Case Study:

Upskilling textile designers through a custom trends and design course.
The Goal_

To remain leaders in the retail space, the Woolworths design teams need to stay at the forefront of both trends and technology while ensuring bad workflow habits are kept at bay.

Woolworths approached the Academy of Digital Arts to help their textile design department achieve this goal quickly and effectively through a custom collaborative workshop focused on upskilling staff in Adobe tools and trends, improving productivity and efficiency, and stimulating creative output in a sustainable way.

The Challenge_

Like many teams, the Woolworths textile designers had varying levels of skill in the design tools they use. In order to upskill them as a team, we would first need to get them all onto a level playing field. This would require understanding each designer’s current expertise with each of their tools as well as the types of projects they handled and their typical workflows.

The Solution_

To get the insights we needed into the team, we conducted a full, contextual enquiry into their daily tasks and work environment. This enabled us to pinpoint the ideal software to complement their workflows (Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator) and create a custom professional workshop to familiarise them with the basics before diving into more complex tools and techniques.

To avoid losing the interest of the more knowledgeable designers, we kept all the software modules succinct while ensuring they tied closely into the world of textile design. We covered all the fundamentals, followed by the latest Adobe software updates and best practices for creating files specifically for use in textile and/or fashion design.

Finally, to address the goal of stimulating the team’s creative output, we hosted a custom watercolour workshop for the designers. Here, we taught them to express themselves through paint on paper and convert these concepts to a digital format to be modified for further use.

Course Module Details

Adobe Illustrator

Our custom Adobe Illustrator course module introduced participants to all the necessary tools needed to create textiles. Participants learned how to use and create brushes, how to use symbols, how to create and edit repeats/patterns and how to trace hand drawn artwork.

Adobe Photoshop

This module was designed to tie into the watercolour collaborative workshop, teaching participants the basics of scanning and editing in Photoshop. We also introduced Photoshop digital effects and taught the designers how to create repeats and patterns, as well as the fundamentals of deep etching.

Watercolour Collaborative Workshop

This final module was where creativity flared and ideas came to life. Participants were given an overview of: the tools and materials used in watercolour painting; paper types and choices; prepping paper for printing; the basics of paint opacities and colour blending; the art of mixing colours; essential watercolour techniques; layering and detail; and prepping watercolour artwork for scanning.

The business impact

The Academy of Digital Arts’ custom professional training course for Woolworths’ textile team improved their productivity and efficiency, enabling them to ideate, design and go to market ahead of the curve of the latest fashion and textiles design trends and concepts.

It has been such a success that we will be repeating the program on an annual basis, keeping the team up to speed on all relevant technology updates and enabling them to onboard new designers quickly and easily.

About the Academy of Digital Arts_

The Friends of Design Academy of Digital Arts officially opened its doors in 2007. Since then, we’ve been committed to exceptional education standards, enjoy national and international industry accreditation, and are a registered centre of Higher Education.

Our substantial international network and industry-active lecturers ensure our finger is always on the pulse of global trends. We constantly update our techniques and technology to ensure our students remain at the forefront of the digital arts, whether full time, part time, or participating in our custom corporate training.

For more information on staff upskilling, custom Adobe training and other purpose-built design courses for professionals, visit or contact Daniel on