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Graphic Design Residential Summer School for 16 to 18 Year Olds

Graphic Design Residential Summer School for 16 to 18 Year Olds

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
with others, Rachel Kirk


This two week course will stimulate and challenge you to develop your skills as a visual communicator while experiencing student life at Central Saint Martins college in London.

If you are interested in going on to study graphic design and visual communication at university, this is a fantastic opportunity to add somestrong work to your portfolio to and to grow as a young designer. However, the course is equally suited to those who are relatively new to the subject and want to discover what Graphic Design is all about.

This is not a computer software course and although we will use some Adobe Creative Cloud software at times, the course is designed to reflect the studio based idea development and creative problem solving nature of graphic design.

During the two week course you’ll explore the following subject areas, all supported by engaging talks, workshops, visits and group discussions:

  • Understanding visual language (including colour theory, signs & symbols)
  • Design as problem solving (visual research & creative solutions)
  • Illustration
  • Experimental collage (conceptual portraits)
  • An introduction to typography (letterforms)
  • Editorial design (book cover design)
  • Branding & visual identity

This course has been designed to be an exciting and unique experience for any 16-18 year-old who are:

  • Wishing to have a thorough introduction to Graphic Design.
  • Interested in exploring and developing their own design skills and
  • Wishing to build a portfolio for future studies.
  • Keen to meet and work with other students of different nationalities with an interest in Graphic Design.
  • Wishing to develop skills and experience in communicating their ideas and work.
  • Ready to have a lot of fun, while learning new skills and experiencing student life at Central Saint Martins.

Topics covered

  • Gain an introduction to Graphic Design, both practice and historical context.
  • Become accustomed to discussing / presenting your work,
    explaining your design choices to fellow students and tutors.
  • To become accustomed to receiving and reflecting on feedback as you develop your ideas in group ‘crits’ (critiques).
  • Explore and experiment with a range of creative processes and


  • An ability to conduct research related to a design brief and develop that research into ideas and concepts (research & development)
  • An ability to translate and develop research and early design concepts into final graphic design solutions in response to a specific brief (reflection and analysis)
  • An ability to communicate ideas/concepts through visual and verbal presentation (communication)
  • The ability to work independently and in groups on design briefs (independent & collaborative learning)

What’s included

  • Experience life as a student in London
  • Experience the energy and vibrancy of London as a world city including off-site visits to galleries and places of interest.
  • Guest lecturers including specialist practitioners, associate lecturers and past students
  • Certificates of attendance  
  • Guidance on the application process for the UAL 
  • Single rooms with Ensuite at Sketch House, UAL Halls of residence
  • Breakfast included at Sketch House, UAL Halls of residence
  • 13 nights total at Sketch House (check in Sunday before / check out final Saturday)
  • 24x7 helpline and overnight Summer School Representatives
  • Evening and weekend social activities to galleries and places of interest
  • Accompanied travel between the halls of residence and CSM’s Archway campus
  • Pre-paid travel card for local transport across London for week 2 of the course

The studio for the Graphics residential course are at Central Saint Martins’ Archway campus in North London, which is home to the Graphics Foundation Studies. Accommodation is nearby at Sketch House halls of residence in Finsbury Park. Both locations are within easy reach both of Central Saint Martins’ main campus at Kings Cross and everything else that London has to offer as a world centre of fashion in terms of exhibitions and galleries. Programmed activities during evenings and weekends, including gallery visits and events, will ensure that students are able to make the most of these resources. Please note that accommodation at Sketch House will only include breakfast, and does not cover lunch or dinner. However there is a range of options available to students very close at hand in Archway and Finsbury Park.

Accommodation will be provided from Sunday 2 August - Saturday 15 August and the course will be delivered from Monday 3 August - Friday 14 August.

    Developed by Rachel Kirk, Course Leader on Graphics Design Portfolio Course at CSM

    Please note: This course is for students aged 16 to 18 years old only

    Tutor Description

    As a graphic designer and communications professional Rachel Kirk brings a wide range of skills and experience to her teaching. She has been living, studying and working in London for over 20 years. She was awarded a First Class BA in Graphic Design from Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture & Design (London Metropolitan University). Following her BA she was selected to take part in the national Design Factory Symposium at The Design Museum and exhibited at The Design Junction during The London Design Festival 2012. After working as a marketing manager, communications consultant and freelance designer for a number of years Rachel returned to education, undertaking an MA in Graphic Communications Design at Central Saint Martins. In 2017 Rachel was selected as one of ten designers and visual artists from CSM to collaborate with musicians from The Guildhall School of Music & Drama to produce an audio visual event for The Barbican’s Curious Festival. Today Rachel works as a communications consultant, freelance designer and teaches at CSM.


    Please bring the following materials with you to the first session:

    • Pens & pencils
    • Steel ruler
    • Sketchbook/s

    Available dates

    If no dates are showing then please Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.