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Graphic design is about communicating ideas and information in a visual way using a combination of text and images.

Our graphics course will allow students the opportunity to develop a wide range of graphic design skills using both handmade and digital techniques. Students will explore type, image, colour and layout through a series of fun practical tasks developing their confidence and creativity. Graphic design projects lead to a variety of different outcomes including type design, illustration, magazine layout, packaging, poster design and even motion graphics.

In the first year, students will learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator through tutorials and workshops. They will also explore the work of other artists and designers, critically evaluating and responding to various design styles and movements in order to develop their own creative ways of working.

In the second year, students will develop their own project themes in an area that interests them. This can include exploring the local environment, cultural identity, promoting health and wellbeing and/or investigating social and political issues as well as many other themes.

Year 1

  • Introduction to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Drawing / illustrating from photographs and direct observation
  • Image making with photographs, collage and printmaking
  • Visual identity / branding project for a local museum
  • Collaborative project working to a live design brief

Year 2

  • More advanced Photoshop and Illustrator skills
  • Develop a personal coursework project on a theme of your own choice
  • Critical essay on a designer linked to your coursework project
  • Externally set assignment under exam conditions
  • Mount and present your final design work for exhibition
Rhiannon Rolf

Rhiannon Rolf

Studied: Graphic Design, 3D Design & Dance (2013-2015)

Progression: Art Foundation at Brighton Met, then Graphic Design for Digital Media, University of Brighton

Riannon attends the University of Brighton studying a BA in Graphic Design for Digital Media, Her art foundation teacher had noticed she paid a lot more attention to online platforms rather than physical ways of designing so suggested that course over the standard Graphic Design course.

She enjoys the course so much, having never previously considered going to university, and has found it the most rewarding experience. I got a 2:1 in her first year and a 1:1 in her second. She has also gained three years of customer service in jewellery from aged 16 and in 2017 secured a job as a print and design specialist. More recently she landed a job as a part-time Social Media expert at a dance studio. She hopes to work for a magazine or fashion/street culture environment in the future.

Rhiannon says: "Varndean was an amazing experience for me, I made loads of friends and was allowed to express myself in a way no other educational place had allowed before. I would say be yourself, try as hard as you can but always stick with what you want to do in the future."

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Course Essentials

Courses Available
A Level
Entry Requirements

PLUS
Grade 5 in GCSE Art, Design or Technology based subject
OR

Merit or above in BTEC Level 2 First Diploma

If GCSE Art, Design or Technology have not been taken, suitably qualified students with a good portfolio of work demonstrating your skills will be considered. You can submit a combination of drawings, photographs, collages, sketches for logos and/or digital design work to demonstrate your creativity, imagination and technical ability.
How The Course is Assessed
60% coursework, 40% external assignment
Career Pathways
Many students continue their studies onto an art foundation courses or higher education degrees in graphic design, illustration or photography. Some students go onto degree courses outside of the design field, such as fine art, textiles, architecture, history, politics and economics.
Transferable Skills
Use and application of imagination; teamwork; creativity; layout, composition, visual and technical skills.
Other Information
You do not need any prior knowledge of Photoshop or Illustrator to enrol onto this course.
Enquiries To
Jas Chopra: jcc@varndean.ac.uk