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Introduction to Graphic Design

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

    Available at no cost to eligible individuals (see criteria below).

  • Start Date(s): 9 November
  • Duration: 9 November - 7 December 2023, Thursdays 10am - 4pm (five weeks)
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus:
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Please note: This course is delivered through the Enterprising Ashfield project, which is funded by the Government's Towns Fund. Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is pleased to offer free (fully funded) places on this course to support individuals and employees of businesses that are based in the towns of Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Sutton-in-Ashfield.

The standard fee would normally be £465.

Graphic Design is at the core of many industries, from advertising, branding, identity and marketing to packaging design, illustration, motion graphics and publishing; it’s an essential skill for any aspiring designer to learn.

This course is suitable for anyone curious about graphic design; whether you’re already working in the industry, preparing to enter the workplace, or looking to change careers.

You’ll develop your skills to become a graphic design professional by building a portfolio of design work that demonstrates your design process including research, idea generation and exploration, and effective presentation skills.

On this course you'll learn fundamental graphic design principles including visual layout and typography, enabling you to experiment and manipulate image and text to create original design concepts.

You’ll gain new digital skills using industry-standard graphic design applications including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and XD.

With a limited number of places on the course, you'll have the one-to-one attention you need to ensure you leave with the skills to continue developing your skills at home or work.

Here's what our previous attendees said:

"I took this course to learn new skills in design and feel more confident using Adobe software, and to explore a possible career change into a design industry. I've taken away lots of tips and tricks for using Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. I have a better understanding of industry-standard graphics and how to create considered designs to a set project brief. I enjoyed creating a newsletter as one of the projects and applying the skills I learnt to a creative independent project. I also enjoyed the InDesign skills sessions; everything in the projects were useful"

"I wanted to be able to do graphic design at work and now have the skills to create these pieces, especially in Adobe Photoshop which I liked using the most"

"Great course and great tutor, thank you! I wanted to better my skills with Adobe and now know easier and better ways to use it, and how to correctly use the tools. It was all perfectly paced and I enjoyed seeing the end result of each project."

What you’ll study

You’ll work on a series of briefs that will give you experience of working to a professional standard, equipping you with valuable professional skills.

Working towards a resolved pieces of artwork, you’ll explore all aspects of visual communication, from idea generation to testing your designs in context, and creating an eye-catching brochure layout that’s ready for print and web formats.

Creating visually interesting layouts using images and text, you’ll learn how to capture the imagination of your target audience and build your understanding of the best industry practices.

You’ll develop an individual collection of work in line with your personal ambitions using the set briefs to guide your portfolio.

During this course you will:

  • explore idea generation and development through the design process
  • practice using the main software applications used by professionals in graphic design
  • work to project briefs, based on scenarios that reflect the professional design world
  • create coherent and focused pieces of visual communication
  • consider professional examples of work and images from industry
  • begin to develop your personal style
  • understand how to use visual language to target a specific audience
  • have time to develop your visual communication skills and begin to build a portfolio
  • receive feedback from your tutor and peers on your designs.

As well as demonstrating techniques to the group, there will also be time for one-to-one tutorials to aid your learning.

What will I gain?

By the end of the course, you'll have the beginnings of an industry-standard portfolio, as well as a folder of software instructions and new technical skills.

You’ll leave with a greater understanding of design principles, techniques and tips to use when using graphic design in the future, and have an overview of the modern graphic design industry.

Having gained confidence in your idea generation, design and decision-making processes, you’ll feel comfortable to respond to client design briefs in the future.

You’ll also receive a certificate of attendance when you complete the course, which is a great way to enhance your CV.

How you’re taught

In-person from the Summit Centre in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

Contact hours

9 November - 7 December 2023, Thursdays 10am - 4pm (five weeks)

Also available on the following dates:
11 January - 8 February 2024

Tutor profile: Antony Radcliffe

Antony is a practicing graphic designer and a member of the Chartered Society of Designers.

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.

Specialising in branding and identity and corporate communications, he has also worked in retail.

Antony is also a contributing lecturer on the Visual Communications programme at Nottingham Trent University.

Entry requirements

No design or software experience is required, although you must be confident in using a computer and be familiar with its functions such as saving files.

To be eligible for a place, you must live or work in the towns of Kirkby-in-Ashfield or Sutton-in-Ashfield. To check if your home or work postcode is eligible visit the Enterprising Ashfield postcode checker page.

Fees and funding

This course is available at no cost to eligible participants.

How to apply

Click to here apply

If you have any questions about this course, you can email or call us at +44 (0)115 848 2813.