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Graphic Design - Beginners

Graphic Design - Beginners

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Ruth Sykes, Ben Cain, Eugene Tan, Jamie Hearn, Stephen Barrett, Oswin Tickler


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

Online courses are not available to book on the day they start.

Tutor Description

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’.

Ben Cain is a graphic designer, lecturer and typographer who graduated from Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. He is the co-founder of the award-winning design practice, Studio Hyte, an Associate Lecturer on the BA Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins, and the Course Leader in the Foundational Design Process & Systems course at the New College of the Humanities. His work incorporates type design, visual identities, writing and publishing for clients within the arts and architectural sectors. Clients include, Furtherfield Gallery, the Barbican, Automated Architecture and the Serpentine, as well as his client based practice, Ben also works on self directed research projects with the aim of contributing to the field and discourse of Visual Communication.

Eugene Tan is a graphic designer, animator and filmmaker who graduated with a BA in Graphic Design and a MA in Communication Design at Central Saint Martins. He is the co-founder of the award-winning design practice, Studio Hyte (, a regional brand design consultant at Tough Mudder UK and Germany, and also teaches on the BA Graphic Design course at Central Saint Martins. He has worked with clients across a spectrum of industries such as Penguin Random House, D&AD, Royal Court Theatre, Sony Music Entertainment, Tod’s, VEVO, Furtherfield Gallery and The British Library.

Jamie Hearn is a practicing graphic designer and artist who is also the course leader for the Graphic Design Portfolio course at Central Saint Martins. In addition, he has experience teaching on a number of short courses. Previously, Jamie was Printmaking Artist in Residence at Central Saint Martins throughout 2011, where he is a BA Graphic Design graduate. He has commercial experience working for Pentagram, Johnson Banks and Landor Associates.

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.

Oswin Tickler studied Graphic Design at Falmouth College of Arts, graduating First Class (with honours), going on to complete a Masters in Communication Design at Central Saint Martins. Oswin worked as a Designer at the Labour Party on the successful 2005 election campaign, and led the design team on the rebranding in 2007. Having left Labour to go freelance, Oswin set up, and continues to run design studio Smallfury, working across a wide variety of design projects. He is also an Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London, and University for the Creative Arts.


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