Graphic Design

Why study Graphic Design?

Design and Graphic Design is a thriving industry in the UK. It is a subject that prepares students for the opportunity to enter the design world, where the communication of products, ideas and information are reliant on good skills in combining images and words to an audience or a client. A good Graphic Designer will explore ways to convey their ideas through a range and combination of images and words, carefully considering the use of composition, colour, contrast and space to ensure the message or product is visually dynamic. Student’s manipulation of words and images through traditional and digital media will allow them to experiment with a range of techniques and software, through the planning, making and evaluation of their work. Graphic Design, like all the arts, promotes problem solving, experimentation, creativity, image analysis and Art History but also an understanding of digital platforms, marketing and media.

What does the study of Graphic Design involve?

The College follows the OCR examining board specification, where students are expected to develop their own ideas, through skilful recording, experimentation with of techniques and materials leading to the presentation of final outcomes that are clearly inspired by the Graphic Design of other practitioners. We provide you with the facilities and support necessary to develop your skills to produce high quality, creative and individual pieces of work. The course will involve classroom study and practical work as well as gallery and museum visits. Students are encouraged to undertake independent research and practical work, using various sources of information to help them develop their own style and to create their own portfolio of work.

Why at Salesian College?

This is a new course for the college, but not for the teachers delivering the subject. Our experience allows students to choose personal projects and develop independent styles as they explore a breadth of graphic design techniques and approaches. A-Level students have their own Art/Graphic Design room at the College, which is available, with its subject specific resources, to all at any time.

What does the course involve?

Year 1. You will develop your own ideas through a project theme of your choice. This will encompass classroom work which will be workshop based where you can explore and experiment with different ideas, materials and techniques. You will be expected to conduct individual research analysis of other Graphic Designers styles and show an understanding of how to apply this to your own work. At the end of the year you will need to submit a portfolio which will demonstrate the breadth and depth of study, selecting your best work as well as showing the ability to develop a project from an idea to a finished final piece.

Year 2. Unit 1. This is a practical unit that includes written elements, in which you are expected to develop investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme, leading to a finished piece or pieces. It involves contextual studies which relate your work to other artists and includes preparatory work as well as a written study of no more than 3,000 words. The practical work in your project (60% of your final grade) should demonstrate confident skill and understanding of manipulating a variety of approaches to Graphic Design.

Year 2. Unit 2. This is an externally set assignment (40% of your final grade) which will require you to undertake preparatory work, in the format of a practical project, which leads to a 15 hour, examination final piece.

If you have any further enquiries, please email Mr Stuart Bannister, Head of Art and Design at