Graphic design: the fundamentals

Course Dates: 15/05/23 - 26/06/23
Time: 18:30 - 21:00
Location: Online
This course will give you a strong basis for creative problem solving, developing creative responses and being able to acknowledge how good graphic design is used within the world we engage with on a daily basis. Working on a series of short engaging tasks supported by contextual references and 1:1 support, you will build both subject confidence and the ability to produce creative solutions and responses.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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In stock
Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00

Course Code: VO286

Mon, eve, 15 May - 26 Jun '23

Duration: 6 sessions (over 7 weeks)

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

What is the course about?

This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of graphic design, taking you on a creative journey into working with visual language exploring mark making, shapes and patterns, typography and visual data all related to elements of graphic design we encounter on a daily basis.
During the course you will engage in short, fun tasks that will build your confidence and ability to problem solve as well as being able to generate and quickly produce visual responses using a range of tools and mediums. Subjects and tasks will be introduced with contextual references so that you have an understanding of how these fundamentals in graphic design have been applied in the real world incorporating both analogue and digital methods.
Online sessions will include work on the design elements and as a group you will be asked to discuss ideas and develop visual responses. This course introduces you to the fundamentals of graphic design as a subject and the basis of generating ideas and outcomes. Although you may have opportunities to create work using digital software such as Adobe CC, the course does not focus on teaching you the entire software package.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- Mark making, drawing methods and abstraction
- Typography and type forms
- Visual data
- Patterns, colour, layout, perception and communication
- Historical and contemporary references within graphic design
- Fundamentals and principles for future graphic design work.

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

- Identify what the fundamentals of graphic design are
- Recognise good graphic design with contemporary and historical references
- Produce ideas in response to a creative brief
- Explain and communicate processes and techniques involved in the generation and development of creative ideas.

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

The course is aimed at beginners or those who wish to revise basic skills and build up their knowledge of graphic design. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions and be willing to participate in group discussions and presenting of your own ideas and work. You should have basic knowledge and understanding of working on a computer, being able to photograph and upload imagery. Any specialist systems and software will be explained and introduced throughout the course.

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

Sessions will be led by the tutor, giving an oversight of the lesson and showing key visual references related to the class subject. Students will work occasionally in groups, and sessions will feature work that can be extended further by students as directed by the tutor. Contextual readings and other visual links will be provided to enhance the students awareness of the subject.

Having a safe space to work in with also access to a laptop. Students will need their own laptop ideally to use for class liaison and for uploading onto a course Padlet that enables your work to be seen by the class and the tutor. Students will need to also have a smart phone to able to take photos and upload in class.

Sessions will involve you producing work both off and on screen, discussing your ideas and presenting your work. Some tasks will be developed using digital tools and mediums (these will be explained in more detail by your tutor during the course).

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

We recommend students have access to the following resources to support them on the course:
- A4 or A3 sketchbook
- A3 bleedproof paper
- A4 brightly coloured papers
- Various marker pens, pencils, charcoal, pastels,
- Half-inch flat-head paintbrush
- 12 inch/300mm rule,
- Scalpel with 10A blades, or a small craft knife (for cutting letter shapes)
- Glue stick, half-inch masking tape

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencil to printing services, at 15% off.

To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

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

We offer a range of graphic design courses both online and class-based. For a full list of all available courses, please visit our website.

Andrew McCarten

Andy McCarten is a graphic design consultant and lecturer with over thirty years of commercial and academic experience in creating and leading national and international design projects for clients in TV, retail, manufacturing, finance and banking, across Europe and beyond. Andrew has worked with commercial clients including KLM, London Underground, Narvesen, TV2 Norway, BBC, BAA Heathrow, American Express. Having overseen the production of many print and electronic communications, in the commercial arena and within education, including a previous post at Ravensbourne University College for the art and design foundation course. The foundation course has creative idea generating and making at the core of the education process. He is currently developing courses with CityLit for the Advanced Visual Communications area. 'My motivation is to ensure my students get to fully realise their abilities and talents, to succeed in life.' Andrew is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and member of the Typographic Circle.

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.