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Kelly a former Graphic Design student stood in front of a banner she has designed

Kelly's Graphic Design Journey at York College

Here we catch up with Kelly, a former Graphic Design student, who credits York College with providing her with a great educational experience.

I began my journey at York College by studying the Graphic Design Extended Diploma Level 3. Graphic Design is my passion and was always the subject I enjoyed most at school, and so rather than studying A Levels, I chose to focus on a full-time course to develop my skills. Also, I hate exams! The course was a great option for me because it was all coursework-based. I then went on to study the Art & Design Foundation Diploma Post Level 3 for a year before progressing to university. It was a great course for exploring different areas in art and design and developing my practice, to then specialise in Graphic Design.

I really enjoyed the Graphic Design course and loved the opportunity to be creative full-time. Each term we were set a variety of creative briefs and could answer them to our preferred way of working. I’m really interested in illustration, so I was able to incorporate it into different projects. Even though our whole class was set the same brief, it was amazing to see how everyone interpreted it differently.

The course was quite fast paced, which I enjoyed as it never got boring or repetitive. Also, rather than writing notes and doing essays, we showed our working in sketchbooks and handed them in at the end of each project. I really loved this way of working because I find writing very challenging. We also took part in IT classes, which were so great at teaching us the basics of Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator etc. These are skills that I use every day in my career as a Graphic Designer.

The year-long Art & Design Foundation Diploma Post Level 3 course allowed me to explore different areas of design. At the start of the course, we began by studying a wide variety of design disciplines, for example, Fashion Design, 3D Design, Fine Art etc, before specialising in a chosen discipline for the remainder of the course. The tutors were great as they spent a lot of time working with me on my portfolio and helped me prepare and apply for university. It was a great stepping stone for me and really helped to bridge the gap between a vocational course and university.

I loved being a student at York College. My tutors were brilliant, they were really lovely people and they had lots of industry experience, so they provided me with a real insight into the different options available. The College had great facilities such as Apple Mac suites, book binding workshops, print making studios and a big library. I got to try so many different things whilst studying my courses! I was able to be explore my creativity and discover what I was interested in and what areas of design I wanted to specialise in.

Studying at York College has really helped me to achieve my career goals. During my time at College I was able to develop my design skills and build my confidence to go progress to Manchester School of Art, where I studied Graphic Design. Whilst at university I started working freelance alongside my studies, doing graphic design and illustration commissions. Since graduating, I am now working as a Junior Graphic Designer for a sports and mental health company, using all the computer programmes and skills I learnt at York College. I love my job as it allows me to create designs promoting good mental health, which I feel is really making a difference to people. I also still run my own freelance company alongside my job, creating cards, prints and stickers. I have recently been creating design work for pubs and taking part in art markets in York.

York College really helped me to progress into an area I’m passionate about, and I can’t wait to see where else my career takes me.

Kelly former Graphic design students work

Feeling inspired by Kelly’s story? It’s not too late to enrol on to one of our courses.

BA (Hons) Graphic & Communication Design
Graphic Design Extended Diploma Level 3
Art & Design Foundation Diploma Post Level 3

Visit Kelly's Instagram account to view more of her design work.