Assessment Report

Level 1 Design and Visual Communication 2020

Standards 91063  91064  91065 

91063:  Produce freehand sketches that communicate design ideas

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • communicated their own design ideas
  • focused on showing the aesthetic qualities of their design
  • used a limited range of recognised sketching techniques
  • presented little functional information about how their design worked or was constructed
  • demonstrated some evidence of design exploration but did not explore any one area in depth, often just looked at the exterior shape or form
  • produced appropriate sketches using limited design briefs or contexts
  • showed some design ideas and sketching techniques such as crating, line hierarchy and rendering. However, ideas often were just about aesthetics, shape or form and had no further exploration or refinement
  • included some inaccuracies in scale and proportion.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not communicate their own design ideas in response to a design brief
  • submitted photocopied, instrumental or digitally generated work – work which has been sketched, scanned and presented in a PowerPoint does not meet the assessment specifications
  • submitted sketched drawings showing only 2-D or 3-D views, when both are required – this was common in fashion submissions
  • produced sketches that attempted to address aesthetic values, but were completely unrelated to the candidate’s own design ideas
  • did not use recognised sketching techniques
  • copied directly from fashion patterns, spatial design books, construction details or images from the Internet. These observational drawings were unrelated to the design ideas produced by the candidates
  • produced ruled drawings.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • used a wide range of sketching 2-D and 3-D methods clearly showing an exploration of design ideas
  • showed proportion by having either dimensions, a person / human body part for scale or showed proportion between key features of their design
  • rendered designs to clearly indicate materials, textures and / or surface finishes
  • communicated visually both aesthetic and functional aspects of design ideas beyond surface details and features, e.g. construction or interior components or some aspects of its use
  • showed some technical sketches but lacked detail or accuracy – particularly in sections or function.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • showed design from a range of viewpoints
  • integrated context (people, place, use) into their sketches
  • presented work from one design brief clearly and convincingly
  • presented details relevant to the design (an indication that candidates have processed what they have learnt from their research and applied it to their designs)
  • communicated function well through sectional, detailed and exploded views showing construction details, human forms such as hands interacting with design ideas and the object by showing it in use and / or context
  • communicated aesthetic qualities such as form, shape, texture, surface finish that clearly indicated the materials being used
  • produced a wide range of sketches, including thumbnails, showing the evolution of the design. Arrows were often used to communicate a process, function or movement
  • communicated coherently an aspect of the design through a series of related sketches, e.g. the operational sequence of a mechanical device or the evolution of an aspect of the design
  • used a combination of technical sketches (exploded, sectional, sequential) to show in-depth knowledge of their design ideas. These drawings were related to one idea and were consistent in proportion and style showing effective communication
  • submitted work on a context that the candidate had clearly related to and had enough scope to explore and refine design ideas to a level where a comprehensive set of sketches could communicate both aesthetic and functional details in depth.

Standard specific comments

Candidates who engaged in an authentic and thorough design process often presented their work in a logical sequence. They clearly communicated the evolution and refinement of their own ideas in greater depth, often producing series of related sketches.

Candidates who only communicated design ideas at a concept stage or followed a highly structured or directed design process found it hard to move beyond Achievement. Responding to multiple design briefs prevented candidates from developing the required depth necessary for Excellence.

Fewer candidates appeared to be exploring the use, operation and context of the object they were designing. Exploring the relationship between the user, object and context is one means of communicating the intent of the design.

Some design briefs limit the candidate’s opportunity to generate appropriate evidence for the standard. For example, static objects with no moving parts, tend not to have enough scale and complexity to explore the object in depth. Briefs that are based on the adaptation of an existing object or have a significant number of standard components can also constrain the generation of candidates own design ideas.

Tracings of instrumentally constructed drawings cannot be considered for assessment as Explanatory Note 3 states “sketches …must be created / produced unassisted by the use of instruments…”

Candidates who produce sketches using overlay techniques as the basis of the sketch and show significant evolution or refinement of design ideas between each iteration, can show a body of related sketches. Although the start of the sketch may be traced, the evolution of the design ideas differentiates the use of overlay techniques from tracing.

Class exercises cannot be acknowledged when the sketches are not connected to the candidate’s own design ideas. The explanatory notes specifically state that work that is digitally produced or drawn with instruments (scanned, photocopied, printed from an image, technical drawings) is excluded from marking processes.

Candidates who include a large amount of research (written and digitally sourced) integrated into their submission run the risk of losing the clarity of the design process they are showing through freehand sketching.

Attempting complicated ideation is not necessary or helpful at Level 1. The ideation leads to designs that are too complex and too difficult to sketch.

Fashion / Textiles work continues to be difficult to assess for this standard. Candidates often copy / trace construction diagrams from patterns, which assist them greatly in the construction of their garments, but the drawings are neither freehand nor their own design ideas. Often there is a limited understanding of the difference between 2D and 3D sketching techniques.

Textiles submissions showed strength when exploring designs that allowed clear communication of design intent. For example, items that could be contained in a bag, or how a fashion product functioned on the body. Textiles submissions were successful when pattern and construction details clearly linked to relevant design ideas. For example, by using arrows to show where on the design these details apply. Pattern pieces when drawn should be in proportion to one another and suggest a sequence of construction.


