If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve probably seen a work of art recently that caught your attention. Or you may have, for the first time in ages, stopped to look at a well-drawn advertisement in your feed.
People with a certain eye for visuals lay out the ads in your social media feed and on your favorite sites. Even if you’re not happening upon ads, social media is overwhelmed with stunning drawings and word art. Graphic designers are part of this community, marrying the worlds of art and information to convey eye-catching messages.
As the Internet has become crucial to our daily lives, companies are leaning on graphic designers more than ever. Graphic design continues to evolve as organizations look for new ways to connect with customers online. Whereas graphic design used to be mostly about creating eye-catching ads and packaging, nowadays it also incorporates immersive experiences, unique projects that set companies apart, and more.
What Is Graphic Design?
Graphic design is the discipline of communicating ideas in a visual format. This format can vary from short animated videos to business cards to the digital billboards that illuminate Times Square at night. There are several career paths you can take after you’ve learned how to think like a graphic designer.
There’s more to graphic design than advertising. Graphic designers work with government organizations to build out posters and more that communicate critical information. They can work with software developers and UX/UI designers to plot out the look of a website and ensure it aligns with an organization’s brand standards.
Many of Shillington’s graduates go on to work as UX/UI designers, but it’s slightly different from graphic design despite some overlap. UX/UI design encompasses two fields; user experience design and user interface design.
User experience designers program and arrange websites and apps to make sure that users have a smooth and intuitive experience while using the product. User interface designers work specifically to make a website or app look good, with little to no coding involved.
Because a UI designer’s job is to make a visually attractive digital product, they use a lot of graphic design skills. But as they’re only working in that website or app space, they may not have the responsibilities or freedom of a full-time graphic designer. There’s room for both designers in the economy though, and if you think you’d find UI design fulfilling, it’s a very stable field.
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Graphic designers can have many different careers, and the field has a rich history that shows no signs of ending any time soon. Though Canva and other graphic design solutions are making the field more accessible to all, organizations with deep pockets still demand distinctive marketing and visual aids that stick with consumers.
The ability to think creatively is irreplaceable, and it could be your ticket to a lifelong career as a graphic designer.
Shillington Education is teaching people from all backgrounds, including dentists and cupcake store owners, how to think creatively. Students learn how to tailor brand strategies for clients based on meetings, their personalities, and target audiences. They also learn how to express those strategies creatively in a supportive environment.
Starting a Graphic Design Career with Shillington Education
If you’re interested in turning your eye for aesthetics into a career, Shillington Education is a school that could lay the foundation you need for success. Even if you have no previous art or design experience, Shillington’s art studio atmosphere can still prepare you for a fulfilling career.
Shillington has been turning people with no experience into successful graphic designers for 25 years, ever since it first opened its doors in Australia back in 1997. Though the tools have evolved and the Shillington curriculum has been modernized, the principles and mission haven’t changed as they’ve expanded to London, Manchester, and New York.
People from a range of backgrounds are starting new careers in design or improving their skills thanks to the unique Shillington Education atmosphere. And now, thanks to its online courses, you can experience the Shillington Education curriculum from anywhere in the world.
Shillington Education’s Studio Setting
Shillington’s model is different from the traditional design school model, where students have to compete with each other to stand out.
Instead, students learn to collaborate to tackle design challenges together, simulating the real design workspaces that you’ll see after graduation. These design challenges come from Shillington Education’s world-class instructors who, true to the Shillington way, do things differently from many teachers you’ve had.
Shillington Education Instructors
The instructors at Shillington are more like mentors than professors. They are real working designers with strong portfolios and years of experience to back up the skills that they’re teaching students. They know the challenges of working in a design career, and what it’s like to interact with clients.
This real-world experience makes them particularly qualified to pass on the nuances of working in design via the school’s curriculum.
Shillington Education Curriculum
During their time at Shillington, students learn the fundamentals of design and design theory, including the five principles of design and how to think like designers. They also learn how to use the tools of the trade like Adobe Creative Cloud and Figma.
It’s one thing to learn all the design skills you need, but the other half of the job is using those skills to make a client happy. To teach you how to work with clients, your instructors play the role of a customer in every design challenge. This role-playing exercise helps give you the experience of bringing other people’s visions to life.
Students begin each new lesson by learning a concept through a short lecture. The “client” then gives them a creative brief for their next project. Students then research, generate ideas, and plan out mockups that satisfy the brief before receiving a critique on their work and additional information on the concept.
