The graphic design course blog for
HND Visual Communication at Edinburgh College

Love Design Week 2021

5 September 2021

We are kicking off the 2021 session with a week-long design conference this year. This is a new way of running the induction week, and for the first time will be a fully integrated series of events which both Graphics Design and User Expereince students can participate in. The programme features speakers for all sorts of creative backgrounds and includes many with strong connections to the course. The talks are based around themes including Industry, process and Inspiration. Some of the speakers will be deliverign their talks from the Studio R310 here in the college, but others will be further afield, including Amsterdam, Berlin, and even Tasmania.  Hopefully this will be the perfect platform to get all our classes engaged as we move back towards face-to-face teaching later this Semester.  LDW Programme - 


LDW Event #1 : 10.30AM on Zoom
Jason Little (Co-Founder/Executive Creative Director, For The People) talks about design, ethics and going global. Jason will be joining us live from Tasmania.

LDW Event #2 : 2PM on Zoom
Ayesha Islam (The Covey Agency), a 2017 graduate and DMA Breakthrough winner, talks about her journey from college to a career in design.

LDW Event #3 : 2PM on Zoom
UX Professional Poppy Reid and Emma Chapman (Product Designer at whereismytransport.com) talk about their work in the world of digital design.


‍LDW Event #4 : 10.30 AM on Zoom
Former graduate Terry Smith talks about his career development, from Art Director at the Union in Edinburgh, to his current role as a Product Design at Dyson in Bristol.

LDW Event #5 : 2PM on Zoom
Berlin-based Designer and Design Sprint pioneer Rob Hamblin shares insights from his work at AJ&Smart and his new company, betheleap.


LDW Event #6 : 10AM on Zoom
Gemma Gorton (D&AD Pencil 2020) & Pav Vorobjovs (YCN 2019) chat about why we enter student design awards, and what it takes to win one.

LDW Event #7 : 2PM on Zoom
Ken Sjoberg (Code Clan, Peccadillo Pictures) discusses his ongoing personal film poster project, recently showcased by Adobe.

LDW Event #8 : 2PM on Zoom
Edinburgh-based freelancer Scott Boobis talks about his design process, including lettering, editorial and kinetic type.


LDW Event #9 : 9.30AM on Zoom
Alvaro Sotomayor (Senior Creative Director at W+K in Amsterdam) discusses the Corona Better World campaign, and then sets a one-day brief. Students will be organised into breakout rooms / small teams to work on the project, with input from guest designers during the day. Each team will do a short presentation of ideas to the group from 2.30-3.30PM.


LDW Event #10 : 10AM on Zoom
Former students offer up words of wisdom and discuss how the design world is changing. Natalie Loh (Designer, Createfuture), Dan Plunkett and Steph Dalzell (Designers & Co-Founders, Pretty Good Studio).

Hot Issues in Graphic Design

28 February 2021

HNC Graphic Design recently completed their design-in-context essays - a 1500 word exploration of a hot topic in Visual Communication. The essay questions included controversial subjects in creative advertising, such as sex, alcohol and tobacco, plus design trends, and also the option to explore a single typeface. As part of this project we also asked the group to design and publish their essay in booklet format. Working with content you have written yourself is always an interesting challenge, and you can check out some example covers and spreads below, and view the full range of visual ideas on this project at our issuu digital publication page at issuu.com
Sophia Bhullar - Sex Sells

McKenzie Armitage - Making Addiction Cool

Darik Malik - Design Sprints

Concours D'ecriture 2020

3 December 2020

This is the second year that we have collaborated with The French Institute and both Napier and Edinburgh Universities in the annual Concours D'ecriture, where foreign language degree students compose a piece of creative writing, and the results are interpreted by our final year students as pieces of visual communication, expressed purely as typography.

Students submitted writing from Edinburgh, Napier, Stirling and St Andrews Universities, and these were judged by the partners this year - the French Institute, The Goethe Institute (Glasgow) and the Franco-Scottish Society.

Last year an exhibition of the work was held at the Institute, just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but this year the exhibiton is all virtual - on screens at the French Institute and via instagram and the Institute's culture blog. The theme this year was music, with all the written entries being inspired by a piece of music. 

This allowed our students to think beyond print and produce some unsusual responses, including lenticular animation, video, light projections, editorial pieces and even packaging in the form of a chocolate wrapper. We also published the visuals, alongside all the written pieces, in a broadsheet newspaper, printed by Newspaper Club, and on display at the Institute during December.  Full details of the winning pieces, plus all the visual work can be found on the French Institute Culture blog here and the newspaper can be viewed at issuu.

Pav is YCN Student of the Year

7 November 2020

To cap off a recent run of awards successes, we gathered last week at the virtual YCN Students Awards to see 4 Edinburgh College students (3 from Graphics Design and 1 from User Experience Design) pick up their YCN Commendations.

Nick Defty and the team at YCN hosted an excellent awards evening, with over 100 participants and a slide show featuriong all the commended work. As well as awarding commendations by brief, YCN also award a student of the year prize for the most outstanding submission, and this year it was shared by two students, Daniel Mason (for the Guardian brief, University of Lincoln) and our very own Pavils Vorobjovs for his work on the Oliver Bonas / Fedrigoni brief. All the commendees are featured here.

Since 2008 the Graphics course has picked up around 20 Commendations, but this is a first having one of our students recognised in this way, so its a tremendous achievement. You can check out Pav's awesome winning work here.

Star Awards 2020

27 October 2020

More congratulations are in order as graduate HND student Balazs Hirth won the coveted Star Student Award at the Marketing Society Scotland Star Awards 2020.  His classmate Rachel Nesbitt also won a commendation, and we had four shortlisted entrants.

We've now won this award in no less than 7 of the last 10 years, a real testament to the quality of the students the course produces and also their ability to think, design and present to their peers and wider industry. 

This year the awards ceremnoy was virtual but that didn't lessen the excitement and the sense of celebration that the event generates right across Scotland's creative industry. Well done to all the winners and shortlisted stars.

Full list of winners

Teacher of the Year!

Massive congratulations ot our very own Helena Good who has been named teacher of the year at the Tes FE Awards, which celebrate the best of the UK’s further education sector.

Helena has been teaching Graphic Design at the college for 23 years across the NC, HNC and HND courses, and this award is the culmination of her tireless passion and championing of design education in Scotland and beyond.

As well as all her hard work shaping the mentoring programme and the course relationship with industry, and a huge contribution to the continued success of our students in nationla and international design awards, Helena has been the main vision behind the Daydream Believers programme – a pioneering project aimed at developing the transition from school to college for secondary students.. It is delivered in collaboration with student ambassadors and industry partners, and involves a number of high schools across Edinburgh. 

The judges described the programme as “the most important educational initiative in Scotland at the moment”. Helena also played a key role in the creation and delivery of the recent Creative Bravery Festival, reaching eductaors, students and creatives in over 60 countries. Star Power!

Full list of winners for Tes 2020