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Graphic Design - Beginners

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Course Fee:


  • Start Date(s): 4 October 2023 / 17 January 2024; 10 April 2014
  • Duration: Wednesdays 6 - 8:30 pm, ten weeks
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Aimed at the beginner with limited or no knowledge of graphic design, this popular introductory course combines theoretical and practical content within a professional, commercial perspective.

  • The development of ideas, the creative process and an understanding of visual language, layout and typography will all be included in this course to help you develop your knowledge of the different disciplines and skills associated with graphic design.
  • On this PC based course, you will create innovative compositions using words, pictures and colour through workshops and projects that combine theoretical discussions with practical applications.
  • The course is ideal if you are building your portfolio and can act as an introduction to the subject for those considering future studies or a new career.
  • On successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance.

Here's what our previous attendees have said:

'I just wanted to say a huge thank you for leading such a wonderful course. Your course and coaching style has given me the first steps I needed to work towards a career within the design world. A massive thank you for the great motivation and one to one time you dedicated to me.'

‘A very good insight into graphic design and how it's done in the modern world. I finally got to grips with fairly complex programmes.'

‘I found the course very enjoyable, with a build-up in the level of difficulty. One to one feedback provided me with some 'ah-ha' moments, and demonstrations in software I have never used were great. I wanted to do the course to broaden my job prospects and learn from an experience designer. I've taken away a portfolio and knowledge I can build on, and a better understanding on the theory.'

‘I learnt to use Adobe properly, and have learnt how to have an eye for colour. I enjoyed the one to one conversations and paying close attention to other people's work on the course too. The second project was absolutely exciting.'

What you’ll study

On this course, you will:

  • learn about graphic design today and who's shaping the design world - and apply this knowledge to your work
  • work with typography in a creative and experimental way
  • create layouts that communicate a clear message
  • select and edit images and combine these with layouts and typography
  • use Adobe Creative Suite at an introductory level
  • work to a commercial project brief and understand the processes involved, from initial research to final presentation
  • critique your work and that of others so as to improve your knowledge of why some graphic design is successful and others less so
  • bring together the different disciplines within graphic design so as to create innovative and cohesive results.

What is Graphic Design?
Design as a way of life
The fundamental components of design
Presenting your Work (Portfolios)
How to build and present a graphic design portfolio
Copyright law and intellectual property
Analysis, feedback, self-reflection

Project 1 brief using the building blocks; form, colour, type, size, scale, space, juxtaposition
Mood boards
The Design Process
Introduction to Adobe InDesign
Research and initial sketch ideas
Mark-Making (Analogue and Digital)
Introduction to Adobe Illustrator
Development using analogue and / or digital visualising
Layout principles and approaches

Project 2 brief and layout development (visual literacy using a bank of inspiration)
Attitudes to effective visual creativity
Adobe InDesign typographic / layout tools
Typographic principles
Employing layout techniques
Professional examples from the contemporary design world
Idea development and understanding the spatial requirements of objects
Colour Theory
Final outcome; digital layouts and visuals

Project 3 brief – approaches to layout and typography
Analogue and / or digital
Idea development
Applying page layout principles
Combining Images and Type
Digital visualising incorporating Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop
Basic typography principles (do’s and don’ts)
Using InDesign typographic controls

How you’re taught

This course will be delivered in person on Nottingham Trent University city campus.

Contact hours

25 teaching hours

Tutor Profile

Antony Radcliffe is a practicing graphic designer who also teaches on the degree programme at NTU.

He has extensive experience in the design industry having worked with renowned international consultancies such as Ogilvy and Mather and BMP.

His creative work has been commissioned by a range of blue-chip clients including IBM, Land Securities PLC, ICI and Amec.

With specialisms in branding and identity, information graphics, b2b and b2c print marketing, he has also worked in retail and FMCG.

Campus and facilities

You will be based in the School of Art and Design on the City Campus.

You’ll find collaborative working spaces where you develop your sketches and concepts, and IT suites equipped with industry standard software including Adobe Creative Cloud.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No design or software experience is required, although you should be confident in saving files and basic computer functions.

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No design or software experience is required, although you should be confident in saving files and basic computer functions.

You must be over the age of 18 in order to attend this course.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £495.

*Payment is due at the time of booking.

The fee for this course is £495.

*Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply