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Graphic Communication

A LEVEL

Got something to say? Learn how you get the message across on this course where you’ll show us you’ve got designs on an exciting future.

Persuasive messaging is pervasive. Billboards, film, television, magazines. On everything we buy.

On this hugely practical, playful, inspiring, interactive, exciting and experimental course, you’ll learn how words and images are brought together for maximum impact. And you’ll be at the sharp end building your own brand through Graphic Communication from day one.

This course revolves around working with briefs. Using words and images to interpret data, concepts, and emotions. To brand, inform, illustrate and entertain. And always with originality at the core of your work.

Your Graphic Communication A Level is the closest you’ll get to working in a commercial studio.

Thanks to Xaverian’s industry-standard art and design hardware and working environments, you’ll be using all the same tools and gaining the skills needed to thrive with your future employers.

As you’d expect from a graphics-based course you’ll be called upon to do a lot of drawing – but depending on the brief you can choose to do this by hand or using the Apple Macs and a huge array of technical tools in our state-of-the-art multimedia facilities.

The opportunities to exude creativity are limitless. You’ll work in three dimensions, in film, and a world of other media.

As you’d expect from a course demanding constant bouts of originality, your marks are based predominantly on coursework (60%, versus 40% for exams).

Think how you would persuade, intrigue, instruct, warn, and sell. Consider how you’d craft and construct such messaging. From print to photography, animation to digital imagery, you’ll get the chance on this course to experiment freely as you finesse your style and develop a unique approach.

Throughout your studies you’ll be inspired through a programme of gallery visits, and guest speakers delivering immersive workshops.

We’ve come a long way since cave paintings, the earliest known examples of Graphic Communication. Now it’s your turn to show us how to express ourselves through printed messages and images.

To join this course we’d expect you to have studied Art or Design at GCSE – or share with us a visual portfolio with examples of your work in these areas.

LESSON TIME!

What’s got a parrot’s head, giraffe’s legs, and a suit?

Today’s assignment!

We start the session discussing briefs – a regular part of the life of a commercial designer.

You might have to design a book cover. Or logos for a brand. Posters for a festival.

On this video you’ll join our Graphic Communication teacher Emma Baker for a fun challenge designing characters through collage.

You’ll then trace your creations to make them truly unique. And scan them to finish off your work on computer.

We don’t expect you to have experience using Adobe Photoshop, but you’ll be taught how to use the full range of photo editing and illustration applications.

Black belt tip for character design: try going for the ‘hands in pockets’ look – so you don’t need to draw hands.

Play Video

What’s next?

Accordion Content

Graphic Communication students regularly find themselves in:

  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Digital Design
  • Product Development roles

where they flex their creativity and use the processes and methodologies gained at Xaverian.

A lot of our students progress to degree courses in art and design-related subjects. Multimedia, Web Design, Packaging, Advertising, Illustration and Animation are among the most popular disciplines.

Portfolio Unit:

You work and develop ideas using a range of processes, skills and techniques producing a portfolio of coursework exemplifying work carried out.

Personal Investigation:

You will develop a practical project which will be supported by a written element of 1000-3000 words.

Externally Set Assignment:

You will have approximately ten weeks to produce prep work. At the end of this lead in time you will produce final work in 15 hrs of unaided, supervised time.

 
Entry requirements:

Six good passes at GCSE including two at grade 6 or above

Course specific entry requirements:

Grade 5 from Art or Graphics. Merit or above if BTEC*

If you haven’t taken an Art GCSE then you’ll need to put together a portfolio, which will be reviewed by a teacher. 

Course duration:

2 years

Assessment methods:

1 exam project, 1 coursework project

Course type:

Linear A-level

Exam board:

AQA

The Graphics course at Xaverian gives you the opportunity to develop a highly creative, personal style whilst understanding and acknowledging the needs of professional clients.

You will learn about the design process from thumbnailing and developing ideas to finalising outcomes. You will experiment with traditional manual techniques such as drawing/illustration, typography, collage, printmaking, photography and 3D construction. Often you will then enhance or translate your designs digitally using Adobe Photoshop and/ or Illustrator to achieve a more professional, finished look. Previous experience working with this computer software is useful but not essential.

Your learning experiences will include: whole class and small group demonstrations; individual discussions and personal exploration; sketchbook/ design sheets and larger scale developmental work; study trips and working with artists.

The College appealed to me because it allows you to be independent but offers support when you need it. I’ve really enjoyed Graphic Design as it’s allowed me to be creative but was also a fun and interesting subject to study.

Minnie Hall, Graphic Communication

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