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Module 10: Visual Communication Methods and Techniques

Module 10

Visual Communication Methods and Techniques

Visual communication methods and techniques, such as floor plans and mood boards, are essential skills for the interior designer, not only to communicate design concepts to clients but also as the essential building blocks of design development.

Design development is a meticulous and highly enjoyable process. While it is always fun to start with design concepts, these initial concepts must be feasible. Visual communication in the form of sketches, floor plans and sample boards are the tools the interior designer uses to work from initial ideas to a completed design concept.

This module begins with technical drafting. In the field of Interior Design, accuracy is mandatory. An idea will remain simply an idea until it is accurately marked on plan and elevation drawings to determine its accuracy in relation to the dimensions of the actual site. Technical drafting is a two-dimensional representation of the site showing the placement of furniture and fixtures to scale.

In this first section, you will learn about scale and annotation of plans and drawing symbols and how to create floor plans, elevations and sections using graph paper and a scale ruler. These skills will allow you to work out the optimum furniture arrangement for a space. Your final technical drafting is presented to the client to aid in their understanding of your overall concept and will also aid builders, cabinetmakers and other trades in accurately making your design concept a reality.

Next, this module covers presentation techniques used to artistically present your design ideas and final concept to the client. These include freehand sketching, three-dimensional representation drawing using perspective, color rendering techniques and scale model making.

The third section of this module teaches how to develop mood boards and sample boards to work up your design concept and present to your client. These are beautifully put together boards showing all the colors and materials to be used in your scheme, scaled in size according to their prominence in the scheme. So, for example, a large sample of the overall wall color will be placed on the board with a smaller sample of the trim color so the entire presentation gives an accurate depiction of how the colors and materials will work together to create an overall cohesive and pleasing effect.

Today's 3D computer rendering techniques offer the opportunity to present to your clients photorealistic images of a design concept or several alternative concepts for them to choose from using an alternative wall color, for example. There are many 3D rendering companies to whom you can outsource this task but you will need to send them floor plans, samples and photographs of furnishings and finishes.

A design proposal must always be aesthetically pleasing in the client's eye and expressed in such a way that is readily comprehensible and meets with their approval. Learning all of the essential visual communication methods and techniques of the interior designer may seem daunting at first but you will be guided every step of the way and, as you improve in these techniques, you will find them exciting tools for developing a cohesive design concept.

Interior design influencer content

Our visual communication methods and techniques module contains interior design professional insights from US based, Suzanne Coleman. Suzanne covers the following, in her insights video:

  • What are the methods of communication and drawing representation that a designer uses?
  • What are the best client presentation methods? (freehand sketches, 3D models, mood boards/sample boards)
  • How to create a winning design presentation?

Module Outline

  1. Technical Drafting
    • Two-dimensional representation
    • Scale and Annotation
    • Floor Plans
    • Elevations
    • Sections
    • Drawing Symbols
  2. Presentation Techniques
    • Three-dimensional representation drawing
    • Freehand Sketching
    • Color Rendering Techniques
    • Scaled Model Making
  3. Mood Boards and Sample Boards
    • Mood Board definition
    • Color and Material Boards
    • Mood Board Examples
    • Material Board Examples