9 Graphic Design Courses for a life of font perfectionism and colour obsession

Did you know that according to the LinkedIn Future of Skills 2019 Report, human-centred design is among the top 10 rising skills of workers in the Asia-Pacific Region? In Singapore, it comes in third! UX design expertise, for example, is particularly sought after.

Graphics Designers, or those with Graphics Design backgrounds, are some of the best people to look for when it comes to human-centred design, which “entails the developing of solutions to problems, with a deep focus of understanding the human perspective in all steps of the process”[i]. After all, in the words of Gareth David (check out his video below), graphics design is the organization and presentation of information through a creative process for a particular function.

If you have an eye for details and well-composed work, pick graphics design up! Here are some courses with graphics design in their syllabi.

Course List*:

*All course fees are accurate as of August 2019 and subject to changes depending on the school. All fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated. This list is not exhaustive and is also not an endorsement of the courses listed; do conduct sufficient research to make sure a course fits your needs!

Short Courses

LASALLE College of the Arts has been teaching art since 1984 when it was known as the St Patrick’s Art Centre. Today, the institution offers over 30 different programmes in contemporary arts and design education and practice from certificate to Masters Level. The Fundamentals of Graphic Design courses are recommended for anyone interested in Graphic Design and are held on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Duration: 8 classes each course, part-time (7-10pm, twice weekly)

Accreditation: LASALLE College of the Arts is EduTrust certified.

Fees: $540 per unit, special package course fee available at $960. National Silver Academy subsidies are also available.

Curriculum: Please enquire directly with LASALLE College of the Arts.

Part of SUSS’s Continuing Education and Training (CET) stable of programmes, the Graphic Designs Essentials course is best for individuals with a basic foundation in Fine Arts. It adopts a design thinking approach to examine the relevance of graphic design to children and adolescents. Students will end the course with practical experience in proposal writing (for a self-published book cover), along with a series of graphic design works.

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Curriculum: Topics covered include the Principles of Design, Design process and representations, Typography & Its Applications, as well as Grids and Layout.

Diplomas

Established in 2013, the M.A.D in M.A.D School stands for Marketing, Art and Design.

Duration: 22 months full-time, 30 months part-time

Accreditation: The M.A.D School is registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE)

Fees:  ~$18, 105.00 for full-time (822.95 per month) and ~$15,771 for part-time (525.70 per month), excluding misc. fees

Curriculum: Modules taught include Visual Communication, Typography and Communication Design, and Digital Studios

Singapore’s pioneer art institution, NAFA was established in 1938. The institution currently has 3 schools and aligns its diploma courses with its degree courses, which are offered in partnership with reputable universities in the United Kingdom. The Diploma in Graphic Communication aims to help its students build a diverse portfolio while cultivating critical thinking skills and creativity. There will be a 6-month internship and graduates will have the option of pursuing a Bachelor in Arts (Hons) Design and Media. Otherwise, career options open to you include art directing, art education, branding design and graphic design—just to name a few.

Duration: 3 years

Accreditation: NAFA is EduTrust certified.

Fees: $4,600 for Singaporeans, $7,150 for Permanent Residents, $9,900 for International Students (per annum). Excludes misc. fees.

Curriculum: Modules covered include Design in Society, Design in Context, and Drawing Fundamentals. Electives include choices like Metalsmithing, Costume Design, and Entrepreneurship in the Arts.

Degrees

This degree is validated by the Glasgow School of Art (GSA)—Scotland’s only public, independent arts school—which comes in 8th in the QS 2019 World University Rankings for Art and Design. The Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Communication has Graphic Design available as one of three concentrations. Teaching faculty are active in research within the graphic industry (as consultants or freelancers), and the school brings in respected designers from Europe to supplement lessons via a weekly series of professional practice lectures. The degree includes a mandatory 4-week immersion programme to GSA’s home campus.

