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Five reasons why you should study graphics

Curious about studying graphics, but unsure whether you should take the plunge? We asked Martin Schooley, Course Leader, for his top five reasons why someone should study graphics.

We have four related graphics courses at NUA: BA (Hons) Design for Publishing, BA (Hons) Graphic Communication, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, and BSc (Hons) User Experience Design.

There are some areas of overlap, but each specialises in an area not covered by the other courses.

During the first year students on any of these four courses share a common curriculum, allowing them to swap (if they want to) to one of the other courses before the start of the second year.

Regardless of which you might choose, here are five reasons why you should study graphics.

Martin Schooley, Course Leader

1. Make a difference

Graphics is about visual communication; that is – communication that people see, read, and interact with.

The work you produce will inform, educate, instruct, persuade and entertain your audience. This puts you in a powerful position to be a force for good and a catalyst for positive change.

Many of our students are politically engaged and interested in design for ethical and environmental causes. As a visual communicator you have a unique opportunity to produce work that can have a positive impact on the world.

Ethan Brown, Ben Chamberlain Ella Flood, BA Graphic Design

2. Learn to communicate

People trained in graphics are expert communicators – a skill that has enormous value in any/all walks of life, not just in graphic design.

You will learn to identify and solve problems. You’ll learn to ask relevant questions and to listen (listening is a vital part of communicating), with an intention to identify what lies at the heart of an issue.

Graphics is often about distilling complex information into something more simple, and not everyone is capable of doing this. But studying graphics will help you to become really good at doing this.

Ollie Turner, BA Design for Publishing

3. It’s about collaboration

All professional graphics people collaborate, even freelancers and sole-traders. Our courses actively encourage you to collaborate on many occasions throughout the three years of study.

Most great work is produced as a result of working with others, taking on board different views, opinions and perspectives, and collectively working towards a shared and desired outcome.

However, team-work isn’t always easy. Being able to collaborate is a genuine skill, transferable to most walks of life. Studying graphics will help you to develop the skill of collaborative working.

“The best reason to be a graphic designer is that you get to learn about the whole world through the projects that you do”

Martin Schooley, Course Leader

4. Facing and shaping the future

There has possibly never been a better time to study graphics.

Most things that you might want to do (in terms of designing solutions) are now possible. Software has never been more powerful, nor so easy and intuitive to learn.

Hardware is developing all the time, and the means by which you deliver and broadcast your designed outcomes is growing wider all the time. A decade or two ago, almost everything a graphic designer produced was printed.

This is no longer the case. Our graphics students are regularly making motion design, animated typography, motion identities, digital advertising, social media content, interactive design, UI/UX for web and apps, as well as AR and VR.

By studying graphics you become instrumental in making and shaping the future of the ways in which the public see and digest information.

Jamie Greengrass, BA Graphic Communication

5. It’s great to be nosy!

Great graphics is produced by people who are curious and want to learn about the information that they are dealing with.

The best reason to be a graphic designer is that you get to learn about the whole world through the projects that you do.

Look at it this way: if you are designing an identity for a company, you need to understand what that company does. If you are designing the poster for a play, you need to know what the play is about. If you are designing a new app for a bank, you need to understand how people want to use a banking app.

The more you know about your subject matter, the better your design solutions will be.

You can keep up with what’s going on in graphics on their Instagram @nua_graphics

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