The BA (Hons) Graphic Design Programme encourages distinctive voices in communication practice. Alongside our sister programme, Digital Design & Advertising, our projects and programme ethos goes far beyond the aesthetic of design layout and typography. To be a graphic designer from The Northern, is to be a design communicator, a visionary and design specialist. The world and the way we understand, inhabit and navigate it, are changing and it’s the very nature of this that requires our students to rethink, question and constantly challenge the purpose graphic communication serves in society. Our programme, promotes changemakers, we rethink what we know, we question what we do, and we challenge the world as we know it, through cutting edge design, through expansive experimentation, through new ideas and through our community. Collectively, as a design studio from the moment our students arrive, we make work that matters.
This degree emphasises mixed-media experimental work as well as real-world creative problem solving. Through live briefs students will develop industry relevant digital and analogue skills. If you are interested in the graphic design of branding, advertising, communication, typography and digital artwork this course is for you. As well as offering a conceptual approach to design through mixed-media, analogue and digital technology we offer areas of specialties including:

• Visual communication
• Image-making & illustration
• Printmaking (letterpress, risograph & screen printing)
• Editorial design
• Branding
• Advertising
• Typography
• Packaging
• Motion graphics

Creative Conscience 2022: Winner, Impact Category
Creative Conscience 2022: Winner, Mental Health Category
D&AD 2022 New Blood: The Portfolios, Graphic Design
D&AD 2022 New Blood: The Portfolios, Mixed Discipline
Creative Conscience 2021: Winner, Human Rights Category





Student Voice

Watch now to find out more about what it's like to be a student on this degree programme!


Faculty Leader Olivia joined The Northern School of Art at the beginning of 2017, after working in industry for over ten years. Olivia's career began with her working with a number of leading graphic design and advertising agencies. Olivia’s most recent role in the industry focused on internationalising a design and fit out company. Olivia led the brand campaign in the Middle East, managing a design team and leading international design projects for the hospitality industry. Operating freelance, Olivia developed an online design business to promote local and emerging design practitioners, winning a number of national and entrepreneurial awards. She is a regular guest speaker at Digital Leaders and Woman in Digital and had worked as an enterprise mentor. Olivia’s own practice has a digital focus. She is interested in digital and motion graphics and Olivia’s expertise is in research-driven, commercially orientated design. Her keen interest is in the area where design meets business. Olivia’s skills lie in developing the student’s ability to design commercially aware graphic and digital solutions. Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, (Studying PhD), CIM, FHEA
Lecturer Paul Clay joined The Northern School of Art 2009 after working in industry for over ten years. Paul is currently a senior lecturer, working across both the Graphic Design and Digital Design & Advertising programmes. Prior to joining The Northern, Paul worked for a wide range of design agencies and high profile clients as an in-house senior graphic designer across the North East, bringing with him a wealth of experience upon joining The Northern School of Art. Paul’s current work is occupied with design research and practice, focusing on community history and design for social good. Paul develops his portfolio working with local charities, in both raising awareness and proceeds to challenge social issues and promoting design for change. Qualifications BA (Hons) PGCE, FHEA
Lecturer Owen joined The Northern School of Art after working in multiple industry roles for almost 5 years. Owen is currently working across both the Graphic Design and Digital Design & Advertising programmes. Owen works with a social conscious - using creativity in order to create real world change. Prior roles in industry have allowed Owen to explore commercial graphic design with an ethical and social focus for Newcastle based Sail Creative, Sail’s focus was to work with clients that are on the forefront of change and collaborate with those who recognise the value of creativity and partnerships in order to elevate their impact. During his time at Sail they were recognised in Creative Boom’s top 15 places to work as a graphic designer in the UK, alongside the likes of Accept and Proceed, Spotify and DixonBaxi. Owen is co-founder of [blank spacecraft] an experimental creative studio. Works include graphic collections, experimental typographic image making through creative destruction and also developments into 3D and motion. He has also researched the meanings of limited edition and ways in which the design process can be challenged beyond the concept of a final outcome. Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA
Lecturer Jake Hollings is a multidisciplinary graphic artist with an emphasis on illustration, graphic image making and print. He has created visuals for a range of clients within the music industry as well as editorial illustration, textile print design and self-published works. Selected clients include BBC Music Introducing, Glasgow Film Festival, The Guardian, Culture Trip and Sony Music. He has had various self-published books and textiles stocked globally, including Draw Down Books, Slow Down Studio, We Occupy and Fine Little Day. Jake specialises in analogue image making techniques and printmaking for commercial contexts, often utilising Risograph and silkscreen printing to inform his visual language. He won a D&AD New Blood award in 2015 before completing an MA in Creative Practice from Leeds Arts University. Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA
Technician/Demonstrator Kathryn Bell is an artist and print technician working in the North East of England, where she graduated with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art. Kathryn is an experienced print technician who demonstrates print techniques to students in Graphic Design, Illustration and across the school. Her own work mostly includes relief, screen print and cyanotype, often combing a mixture of these processes to create hybrid prints. Kathryn is active in keeping up to date with printmaking trends and opportunities and uses this information to support students to access exciting opportunities. Kathryn is a member of People of Print, a community of printmakers, illustrators and graphic designers who are outstanding in their field. She regularly exhibits and sells her work around the UK and permanently in a store in Durham City. Kathryn is a featured printmaker with Green Door Printmaking Studio (International Print Exchange) and regularly participates in the Cascade Print Exchange (USA). Qualifications: BA (Hons)


This degree is for you if you wish to have a career in:



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