External exemplars Level 3 2020 – Design

Show: External Exemplars

The resources below contain examples of candidate work submitted in 2020 for assessment for the Visual Arts Achievement Standard 91455 Produce a systematic body of work that integrates conventions and regenerates ideas within design practice. The purpose of this resource is to assist art teachers prepare their teaching programmes and their students for assessment.


Panel 1 (JPG, 597KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 601KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 704KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.8MB)
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This submission creates a visual language and character-based narrative to showcase a new cartoon television programme titled ‘Hanging in Himatangi’, named after a beach close to Palmerston North. The brief indicates that the brand is primarily targeted at New Zealand youth through a simple illustration style with an extra focus on localised environments. The briefs / formats developed are design, posters, headmast, logos, websites, magazines, billboards, and merchandise.

Panel 1

Panel 1 begins with an initial photoshoot of beach scenes and early establishment of the colour palette to be used throughout the submission, before moving into the development of the two main characters. The character designs demonstrate a fluent understanding of digital drawing and the genre of children’s book illustration, considering identity, colour, expression, personality, and props.

The logo brief systematically works through a variety of logo conventions, such as typography, pattern-making, and geometrical shape, and synthesises these into a simple, yet clear final logo combining the name of the brand with the sun / ocean motif. This specific style and execution are relevant and regenerative of the early character design talking to the topic of beach days and ‘sun 'n surf’.

The masthead sequence attempts to shift to a more fluid mark-making style that encompasses a linear drawing design within the painterly shapes, while establishing new illustrations of relevant objects (starfish, fish, turtle, and drink bottle) to help inform the new designs and reach a cohesive final outcome.

The same typeface design established within the logos are brought across to connect the brand and briefs. Clarity of construction and synthesis is a key characteristic of this submission. Synthesis occurs early on as a reductive set of elements are fluently managed.

The final brief on Panel 1 creates a magazine cover design that integrates the learning across the whole first panel into a final design. The initial developments show a handling of a variety of design elements and place the characters into a new original setting, handling the relationship between typography and imagery with control and fluent understanding of the conventions of the brief. The critical selection process is evident as the initial designs play around with scale, positioning, tonal variety, and type, reinforcing the characters as an important component and focal point for the brand.

Panel 2

New holding devices and landscapes evolve, re-energising the call to action – to explore New Zealand’s coastline. The viewer is swept from sunsets to lighthouses on a journey of discovery, having a good a time as the two characters playfully and fluently weave in and out of a range of formats from DVDs to posters to billboards. The brand mark and genuine typeface anchor the formats, narrative, and compositions, which reinforce and extend ideas, never resting or repeating.

Panel 3

A departure from merchandise outcomes in Panel 2 towards more sophisticated and synthesised graphic posters was a good decision. New narratives and storylines play out across the last panel, again demonstrating the breadth of ideas and mastery of visual treatment. The tropes and conventions of character development, personas, props, and settings is complemented by complex compositional devices. In utilising the diagonal, circular housing device and centred image structures we are uplifted by colour and assured that final resolutions are fluent and refined, thus making this submission a very clear high-achieving Excellence performance.


Panel 1 (JPG, 763KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 575KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 696KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.9MB)
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This submission focuses on the environmentally friendly surfing competition titled ‘The Blade Rider Classic’ and attempts a variety of briefs that target people with a passion for surfing and the outdoors.

Briefs attempted are: logo design, poster design, T‑shirt / hat, ID wristband, eco merchandise bag, trophy, website, and judges' / event trailer.

Panel 1

Panel 1 clearly shows a systematic investigation to logo-making with an emphasis on a combination of letter forms, illustrations, and colour establishment, which shows a purposeful investigation of logo conventions. The final resolved piece reflects an early awareness of branding through a sticker-type design. There is an authenticity to this performance, whereby drawing is used to test, prototype, and develop a range of options, ideas, and styles.

Through the poster design, the candidate experiments with a combination of illustrations informed by established practice by designers such as Saul Bass to generate a range of ideas that include patterns, silhouettes, the student’s own photography, and typographical hierarchy to inform the final developed piece.

Panel 2

Panel 2 attempts several briefs, the first being T-shirt and hat design, which shows understanding of symmetrical pattern design through the use of the waves and water. There is an understanding of how the design is fit for purpose in terms of the conventions of a T‑shirt, showing consideration of neckline, front and back design cohesion, and varied use of typography and colour palette to retain the brand.

