CBSE-2021 Syllabus for Graphic Design Classes XI and XII

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Graphic Design


Graphic design is the creative planning and execution of visual communication. One learns to create a combination of shapes and forms, words and images, in order to reproduce them on some flat surface (two dimensional-paper, cardboard, cloth, plastic, video, computer, or projection screen, on poster, billboard, or other signage) or in a three-dimensional form (fabricated or manufactured) in order to convey information to a targeted audience. All graphic designs has a purpose or function. Usually its purpose is commercial to explain aesthetically something-to express, inform and influence the thoughts and actions of its audience.

This subject introduces the student to the art intended to communicate information for advertising. The focus is on studying and using layout and design concepts used in the graphic design field. The students will employ both analog media (drawing with pencil and paper, etc.) and digital media-using up-to-date computer tools (graphics hardware and software-for drawing, painting, layout, typography, scanning, and photography) .

  1. Creating Art: Students know and apply the arts disciplines, techniques and processes to communicate the original or interpretive work.
  2. Art in Context: Students demonstrate how elements of time and place influence the visual characteristics, content, purpose and message of words of art.
  3. Art as Inquiry: Students demonstrate how the arts reveal universal concepts and themes. Students reflect upon and assess the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.

Graphic Design at senior secondary stage is an elective subject. Although there are no prerequisite qualifications for the subject the students should demonstrate basic skill and interest in the fields of art and design to opt this subject.


Design is the process of selection where visual elements such as line, shape, volume, tone, texture, colour, form, format, space, and structure are used by students to express their ideas. Visual sensitivity and working knowledge of design elements would be developed by solving a series of problems and employing a variety of media and materials. The curricular area aims at enabling the students to develop their mental faculties of observation, imagination, and creation and develop skills and sensitivity towards the use of visual elements for an effective visual communication.

Design is an activity of problem solving for the well being of society and individuals. Today, in the world of information and communication every one has to communicate and get communicated by different groups of people through a wide variety of communication systems.

Graphic design course has a great potential in providing creative solutions to communication of complex phenomena of print media such as books, magazines and newspaper, through pictographic depictions or concept visualization. It can be traditionally applied in typography, cartooning (social, political and educational) , and designing posters, book-covers, letters heads, news paper format, brochures, logo, textile prints, or even jewellery. With the advent of personal computers and design software, graphic design is being utilized in electronic media. Often referred to as interactive design, it has unlimited applications in advertisements. The career choices connected through this course may be seem as graphic designers working in print production as newsletters, posters, brochures, etc. Graphic designers combine text and images to communicate a message: Sell a product or service, inform, or entertain.

The curriculum in Graphic Design focuses on creating intelligent and powerful visual communication. Students build a strong foundation for a graphic design career by learning design techniques, visual thinking, concept development, colour, composition and typography through case studies and hands on exercises. During the study, assignments will incorporate problem solving projects that relate to visual communication. The course includes introduction to computer as a tool to create, modify and present the visual messages creatively.

By opting Graphic Design as one of the Elective subjects at Senior Secondary level, the students will have various options to pursue their advanced studies in Graphic Design or the knowledge may be integrated with related curricular/professional areas for vertical and horizontal mobility in their career.

Course Objectivies

Study of Graphic Design will have a wider horizon in the field of art and will:

  • Demonstrate artistic growth by executing a variety of images/text as images, traditional and contemporary techniques that solve complex design problems using creative thinking and analytical skills.
  • Develop and demonstrate the understanding and skillful use of the elements and principles of visual design (1. Conceptual element, 2. Visual element, 3. Relational element and 4. Practical or functional element) .
  • Gain skill to use digital tools as a powerful means of communication to create, modify and present the message.
  • Study the works of contemporary artists, designers as well as the masters in the art field and discuss to enrich their vocabulary of design.
  • Learn ways to apply aesthetic sensibilities into their works and explore ways to balance between formal theories with practical applications.