Duration: This degree is a top-up and caters to polytechnic diploma holders, so it is only 2 years long.

Fees: $10,380 for Singaporeans, $20,200 for PRs, $27,285 for international students (per annum, with tuition grant).

Curriculum: Topics include Design Research methods, as well as Studio Practice and Design Process.

NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media imparts knowledge via a  studio-based learning model; its Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design Art combines three pathways in Interaction Design, Product Design and Visual Communication into an integrated programme in Design. The degree will comprise of a 10-week internship elective (prescribed) and will end off with a Final Year Project. Students can choose to pursue a minor in Art History or a double major.

Duration: 4 years

Fees: $8,200 for Singaporeans, $11,500 for PRs, and $17,550 for international students (per annum with tuition grant).

Curriculum: Modules include History of Design, Typography, Spatial Design, and Editorial Design. Please refer here for more info.

Postgraduate

Newly launched, the Diploma in Design (Visual Communication) is for those who are working or intend to work in Brand Design, Packaging Design, Web Design and Advertising. It is made up of 5 Modular Certificate (MC) courses, which are the Certificate in Design Foundation, the Certificate in Visual Design, the Certificate in Brand Design, the Certificate in Web & Motion Design and lastly the Certificate in Communication Design.

Duration: 2.5 academic years, 2-3 evenings weekly

Fees: $2,383.45 for Singaporeans <40, $1,588.95 for Singaporeans aged 40 and above, $6,355.80 for Permanent Residents. Reduced fees are available for those under various SSG training support schemes. Excludes misc. fees. The course is SkillsFuture credits eligible.

Curriculum: The 5 MCs comprise 11 modules in total. These are Principles of Design, Design History, Basic Drawing, Graphic Communication, Video Production, Brand Experience, Brand Communication, Web Design, Motion Design, Communication Design and lastly, Portfolio Design.

3dsense Media School was founded in 2003 with the mission of nurturing talent for the global digital media industry. Classes at the institution are kept to no more than 25 students, adopt an industry immersion curriculum with periodic industry reviews, and are active in industry outreach. Students get the chance to pitch their work and skills to industry studios, for example! The institution’s Diploma in Motions and Graphic Design is awarded by SkillsFuture Singapore and is open to students with no prior knowledge in the arts. Over 87.5% gain employment in motion and graphic studios after graduation.

Duration: 12 months

Accreditation: 3dsense Media School is EduTrust certified.

Fees: Please enquire directly with the school.

Curriculum:  The fundamentals of graphic design (software such as After Effects and Cinema 4D, typography, motion design and more), communicative aspects of motion graphics and project execution based on real industry briefs and requirements, creating graphics like infographics and building a demo reel.

The education arm of the First Media Design Group, the First Media Design School offers design, design management, and design entrepreneurship programmes at the diploma level (diploma/advanced diploma/specialist diploma). The Specialist Diploma in Visual Communication (Graphic Design) conducts classes both in the day and in the evening, covering topics like design thinking, graphic design essentials, idea generation techniques and publication design. Everything culminates in a Final Major Project, in which students are required to develop a full brand book with a new logo, marketing collateral, data analysis report and more.

Duration: 6 months full-time or 15 months part-time

Accreditation: First Media Design School is registered with the Committee for Private Education.

Fees:  Please enquire directly with the institution.

Curriculum: Modules include Typography by Design, Idea Generation Techniques, Publication Design, as well as Design Studio Management

Graphics design skills remain highly prized today as technology advances: as a skill that requires human-led intelligence to respond to ongoing trends and changes it cannot be entirely mimicked by robots or AI, and is seen as one way to future proof one’s career.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to upskill, though!

Most of all, if you spend hours painstakingly choosing the perfect typeface, appreciate A* branding, or hoard beautiful packaging…graphics design might be the right fit!  We hope this list has gotten you off to a good start in your graphics design journey and wish you all the best!

[i] LinkedIn Future of Skills 2019 Report

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