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GCSE Graphic Products




The information below can also be found in the Revision Guide that you purchased at the beginning of the course.

Design folder and 3D outcomes = 60% of the marks awarded.

The other, no less important, 40% can be gained in the exam at the end of the course- further information regarding this aspect can be found in the revision guide, Moodle and the recommended web sites .Choose one of the design contexts. You are going to design and make a 3D outcome for this subject. Choose wisely.

·         You are allowed 45 hours to complete the whole project. This will be spread out over a number of months at 2 hours (approx) per week.

·         Planning the various stages is one of the essentials to a stress free year 11.

·         You are also loosely limited to a maximum of 20 A3 pages for your folder.

·         Your folder should flow like a story from one section to another.

·         Information should be relevant, detailed, coherent, brilliant, beautiful, exciting, and innovative to make sure you are awarded every mark you can possibly get – It is your opportunity to produce something of brilliance.

The exam moderator who will be looking at your folders when they are complete will not know you or be able to read your mind.

Make absolutely sure that everything you do towards your project is listed, photographed, explained in minute detail especially the things that might have gone wrong – you can actually pick up extra marks by taking risks, by being a bit adventurous.





It is ESSENTIAL that everything is explained; all required elements have been covered and all modelling thoroughly photographed at all stages.


The moderators can only make their judgments on what they see and read.

Give them everything as clearly as you can.

The marks for your work are broken down into the following areas and a guideline to the amount of time you should spend on each area is as follows:

Investigate                                                                  8 marks               4 hours

Analysing the Brief: Research: Research:


Design, Develop, Plan.                                                         32 marks             16 hours


Initial ideas: Reviewing ideas: Product Specification: Production Plan


Make                                                                             32 marks              16 hours

Test and Evaluate                                                      12 marks              6 hours




Communication                                                          6 marks                3 hours

Total:                                                                            90 marks      45 hours



What your folder should contain and look like:



Format: A3 Landscape.

Only work on one side of the paper.

Clear written work no spelling mistakes, use of technical terms and the layout clear and effectively used. No great big headings which take up the whole page just so it looks full. You will be awarded marks on relevant content.

Task Analysis


To get the maximum marks, you need to:

·         Analyse the task/ brief in detail.

·         Clearly identify all the design needs.

·         It is a good idea to make yourself thoroughly in tune with what your design context/brief is asking of you.

·         Write out the context and highlight the important aspects of what you are being asked to do.

At this stage, it is a good idea to:


·         Eliminate any information that isn’t important

·         Identify any specific issues that need to be investigated further before you can start designing the product.

·         Make a list of questions that you need to answer before you can begin designing.

·         Decide what method of research is needed to answer each question.







You have a limited amount of time (4 hours)

To conduct your research, you need to make it is all relevant.

The most useful types of research that you can carry out in the limited amount of time available to you are:

·         A  client/end user view

·         Product analysis

 Interviews, Questionnaires and Surveys normally rely on a large sample group to produce reliable results.

You will need to adapt these methods for your own task.


 Product Analysis




The purpose of product analysis is to help you produce a product that is better than those already available. It should help you identify:

·         Desirable/successful features that you can incorporate into your designing.

·         Undesirable/unsuccessful feature to avoid

·         Areas for improvement, e.g. reducing costs, making the product sustainable.

When analysing existing products, you need to identify:

·         The end user of the product.

·         Where the product is used

·         Where the product is sold

·         How the product works and fits together

·         The possible manufacturing systems and processes used to produce it.

·         The materials used

·         The cost

·         The way the graphics used to promote the product

·         What information is given on the packaging

·         Why a particular type of packaging has been used.

You could also survey these elements by asking your client/end user:

·         What they like/dislike about them

·         Are they good value for money

·         What improvement would they like to see?

You should also consider:

·         The life cycle of the product

·         Can it be recycled

·         Any effects it may have on a person’s lifestyle

·         Is the product suited to all or just groups of people

·         Could it cause offence



Research Summary




It is essential to summarise your conclusions and explain how the data gathered through your research will help you.

You should record:

·         What you did

·         Why you did it

·         What you hoped to find out(expectations)

·         How you findings will help or effect you design ideas.

You should present you conclusions in a visual format where possible e.g. Excel /graphs and pie charts.