Core Content

The students will:

  • Recognise how graphic design envolved in comptemporary time.
  • The concept of a layout and ways to create it.
  • Practive styles of lettering/fonts and their implications.
  • Concept of a logo and methods of create it.
  • The basics of two dimensional design including the elements and principles of art.
  • Graphic Design and Implications of colour theory.
  • Role of criticism in interpreting Graphics Design.
  • Career options in graphics design.
  • Use variety of tools and techniques in developing design.

The students will design and create a variety of projects, using traditional and electronic medium. Maintain good studio organization facilities in an appropriate working condition.

Class XI (Theory) 3 Hours and 180 Periods

UNIT-1 Foundations of Graphic Design-20 marks and 40 periods

UNIT-II Graphic Design and Society-25 marks and 70 periods

UNIT-III Development of script-25 marks and 70 periods

Practical-20 Marks and 60 Periods

Sketching and Drawing-10 Marks Basic Design: Development ofAesthetic sensibility towards design-10 marks

Portfolio-10 Marks for All Year

Class XI (Theory)

One Paper 3 Hours and 70 Marks

Section A: Questions based on Reader

Section B: Questions based on Application of Design

Unit-1: Foundations of Graphic Design-20 marks

  1. Introduction to Graphic Design
  2. Graphic Art, Design and Graphic Design
  3. Elements and Principles of Graphic Design

Unit-II: Graphic Design and Society-25 marks

Indigenous Design and Culture

Indigenous Graphic Design Practices

Unit-III: Graphic Communication Techniques-25 marks

  1. Development of script
  2. Evolution in Reproduction (Reprography)
  3. Movable Metal Type to Digital Imaging

Practical-20 Marks

Sketching and Drawing-10 Marks

  1. Sketching of natural and man-made objects and environment
  2. Construction Drawing
  3. Representational Drawing
  4. Simplification Drawing

Basic Design: Development of Aesthetic sensibility towards design 2-Dimensional Elements of Design

  1. Line
  2. Shape
  3. Form
  4. Colours
  5. Repetition
  6. Structure
  7. Similarity
  8. Gradation
  9. Radiation
  10. Irregularity
  11. Contrast
  12. Concentration
  13. Texture
  14. Space

Calligraphy and Typography-10 marks

  1. Anatomy
  2. Type Families
  3. Choosing a Font
  4. Styling and Formatting
  5. Text as Image

Portfolio-10 Marks

Sketching and Drawing About 100 sketches should be done in bound sketch book for submission Two-Dimensional Elements of Design

  1. Two monogram designs
  2. 1 invitation card and 1 letter head
  3. 2 posters on given subjects
  4. 2 signage on given subject
  5. 2 interpretive designs based on traditional motif (in two different media)

Calligraphy and Typography

  1. 1 quotation in any chosen Typeface in any language.
  2. 1 slogan in any chosen Typeface in any language.
  3. 1 design of the initials of ones name created in reverse of letter in a manner fit for printing.
  4. Produce the same design in relief printing.

Project: 1 project based on a prescribed visit to an assigned place

Class XII (Theory) 3 Hours and 70 Marks and 180 Periods

Unit-I Design Processes and Practices-15 marks and 30 periods

Unit-II Principles and Elements of Design-30 marks and 100 periods

Unit-III Media and Design-25 Marks and 50 Periods

Practical-20 Marks and 60 Periods

Society andArticulation-5 Marks and 15 Periods

Introduction to Design Based Software-5 Marks and 15 Periods

Application of Design Based Software-5 Marks and 15 Periods

Advanced Applications of Design Software-5 Marks and 15 Periods

Portfolio-10 Marks Throughout the Year

Class XII (Theory) 70 Marks and 3 Hours

Section A: Questions based on Reader

Section B: Questions based on Application of Design

Unit-I Design Processes and Practices-15 Marks

Role of Design in Society

  1. Functions of Design
  2. Implications and Impact of Graphic Design
  3. Role of Graphic Designer
  4. Contemporary Graphic Design in India

