but they can be messy if you don't 'fix' your drawing
  • coloured pencils are cheap and can be used with marker pens
  • paints are time consuming and can be messy, but watercolours make good backgrounds

Primary and secondary colours (aqa,ocr)

  • primary colours: red, yellow, blue. They can't be created by mixing colours together
  • secondary colours are produced when two primary colours are mixed

Complementary colours (aqa,ocr)

  • Opposite colours on the colour wheel are complementary-they work well together

Hue and tone (aqa,ocr)

  • hue is the actual colour you see
  • adding white lightens the tone
  • adding black darkens the tone

Colour fusion and separation

  • colour fusion is where dots of colour blend together to create another colour
  • colour separation happens in printing where layers of separate colours are overlaid


Language and meaning (aqa,ocr)

  • Colours are associated with different meanings. Knowing the different meanings can help you when making design desicions
  • blue is a natural colour from the sky, calming, used for many purposes, associated with intelligence, unity, peace
  • red is associated with flushed cheeks, raised blood pressure, anger, danger, mourning, communism, (china) happiness and prosperity
  • yellow is associated with sunshine, happiness, warmth, being cheerful, cowardice, deceit, mourning, courage, peace, the dead
  • green represents growth, envy, harmony
  • orange is warm, citrus, good health
  • purple represents royalty, lavender and can boost creativity

Image (aqa,ocr)

  • colours can be used to indicate certain categories of product
  • white and blue denote hygiene and are associated with cleaning products
  • green and brown denote healthy/organic products
  • colours are used in different cultures or religions to symbolise something. you need to be careful not to use colours that can offend anyone

Logos and trademarks


  • symbols that convey a meaning
  • tend to be about a product or a company
  • some are well known enough to be described from memory


  • a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design which identifies and distinguishes the goods of one company.
  • usually registered to the company so no one else can use them
  • an SM…


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