The ID wrist bands explore a combination of pattern motifs, as well as a typographical focus that showcases the ‘Waimarama’ location of the surfing competition.
The last brief on Panel 2 explores merchandise through a series of ‘bag’ designs made from eco-friendly materials, which initially include a further investigation and regeneration of letter forms that attempt to play with water patterns, landscapes, and photography. This brief also includes a series of investigative working drawings, which consider material, configuration, and the user experience of those who enter the competition. The size is also considered so that competitors can insert other promotional material such as vouchers, sunblock, and stickers into the bag. The final resolved bag shows a purposeful consideration of colour, editing, and understanding of the need to keep moving and not just repeat earlier works.

Panel 3

Panel 3 begins with a trophy design investigation with a focus on the initial design generation. There is a bold making component, using a laser-cutting machine to create final design prototypes in situ within a series of handmade locations. Emphasis is placed on the materialism of the design, again using recycled material such as old rimu to create the final product. Branding and the logo are confidently reinforced at every turn. The initial website development shows a purposeful understanding of the brief conventions, with titles, product options etc., while also showing a consideration of how the website would function on a variety of digital devices, such as desktop, android, and digital watch. Again, the consistency of brand through typography, photography, pattern, and colour is evident throughout this sequence. The final brief focuses on the design, making, and in-situ context for the ‘Event Trailer’. Drawings are included, not as filler but to show consideration of shape, pattern, and three-dimensional objects. The drawing show a regeneration of earlier concepts that focus on the aesthetic of waves pattern and the beach.

The second and final development sequence shows the process of making the small wooden prototype of the trailer and then finally placing it into a digital environment. This stage shows consideration of the user experience and the purposeful and authentic understanding of the target audience. Overall, this submission consistently met the criteria for Merit, as it demonstrates a purposeful intent to showcase the brand within the design conventions, while choosing briefs (formats) and materiality that are relevant and informed.


Panel 1 (JPG, 645KB) Panel (JPG, 573KB) 2 Panel 3 (JPG, 647KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.7MB)
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This playful submission focuses on the creation of ‘The Hub’, a creative collaboration space for women to share project ideas linked to their wellbeing and creative passions. Numerous formats are produced to promote this space and convince members of the public to come to the opening and join the project. Formats / briefs include: logo, poster, website, tote bags, promo video, magazine DPS, business cards, and event tickets.

Panel 1

Panel 1 begins its investigation by introducing us to the established practice of research and inspiration before establishing a colour scheme for the brand. An early focus on relevant artist models that handle simple illustration aesthetic, hand-made typography, and photomontage techniques is evident from the outset. The move between hand-drawn and digital production is a strength in this high Achievement performance.

The logo developments are clearly systematic and take us through an initial illustrative hand and typographical study, before bringing in illustrative elements such as the hands, pattern, and colour.

The poster design integrates the conventions of the brief by playing with type, self-generated illustration, and photomontage, and placing the final designs in-situ. The candidate revisits the initial logo brief to inform the making of new hand illustrations and handmade typographical works, and orders them into coherent posters that communicate the project.

The duplication of posters on the folio in the development phase is unfortunate and this decision was discussed by the assessment team.

Panel 2

Panel 2 prototypes a website home page, a tote bag, and stills from the promotional video. The initial tote bag merchandise designs revisit imagery from the earlier poster sequence and logo initials and rearrange the elements to fit the size / format of the bag. Again, the stills from the promotional video regenerate previous works.

The candidate demonstrates understanding of established practice while dealing with layering of pattern, colour, typography, and illustration into new briefs / formats). Stills are placed into a movie theatre scenario to emphasise the in-situ possibilities. However, candidates have little real estate on the portfolio and should avoid duplication.

The final brief on Panel 2 provides a limited set of design options of a website, with both showing a coherent understanding of the conventions and functionality of a website, with option bars, titles, and linking illustrations. The second option takes us to one of these options, ‘Our Story’, and shows us a new layout and rearrangement of the elements already used (hands, balloons, letterforms, and linear motifs).

Panel 3

Panel 3 recomposes and configures many of the design elements from the previous art works, creating new compositions. There is the slight emergence of a new idea with the business cards and evidence of layout shifts between two double-page spread options. Had a range of options been managed with minimal need for duplication on the portfolio, and an increase in taglines and regeneration, this playful performance could have achieved at Merit.

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