91064:  Produce instrumental, multi-view orthographic drawings that communicate technical features of design ideas

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • understood third angle projection with views aligned and correctly placed
  • labelled views either with words or reference lines with plans identified
  • identified some dimensions and scale
  • had unidentified sections.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • produced basic geometric shapes with no design features
  • submitted class exercises
  • placed and / or aligned views incorrectly
  • submitted only one view per page, when a minimum of two aligned views were required
  • presented work that was hand drawn and / or messy and / or hard to visualise.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • labelled and projected views correctly
  • selected suitable scale and dimensioned correctly
  • presented a section view and / or hidden detail to communicate internal detail
  • used correct line types but not necessarily line weights
  • communicated clearly candidates design ideas.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • verified scale with dimensions accurately
  • used a recommended scale to construct drawings
  • showed in depth information of parts and assembly methods
  • had all CAD settings configured to appropriate conventions
  • showed details that provided more information not already clear.

Standard specific comments

Some class exercises were submitted with very well drawn orthographic projections but no design input from the candidate. In some submissions it was clear that a template was being used with candidates making token changes. These practices do not allow the candidate to show their skills and understanding. Some section views produced from the templates showed no more information or detail than the elevation in the previous drawing.

CAD submissions were around 40% this year and there was a noticeable improvement in the quality of the drawings compared to 2019. It is important that the settings in the software application being used are set to NZS.

Project drawings did not need to have multiple pages to achieve merit or excellence. Two pages of succinct, precise drawings conveying detail can meet the criteria for merit and excellence. Some excellence grades were achieved with one precisely executed page showing in-depth information.

There were a few portfolios with one or more of the following incorrect: scaling, dimensions, section lines, symbols.

91065:  Produce instrumental paraline drawings to communicate design ideas

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • presented one drawing only with no other supporting drawings to communicate additional / technical detail
  • communicated limited design features
  • failed to communicate features not visible in the external outline
  • presented the same drawing using different paraline methods with no extra detail communicated
  • were simplistic, lacking complex form
  • did not link drawings to a common design / context.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • completed much of the drawing using freehand. Instruments may have only been used for crating or straight lines
  • did not communicate a design idea (no / minimal design features described)
  • presented a drawing that was not a paraline drawing, e.g. perspective
  • presented a class exercise or generic drawing with design detail added
  • presented incomplete drawing(s).

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • showed design detail features
  • revealed information about the design that was not visible in the external outline through supporting drawings
  • drew design detail to appropriate size so the information communicated was clear
  • presented drawings which had a degree of difficulty and complexity.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • presented high quality drawings with precise line work, e.g. circles were seamless. Line weights were clear and did not detract from the information the drawings were communicating
  • produced details that were drawn to a suitable scale
  • submitted a body of related supporting drawings using exploded, zoom in, cut-away drawings with each drawing communicating new / additional information about the design
  • presented drawings that clearly revealed how the design could be manufactured / constructed
  • ‘addressed’ questions clearly about the design idea (parts, fixings, joinery, connections, construction, etc).

Standard specific comments

Drawings must link together to be able to communicate a design idea. For example, in architectural submissions, if foundation detail is communicated as a separate drawing it needs to relate clearly to the other drawings in the submission and not look like a class exercise or generic drawing.

Architectural contexts / briefs must show detail such as construction, framing of walls, roof, etc., to be able to achieve at a higher level.

When adding in exploded drawings candidates need to communicate detail. For example, an exploded drawing of a desk drawer must communicate things such as fixings, grooves, joining - not just an exploded drawing of four sides and a base with no other detail.

An open draw on a desk / workstation or a basic exploded drawing (no joint or fastening detail) does not communicate any additional information.

The brief / context should allow candidates to explore ideas and to produce work that communicates detail about the design idea using a range of different paraline drawing techniques.

Using rendering in CAD can hide detail or make the drawing unclear and can also hinder precision and accuracy.

Detailed features need to be drawn to a suitable scale or size. In some cases, an enlarged or zoom-in drawing can be used to assist in the clear communication of additional finer detail. It was pleasing to see some candidates adding dimensions to their drawings when a scale was shown.

When drawing a design around a standard component, the redrawn component cannot be considered as a design idea for assessment. For example, light fittings used in a lamp design.

This standard requires candidates to present work that is accurate and high-quality communicating information about the design idea, rather than just ‘showing’ a design idea using different paraline methods.

In some CAD drawings there were too many lines in a wire frame drawing, which caused the drawing to become confusing.

In CAD architectural drawings the face walls / roof needed to be removed to communicate detail of construction.

Some candidates included pre-printed resource drawings of furniture, fittings and other items. These are not design ideas / technical features. It would be better to communicate more detail of the building such as construction and/or structural details.



Design and Visual Communication subject page


Previous years' reports

2019 (PDF, 223KB)

2018 (PDF, 111KB)

2017 (PDF, 54KB)

2016 (PDF, 220KB)

Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us