Advanced visual communications: social impact by visual design

Course Dates: 24/06/25 - 29/07/25
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Can visual design create enough impact to change society? What effect do posters and campaigns have in changing people’s minds on various subjects? This course is for those with some experience in making graphic images who want to explore campaigning in graphic design and media.
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Full fee £349.00 Senior fee £279.00 Concession £244.00
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Advanced visual communications: social impact by visual design
  • Course Code: VK362
  • Dates: 24/06/25 - 29/07/25
  • Time: 14:00 - 17:00
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: George Stickney

Course Code: VK362

Choose a start date  

Tue, day, 24 Jun - 29 Jul '25

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course is about looking at visual campaigns and assessing their success or failure in creating actual change in the world. We will examine the key parts of campaign materials: Is there a symbol/logo? Is there a statement or question that is used to provoke a response? Is there a visual language that is communicates directly or is easily replicated? This course is delivered in studios at City Lit.

What will we cover?

Each week we will look at a different aspect of campaigning for change, for example: anti-war, social justice, data visualisation and 'grass-roots' campaigns.
Across a number of short project exercises examining real examples in graphic design and media we will:
- consider the visual impact
- ask what engages the audience, and why?
- examine how we measure the success of a visual campaign?
- ask how has social media impacted on how people behave.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• understand and apply theories and principles of communication and design to your work
• use digital software and/or traditional processes to investigate your ideas, explore creative possibilities and develop your own creative responses.
• analyse and reflect on your creative ideas and solutions, and present your work to peers and tutors
• create a small final project using one or more of the processes we have explore.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You will be expected to have experience of previous study in graphic design or visual communications at least at an elementary level. Basic skills in Adobe Creative Cloud software will be an advantage, but are not essential. You should be comfortable working in a sketchbook. The course is appropriate for students who have previously completed the City Lit graphics course (VK414), the Advanced Graphics course (VK600), or one of our introductory level graphics courses.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course consists of workshops and short lectures, practical exercises, discussions and reviews. You will be required to practice your skills and develop projects outside the class, and will be asked to complete research outside of class time which you present during class for discussion. You will need to keep a sketchbook (see below), which will also occasionally be used or referred to during class discussions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

As a minimum, we recommend: an A4 sketchbook. You may wish to bring your own pencils, markers and pens if you have a preference.
It will also be useful to have a folio case (A3) to keep physical works in, and USB memory stick or separate hard drive for electronic files. As a student of City Lit, you should be able to get a student discount at London Graphics Centre stores if you register with them. Your tutor will be able to advise on materials in more detail, as the course progresses. It will be useful to have a digital camera or smartphone to document your work. We will use Padlet to share work - this is free (, but you will need to create an account to make the most of it.
Access at home to Adobe Creative Cloud software: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign (student costs circa £16 per month for subscription) would be beneficial, but it is not essential.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Suitable progression routes from this course may include other advanced City Lit courses (eg: Artist’s Moving Image Practice or Advanced print and media), which your tutor will advise, as suits your individual interests and practice. This course is an ideal primer for City Lit advanced graphic design (VK600).

George Stickney

George graduated with a degree in Art,Design and Media and soon after became interested in the burgeoning web design industry. He started learning HTML and associated web design skills and later worked for design agencies and as a freelance designer on a variety of projects ranging from large corporations to small businesses. After dipping his toe into the teaching pool, George found he really enjoyed sharing his skills with others and helping them to achieve their goals and has been teaching for Visual Arts at City Lit since 2012. The thing he enjoys most about teaching at City Lit is the wide range of interesting people he meets at work.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.