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Study 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time.

Our innovative approach

Shillington Education is one of the best schools for graphic design. That’s not just by our own standards.

You’ll graduate with a solid understanding of design theory, technical skills and an incredible design portfolio—essential for any creative career.

Learn in varied ways from experienced teachers. At Shillington, we keep our lectures short and sweet, saving plenty of time to put your new skills into practice and develop your design eye. Enjoy engaging demonstrations, dynamic discussions, industry lectures and group workshops.

We move fast and mentor students to work like professional designers, following clear processes and meeting tight deadlines with polished results.

3 months full-time. Monday through Friday from 8:00—5:00pm.

9 months part-time. Two nights a week (Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday) from 6:00—9:30pm.

Want more details?

Get the 2019 Course Outline

    To submit this form, please agree to being contacted. View our privacy notice for details.

Design theory

Our course kicks off with the five design principles, and they’re drilled home throughout the course.


  • Balance for stability and structure
  • Hierarchy to create organisation and direction
  • Contrast to generate impact and highlight important areas
  • Repetition to unify and strengthen the design
  • Alignment to create a sharper, clearer outcome
  • Research, testing and problem solving is at the heart of all good design. Design Thinking (or Human Centred Problem Solving) empowers us to create relevant and innovative solutions that meet user needs. From creating digital products to developing business or marketing strategy—Design Thinking is a powerful process used across many industries.
  • We teach the Design Thinking process to enable students to work efficiently and produce solutions that not only look beautiful, but satisfy user needs in a smart and considered way.

Typography and typesetting
Selecting the right type is paramount—whether it’s a clean sans serif typeface like Helvetica or a hand-drawn script. Typography gives character and plays an emotive role in every design.

We teach the basics of typography and typesetting because it’s a driving force in all forms of visual communication.

Grids are the underlying structure of a design layout. They allow the designer to create consistency and organise elements.

We make sure students know the importance of grid-based design to create well-organised, structured design solutions.

Colour theory
For graphic designers, creating and applying a relevant colour scheme is a major part of answering the brief. Think about the power of brand colours (e.g. Facebook’s blue, Cadbury’s purple, Coke’s red) and how certain colour combinations instantly communicate a particular mood or feeling.

We teach students how to analyse and apply colour effectively to take all their portfolio projects to the next level.

Design programs

Adobe InDesign is the industry-standard for creating professional layouts. It’s a designer’s holy grail when it comes to multi-page documents. InDesign uses tools like master pages and paragraph styles to create everything from press ads to brochures to elaborate coffee table books.

Adobe Illustrator is the leading vector design program, but you don’t need to be an “illustrator” to master it. It enables designers to create a broad range of artwork including maps, corporate logos, icons and complex illustrations, which can be reproduced crisply and cleanly at any size.

Adobe Photoshop is a program you’ve probably heard of, and maybe even tried out yourself. It’s an extraordinary image-editing, photo-retouching and composition program that offers all the tools you need for professional image manipulation. From digital illustration to colour separation, multimedia and web design, Photoshop is limited only by your imagination.

Sketch is fast becoming the industry standard for digital designers. It combines the precision of Illustrator’s vectors with basic image effects from Photoshop in one simple interface. Perfect for beginners, Sketch is a dynamic and easy-to-use tool for designing websites and apps.

Want to learn more? Read 3 Reasons All Design Students Should Learn Sketch.

What happens in the classroom?

While no two days are the same at Shillington, here’s a run-down of what a typical class might look like.

To kick off the class, your teacher introduces a new topic area such as colour, branding, typesetting or packaging. The short lecture covers relevant theory and real-world examples of the topic. Along with this direct instruction, you’ll watch videos, discuss case studies and have open group discussions.

At Shillington, we have some fun when introducing new student projects, known as creative briefs. The teacher plays the role of client and presents a brief to put the topic into practice immediately. The brief details all the necessary information: who you’re designing for, the business goals, why it’s required, the final specifications and deadline.

Now you’ll need to research the client, product or service and competitors. This ensures we have a solid understanding of the task at hand and can make conceptual connections to inspire our aesthetic solutions.