Graphic Design Processes

Methodology of Graphic Design

Unit-II Principles and Elements of Design-30 Marks

Sketching & Drawing

  1. Introduction to Drawing: An aid in visual representation
  2. Types of drawing
    • Drawing from memory and imagination
    • Drawing from observation
    • Drawing from Dimensional information
  3. Virtues of drawing


  1. Colours theories
  2. Colour wheel
  3. Colour Harmonies or colour Schemes
  4. Colour symbolism

FundamentalsVisual Composition

  1. Introduction
  2. Principles and elements of Composition


  1. Classification
  2. Anatomy of Font
  3. Features of a Font
  4. Text Formatting
  5. MultilingualTypography

Principles of Layout Design

  1. Theme and content
  2. Types of Layout
  3. Colours in Layout
  4. Copy and Type
  5. Design for Publication

Unit-III Media and Design-25 Marks

Digital Imaging and Printing

  1. Types of Digital Images
  2. Digital image Editing
  3. Digital Printing

Advertising Design

  1. What is Media Planning

Compaign Design

  1. Kinds of Campaign
  2. Planning a Campaign
  3. Research & Data Collection
  4. Creative Aspects
  5. Developing a Concept
  6. Departments of an AdvertisingAgency

Intergrated Methods of Advertising

  1. Kinds of Events
  2. Public Relations
  3. Media
  4. Visual Communication an its Impact

Graphic Design for Interactive Media

  1. Basic concepts
  2. Types of Websites
  3. The Website Development and Management Process
  4. Graphic Design Appraoch
  5. Designing Navigation

Practical 3 Hours and 20 Marks

  1. Prepare a rough layout on a given topic reflecting the ideas and concepts-5 Marks
  2. Transformating of the same layout in digital format using desired software-15 Marks

Portfolio Will Include: 10 Marks

  1. One work from each chapter of Unit-2
  2. Field visit Report/Documentation and creating theme-based design on the field study in five different advertisement media using appropriate softwareOR
  3. One complete sketch book of at least 150 sketches

Scheme of Examination

3 Hours and 70 Marks

Section A Four out of five short questions based on textbook (80 − 100 words) . Four questions of 3 marks each (4 × 3) -12 marks

Long questions: Three questions out of four based on textbook (100 − 120 words) Three questions of five marks each (3 × 5) -15 marks Definitions: Five definitions out of six based on textbook in three to five sentences. Five definitions one mark each (1 × 5) -05 marks Essay Type: One essay type question out of two based on textbook (150 − 200 words) One essay type question of 8 marks-08 marks Section B − 30 marks Four out of five short questions on drawing a design pattern based on the given input12 marks Two questions out of three on designing a motif or a pattern based on (5 + 5) -10 marks One question out of two on designing any of the following types (brochure/logo/letterhead/book cover/poster/textile print/jewellery) -08 marks Practical Examination: 3 Hours and 20 Marks

Course as prescribed in syllabus Portfolio: One sketch book of at least 150 sketches. 10 marks Portfolio And Project Work The portfolio would serve as an evidence in the skill to organise and use tools and techniques effectively by learners Portfolio will include: One work bassed on each chapter of unit-II

  • Drawing
  • Colour
  • Design Principles
  • Typography
  • Layout.

Project work

  1. Field study and report writing: Museums, melas, Festivals etc.
  2. Digital Work: Creating a theme based design of the field study in 5 different advertisement media using desired softwave.

Sketching: 150 sketches of people, place, architecture, objects etc. In different drawing media. Project Work: Work Study: Study of works of any great/known designer (national or international) . Note: Yearly submission of portfolio consisting of selected works (min. No 20) produced during the year. The works should be rich in terms of material exploration and visual impact. Students will each develop a portfolio that reflects and intermediate to advanced level of artistic perception, expression, historic and cultural understanding, aesthetic valuing, and an ability to connect their artistic skills to many art related careers, and develop competencies in problem solving, communication, time management and resources. Students are expected to submit acceptable work at the end of academic year. If an assignment is considered unacceptable, the students will be asked to complete and resubmit their work.

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