«The Graphic Designer experiences, perceives, analyses, organises, symbolises and synthesises» – Paul Rand
Visual communication shapes how we experience the world. The BA(Hons) Graphic Design course reflects the range of possibilities designers employ in print and screen based media and considers how visual communication works in the context of cultural, technological and social change. Students are encouraged to explore and express their ideas through an understanding of visual perception, image making, typography, narrative and motion. They will also explore fundamental elements of art and design such as creative image making, colour, spatial awareness, composition and concept development. They are able to innovate and be original, bringing individuality to their work. Creative and out of the box thinking is applied as part of the philosophy of our programme of study. They can expect to have a career as a graphic or web and new media designer in a
- design studio, or freelance, in consultancy and branding, typographic design
- publishing, web design, persuasive design, corporate identity, packaging design,
- interactive media and the media industries; may also continue to postgraduate study.
Appropriate working area is provided for students on the course in order to establish a working cross-disciplinary design community as well as encouraging personal development. As they grow in confidence and ability, they produce work to a professional standard in areas such as packaging, brand, and publicity, visual identity, editorial, publishing and advertising.
Year 1 (national level 4):
Design Theory 1 (20 credits)
Join with students from other design courses to explore the most significant movements, theories and practitioners that have shaped design thinking and approaches over the years.
Introduction to Visual Communication (60 credits)
Take an introductory look at broad design principles, visual hierarchies, typography, software, layout and grid systems, colour theory and presentation. Apply these through hands-on creative projects.
Visual Communication and Design Principles (20 credits)
Explore visual graphic language through a schedule of exercises and design methodology aimed at encouraging an understanding of the technical and creative processes involved in graphic design.
Motion Graphics 1 (20 credits)
Look at approaches and techniques appropriate to the creation of moving graphics. Explore the theory and practice of designing, planning, editing and creating time-based, or ‘motion’ graphics through taught workshops.
Year 2 (national level 5):
Design Theory 2 (20 credits)
Continue to study the principles of design alongside students from other design courses.
Beyond Desktop Publishing (20 credits)
Get a basic introduction to the historical, theoretical and fundamental principles of typography and design. Follow this up with in depth practical research on typography, image creation and advanced layout techniques using new technology and traditional processes.
Contemporary Graphic Communication (40 credits)
Learn how to deal with a range of contemporary subjects and themes where outcomes provoke opportunities for the audiences themselves to share in the act of communication, test design boundaries and explore creative concept, ethics and technique.
Motion Graphics 2 (20 credits)
Build upon knowledge gained from the stage one module and continue to explore the creative and visual possibilities of motion graphics.
Final year (national level 6):
Design Research Project (20 credits)
Research and write about a design area that is relevant to your intended career path.
Graphic Design and Professional Practice (40 credits)
Explore specific aspects of graphic design and choose a range of projects according to your own personal interests or portfolio/career needs. Demonstrate a wide range of independent research, creative and technical skills and create high quality work, which you can include in a formal portfolio.
Design – Final Major Project (60 credits)
Produce a project that will be the centrepiece of your showcase to future employers, demonstrating your fresh and creative approach to your discipline. Develop new and specific skills, explore creative direction and be immersed in the exploration of broad, deep, enquiring and focused communication.