This is the exciting bit! We implement a toolkit of idea generation techniques like mind-mapping, word association and group brainstorming. You get to be crazy creative and stay open to all possibilities. Then—after some fun—we focus in, make connections between ideas and distill everything into a practical solution.

At this stage, you’re ready to think about aesthetics. You’ll jump online to gather inspiration and create focused mood boards, helping to visualise the vibe and creative direction.

Most importantly, before we jump on the computer, we map out our ideas the old-fashioned way—pen to paper. Thumbnails are quick sketches that help to build concepts and visualise how the design should come together. This planning stage is vital to ensure we have a resolved plan in our brains and don’t waste time pixel-pushing on-screen.

Your teachers are accessible each step of the way. After you’ve made some headway in research and planning, a one-on-one check-in will make sure you’re on the right track and provide constructive feedback for the next stage.

Now that your brain has done most of the work, you’ll hop onto the computer and start executing and experimenting with your ideas. After developing several potential routes, you’ll compare to decide what works best and refine, refine, refine.

While you’re busy working on the brief, teachers will present new technical information and tips through live demos. These quick exercises take you step-by-step through different tools and functions of each of the different programs.

Sound like we’re repeating ourselves? We are. At Shillington, teacher critiques happen at multiple stages throughout your creative process. This mirrors the day-to-day of a working designer who constantly distills feedback to create a client and manager-approved solution.

Critiques are not meant to be negative—they’re an essential part of the design process. Discussing your work with others helps to develop a better understanding and appreciation for design. Designers need to step back to think critically and objectively about their work.

Time is ticking while you work through the brief—your deadline is approaching! At Shillington, each brief has a realistic industry standard deadline. It might be two hours, two days or two weeks. Since the creative industry is built around working smart to meet deadlines, our course prepares students for a fast-paced studio environment.

What type of projects will we work on?

At Shillington, we speed through the step-by-step software demonstrations to get you working on real-world briefs as soon as possible. Throughout the course you’ll tackle 30+ student briefs ranging from print advertisements to thinking in 3D with packaging to designing a digital app.

Here are eight examples of past Shillington student briefs:


  • Digital advertisement for a bank
  • Packaging design for an unexpected demographic
  • UX design for a mountain biking app
  • Corporate profile for an amusement park
  • Publishing design for a travel magazine
  • Icon library for a zoo
  • Campaign to raise awareness for a social issue
  • Rebranding a city

Want more details?

Get the 2019 Course Outline

    To submit this form, please agree to being contacted. View our privacy notice for details.

Should I study full-time or part-time?


Should I study full-time or part-time?

Totally up to you! It depends on your availability and learning style. Full-time is an immersive 3 months (Monday to Friday, 8:00am—5:00pm). Part-time is 9 months (Two nights a week, 6:00—9:30pm), and a good fit for students who work full-time or have other major commitments. But apart from the duration, the full-time and part-time curriculum is identical—students create the same high quality work and get similar jobs after graduation.


How much does the course cost?

Fees & Payments

How much does the course cost?

Course fees vary between our six international campuses. Visit course dates and fees to learn more. We have two payment options: pay-in-full or installment plans.


I’ve already worked or trained as a designer. Is Shillington right for me?


I’ve already worked or trained as a designer. Is Shillington right for me?

Our course is ideal for current creatives to revive software skills and enhance their understanding of the design fundamentals. If your software skills are self-taught, we’ll teach you how to work smoothly and efficiently across the Adobe Creative Suite. Or if your current portfolio isn’t up-to-scratch, we’ll help you craft a collection of your best work, showcasing an ability to work across a wide range of briefs


Is 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time really long enough to learn design?

Graphic Design Course

Is 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time really long enough to learn design?

Absolutely. Our student work speaks for itself and Shillington graduates build incredible creative careers. Our course is expertly planned to teach technical skills, cover design theory and ingrain creative principles to help you create a well-rounded portfolio. Read more on the blog in Learn Graphic Design Fast or Fast, Good or Cheap. And if you want to hear it straight from our graduates, check out 11 Unbiased Shillington Reviews.


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