 Design Specification




Your specification should give a set of guidelines for the overall look, feel and usage of your product based on:

·         Your analysis of the brief

·         The findings of your research

A design specification is often best displayed as a bullet point list.


 Be clear about which parts of your specification are either essential or desirable. (can and can’t do without)







·         Target market

·         Any handicaps, religious beliefs, differing attitudes that need to be considered.

·         What is the purpose of your product

·         Where will it be used

·         How big


·         How heavy

·         Durability

·         Aesthetics, look/appeal

·         Materials – does the product need to be waterproof, fireproof, easy to clean, lightweight, flexible, strong

·         Cost – is there a budget

·         Environmental issues – disposable, recyclable, made from sustainable materials

·         Manufacture-will the product be mass, batch or one-off produced

·         Packaging-for retail, protection

·         Instructions-aftercare, assembly


 Initial ideas



 ·         Be creative

·         Produce more than one idea – 3 – 6 significantly different would be ideal

·         A bit of extra research here wouldn’t hurt – look at past designs / designers / trends– borrow – ‘there are no new ideas just adaptations of the old ones’

·         To show how your design ideas relate to your design specification use sketches with notes and annotations.

·         The moderators are looking for a range of communication techniques being used.

·         Rough sketching, orthographic, isometric and perspective drawings.



Developing Ideas




Your aim at this stage is to modify and revise your initial idea(s) until you have reached the best possible design solution.

The moderator will expect to see that your design has developed, is much improved, has been fine tuned compared to your initial idea.


Design should be communicated using a variety a variety of methods. The examiner will want to see hand drawn sketching and use of computer software in the development of your designs.


The final designs must be presented in a way that someone else can understand.


Provide clear diagrams that are fully annotated.




Remember you are only making a one-off prototype of your product(s) but you still have to imagine it’s the real thing and your client/customer will want a whole load of them so you will have to plan the production accordingly.


Now is when you use your knowledge or do a bit more research into the wide range of materials and manufacturing processes that could be used in the production of your product(s).


·         Properties of materials/components

·         Advantages/disadvantages

·         Manufacturing processes–printing etc.

You must select the most appropriate material, components and manufacturing processes for your product and justify your choices.




This process will then enable you to produce a detailed product specification and a manufacturing specification.




Using ICT


Using ICT is a must in one form or another during the development stage.

This can include:

·         Standard application like Word or Excel.

·         Specialist software, e.g.  ProDesktop, 2D Design and Google sketch up.

·         Image capture/manipulation/page make up using JASC Paint Shop Pro and Serif Draw Plus.

·         Digital camera (a must during modelling)

·         Scanner

·         CAD/CAM

You have access to The Roland CAMM 1 and 2 machines – if possible include them in you development and final make.

Any development using CAD can be captured and included in your project folder so that the moderator can see how it was used.




 Modelling is an essential part of the development process, it allows you to:

·         Check that your overall design works in practice

·         Experiment with a variety of suitable processes and techniques.

·         Compare different methods of joining and finishing.





Product Specification


 Your product specification will be more detailed than your design specification. It should include:

·         Working drawings (drawn, sketched or using ProD or 2D Design)

·         Orthographic or isometric drawings, showing accurate dimensions.

·         Assembly instructions

·         A list of materials, colours and finishes

·         Any risk assessment.


 Production Plan


 Your production plan should show:

·         The different stages of manufacture in the correct order

·         When and what quality control checks will take place.

A flow chart might be the best way of presenting your production plan although sometimes a simple chart listing the stages and equipment that will be used is equally suitable. 


A Gantt hart can be used to show the timings for each stage of production and the overall timeline. 


If you draw a flow chart, there are different, specific symbols for each stage of the process.

See Revision Guide page 12 of the ESSENTALS secton 




For your prototype you should demonstrate that, for each specific task, you can select and use:

·         Appropriate tools and equipment

·         Appropriate processes, methods and techniques.

·         Appropriate quality control checks.

The finished product should be:

·         Accurately assembled

·         Well finished

·         Fully functional

Remember it is essential to photograph every step.



Check the performance of the product and justify each test and explain why it is important.


Evaluation occurs throughout the project and should if possible be recorded as it happens.

The final evaluation should summarise all your earlier conclusions and comment on the effectiveness of your final outcome.



When carrying out your evaluation you should:

·         Refer back to the brief

·         Cross-check the end product against the original specification

·         Obtain client comments and feedback

·         End user survey


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