With this structure, students learn how to meet clients’ requests while polishing the quick-thinking skills they’ll need to flourish under quick deadlines. Unlike a traditional learning experience, you won’t be completing an assignment and waiting over a month for your grade. You’ll be getting direct feedback from a client within minutes, just like in the real world.
As you complete projects, you’ll start to build up a portfolio to show potential employers. With work examples that show your mastery of several aspects of graphic design, you’ll be able to explain your mastery of core concepts and your strong qualifications.
If you’re interested in experiencing Shillington Education’s curriculum for yourself, you’ve got plenty of options. The school offers nine-month part-time and three-month full-time options on its many campuses. But now you can also take an online part-time course that allows people outside of New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane to take advantage of its stellar curriculum.
Shillington Education Online Courses
There are a few differences between the online courses at Shillington Education and the in-person courses that are worth noting. Though both courses offer the same structure and successful curriculum, it’s worth considering these differences to decide which path is best for you.
The on-campus courses offer two teachers in the classroom throughout the lecture, demo, and critique process to provide support. Each in-person course has a 12:1 student to teacher ratio, so you can easily access your instructors’ advice. You’ll also be able to use the design libraries and printers that Shillington keeps in its facilities.
The on-campus courses also allow you to meet guest lecturers who work in the industry and network with classmates in person, outside of campus. And it’ll be easy to meet up with them, as all campuses are near major transport links.
The online courses move the in-person structure into a live online format with a slightly more personal 9:1 student to teacher ratio. If you’re an international student, or you’re not living near any of Shillington Education campuses, this is an option that still allows you to take advantage of the course.
You’ll be able to meet students from all over the world, which could provide unique opportunities in the future that you may not get from networking within your city. And the Slack channels allow everyone to stay in touch even after classes end, so you can still build a sense of community. Plus, there are guest lecturers from around the world that pop into the classrooms from time to time, so you’ll still get that outside expert experience.
Of course, these options wouldn’t matter if people couldn’t afford to attend Shillington. The school’s reasonable prices compared to a university coupled with its fair payment options ensure an affordable educational experience.
Shillington Tuition and Payment Options
There are two part-time online courses here in the United States; one for the West Coast and one for the East Coast. Each course costs $12,950 upfront, but you can also make six monthly payments at $2,159 each.
If you’d prefer to attend the courses in person, the New York campus offers both part-time and full-time options. The part-time option is the same price on campus and online, but the payment plan has a slightly different structure. The part-time course is $12,950 upfront or $13,000 if you decide to use the payment plan. The full-time course costs $13,950 upfront or $14,000 with the payment plan.
The on-campus part-time course requires a $1,000 deposit to hold your spot and $11,950 before the first day of the course if you’re paying upfront. There’s also a payment plan where you can pay a $1,000 deposit to secure your position, then $5,000 before the first day of the course, followed by 10 monthly payments of $700.
The full-time course costs $13,950 upfront with a $1,000 deposit to secure your spot and $12,950 due before the first day of the course. There’s also a payment plan available where you pay a $1,000 deposit to secure your spot, then $6,000 before the first day of the course, and then make 10 weekly payments of $700.
Shillington offers half scholarships for its September intake across all six campuses and its online courses. Be sure to follow the school on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to be the first to hear about its scholarships. Also, once you’re admitted to the program, it’s good to budget for your suggested supplies and printing expenses that you’ll incur during the course.
Whichever option you choose, you can’t lose. One course structure may seem more appealing to you than another, but both give you the same top-notch education. You’ll get to see firsthand what makes Shillington Education different.
The Shillington Education Difference
Shillington has years of positive reviews on its site and on Career Karma that let you know what you can expect from the program. Graduates have gone on to work at some of the biggest names in business using the education they received at the program.
The Shillington Education blog is home to plenty of success stories from the program, including those from designers who joined Shillington without any previous design experience. These designers invariably approached the course with some skepticism, with many even thinking that they couldn’t make a career change at all.
But the difference between other ways of studying graphic design and Shillington’s is that this school instills confidence. It throws you into the work with a supportive and experienced staff. You’ll be learning alongside many people who may be in the same position as you—some who haven’t even drawn anything since preschool.
But together you’ll grow stronger. You’ll collaborate and build each other up. You’ll think creatively and solve problems together. And before you know it, you could be the next success story on the Shillington blog answering questions from your job at Apple, HBO, Wix, or more.
If you’re interested in becoming a graphic designer, Shillington has everything you need to get started faster at a lower cost than a traditional higher learning route. You’ll build up a portfolio that is sure to stand out from your competition during your time in the course.
If you want to get a jumpstart on your new career from the comfort of your own home, apply for the online September cohort today.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.