How to be a designer: developing personal projects

Course Dates: 24/10/21 - 12/12/21
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Mixed Mode (Online and Onsite)
How to be a designer is intended for students who may have had some art and design training or who are keen to develop their own working practises further within the context of graphic design projects. It will challenge you to have agency with the design methods, to engage your interests in fresh perspectives and designed outcomes, and seek to support your own folios of work.
This course will be delivered online and onsite. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £140.00

Course Code: VK257

Sun, day, 24 Oct - 12 Dec '21

Duration: 6 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

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?

You will reflect on your abilities and aspirations and seek out subjects to investigate further as a basis for a particular project. You will actively research the subjects and visit contemporary shows at museums/galleries. You will be working in class with like-minded students, but on your own personal content. The teaching will be based on the design methodologies of research/responses/ideas/production/critiques/presentation, but in a positive and supported environment within the classroom and online.

This course will be delivered online and onsite, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.

What will we cover?

Design research – sourcing information and appraising how you may use it
Design ideas – how do we generate fresh ideas, we will collectively and individually explore
Design production – working both by hand and by Adobe systems we will achieve visual outcomes
Design context – through active research and studio discussions you will identify visual linkage with concepts and ideas that enable personal development.

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

Create project outcomes from your own independently developed research and input
Showcase a high level of creativity
Build confidence to be the originator of projects and enhance your agency to get things done.
Challenge your assumptions and personal biases, to enable you to have fresh insights into the possibilities with graphic design.
Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the value of research to discovering fresh positions on subjects.

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

This course is designed for those students with experience and are of an intermediate level. You will need to be computer literate, so you can write and produce text to support your design ideas and research, but you may not have any particular design training. You should have some reasonable skill with art and design processes of making and drawing, but having the intelligence to investigate a subject, is also very appropriate and useful.

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

Teaching methods will include presentations by the tutor that will include filmed excerpts and selected imagery, setting of specific short tasks and longer tasks to extend your thinking and research. Group discussions of concepts and ideas, positive critiques to challenge and test your potentials. There will be work required each week beyond the classroom to ensure you engage with the module and gain a holistic grasp of the design methods and creative potentials of the course.

We use Google Classroom as a source of information and content about the module, and you will have assignments to submit onto this, which will then be marked and fed back to you with tutor comments. We will also have a class Padlet, which acts like a large online wall space for students to submit ideas and works on for group sharing and discussion.

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

Basic materials will be provided when working in the studios. You will benefit from havnig the following to assist you on the course such as:
Pencils, pens, fineliners, markers, felt-tips, A3 cartridge pad, A4 or A5 sketchbook, some wet media, such as inks or water-coloured paints and brushes, as well as an A3 folio/carry case.

You can get a student discount at London Graphics Centre if you supply them evidence of being enrolled on the course. You can apply for their 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-

You will have access to Adobe creative Cloud whilst working in the studios however, having your own Adobe account will also help you when working away from the course. Please visit this link to check the software and hardware requirements for installing Adobe CC software:

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

CityLit have many other courses in art and design that may be helpful to you such as the Advanced Graphic Design one year course, Art & design portfolio projects or more technical courses focussed on photography or Adobe software. For full details of courses on offer, 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.