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Graphic Design - Beginners

Graphic Design - Beginners

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Stephen Barrett, Ruth Sykes, David Preston, Diego Ulrich


Graphic design is about thinking and making. This computer-free course offers students a chance to jump right into the creative process. It is an introductory programme designed for those who are eager to learn and get to grips with the subject. Learning is supported by an emphasis on creative thought and idea generation.

Topics covered

  • The course is delivered through the setting of project briefs.
  • We will explore areas such as typography, layout and image-making.
  • Presentations and exercises are designed to aid participants to learn through doing the project.
  • You will spend some time doing group critiques, which are a key part of the process of developing design ideas through providing and receiving feedback.
  • Group critiques will also enable participants to learn and use design terminology while developing their critical dialogue with graphic design practices.

For courses delivered in the part-time mode (for example, over 10 weeks), homework between sessions will be encouraged. However, if students are unable to manage to do work between sessions, they still will be able to get feedback on whatever stage they have got to in the following week.

Please note that this is a computer-free course.

Entry requirements: None

Level: Beginners

Tutor: The tutor on this course changes depending on the course dates. Tutors’ biographies are provided below. If you need to know which tutor is teaching a specific course, please contact us at Short Course Enquiries.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Stephen Barrett graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007. From 2008–14 he was a designer at Fraser Muggeridge studio working with clients such as the Barbican, Camden Arts Centre, Henry Moore Institute, Serpentine Gallery, Tate and Whitechapel Gallery. In 2014 he set up his own design practice. He teaches Graphic Design at the University of East London and has lectured and conducted workshops at Winchester School of Art, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Typography Summer School 2010–12.

Ruth Sykes is a graduate of Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. In 2003, Ruth co-founded graphic design partnership REG ( and began teaching on the graphic communication design programme at CSM where she continues to work. Her design work encompasses exhibition, visual identity and publication design for arts, education and charity sector clients such as The Crafts Council, Central Saint Martins and Amnesty International. Ruth’s writing on graphic design history has been published in Eye magazine, the London Transport Museum’s book ‘Poster Girls’ and the American Institute of Graphic Artist’s journal ‘Eye on Design’.

David Preston is a graphic designer and typographer who gained a BA in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins. Upon graduation he took a post at the BBC, working as an information designer with the News Interactive team, responsible for producing the award-winning BBC News website. From 2006 to 2009 he worked as a designer for various small boutique London agencies, such as Kerr Noble, Studio Small, and Praline. During this time he worked with a broad range of clients including large international brands, publishers, arts and cultural institutions, and new start-ups. David holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Art & Design from CLTAD, and is currently studying for a PhD in the History of Design. Since 2005 he has taught at Central Saint Martins, on both Short Courses and at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He now runs his own studio practice, David Preston Studio, specialising in publishing and visual identity. Recent clients have included Universal Music, Lund Humphries, Antique Collectors Club and The Good Schools Guide.

Diego Ulrich has a BA in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins. While he was studying he won competitions by D&AD, MTV, Freitag and Penguin Publishing. After graduating, he worked as a designer for Damien Hirst's publishing company Other Criteria and BOP Consulting. Diego holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Art & Design. He teaches at Kingston School of Art and Central Saint Martins. Diego is the founder of Askeo, a design studio based in London. The studio integrates typography, graphic design, and the performing arts, working within a collaborative network of designers, filmmakers, and artists.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • A3 Sketchpad
  • A5 lined notepad
  • Pencil case containing the following items:
  • Scissors
  • Scalpel
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Black Marker Pen.

Available dates