Although our courses may not seem very long they have been refined over the years in order for you to get the most out of every single hour. The combination of learning the software, understanding the theory and principles of design and working on typical briefs to realistic industry deadlines in a studio environment has been extremely successful in preparing students for their first industry role or furthering the careers of those already working as designers.
Not necessarily. When employing a junior designer, most employers would initially look at an applicant's portfolio to see what their work is like. If their work is poor it is unlikely they would ask the applicant in for an interview regardless of their academic achievements. At Shillington School your portfolio is created from the briefs that you work on during the course. Each piece of work would have been created using the design software and within realistic timeframes. Refer to our employers section of the website for more information.
Shillington School was established due to a gap in the education system whereby new graduates were not being taught the necessary software skills needed to produce commercial work. Other courses can either be very lengthy; teaching students lots of theory but not enough practical / commercial skills or are short courses that focus on teaching the software alone. At Shillington School we strike a balance between learning the theory and principles of design and also knowing how to use design software to produce commercially viable work. Our studio environment prepares students in a realistic design environment enabling them to 'hit the ground running' as soon as they finish the course. Its success has allowed Shillington School to become worldclass, with three campuses in Australia, two in the United Kingdom and one in the US.
As you may have read in the about us section, Shillington School started life as a graphic design studio in 1989. The first course was run in Sydney, Australia in 1997 and since then it has gone from strength to strength, opening its first international campus in 2008. The course is always being refined whilst continuously evolving in-line with the design industry and will continue to do so as it is one of the main reasons for the school's success.
You do not need to sit an interview or show us a portfolio of work in order to enroll in the course. We just want you to be passionate about learning design. We do ask that you have excellent English skills if English is not your first language. You do not have to have used an Apple Mac before and we don't expect you to have used the Adobe design programs. If you are studying part-time we do ask that you have access to a computer and the software out of school hours but this is also highly recommended for full-time students.
Unfortunately we can't ever guarantee that, as much as we would love to, but what we can say is; if you apply yourself throughout the course, listen to the advice of the lecturers and build strong relationships during your time here you will leave with the best chance of finding work afterwards. Refer to our graduates section of the website for more information.
Being able to source opportunities and apply for them independently is an important step to entering the workforce and is something that we encourage. However, we are regularly approached by studios that are looking for talented designers and are always happy to recommend graduates. As the classes are small and intimate, strong friendships are formed between students and many people learn of roles through
ex-classmates and past lecturers. We also have a blog where we post opportunities for students, a twitter account where we often retweet jobs and a facebook page where you can network under the 'discussions' section.
The majority of our students go on to work in the industry after they graduate if that was their objective. Unfortunately we cannot provide an exact number as we rely on graduates informing us when they have work. We do try to follow-up past students in order to obtain testimonials for our graduates section. We can confidently say that if our students didn't find work after the course Shillington wouldn't have the great reputation that it has and our courses wouldn't continuously fill.
The two courses are effectively the same, just structured slightly differently to allow for students to work as well as study if they need to. Part-time students are asked to have access to a computer and the design software out of school hours. In order to obtain the best results they are encouraged to do more work in their own time and to practice what they have learnt between classes. However, we would also recommend that full-time students also have access to the programs out of school hours.
The majority of work can be done during school time although it is beneficial if students use their own time at weekends or between classes in order to research and prepare for briefs. Students are also asked to keep a visual diary throughout the course and should be collecting inspirational pieces of design whenever they can. We recommend five hours of homework per week but this could vary depending on the brief. Towards the end of the course, when pieces are being finalized for the portfolio, students may have to use their own time in order to polish their work. At the end of the day the majority of students complete this course as they want the best possible chance of obtaining a design role when they graduate. Therefore what you put into the course will be reflected by the quality of your portfolio.
The lecturers at Shillington School are all passionate professionals who are keen to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of creative talent. The majority of full-time lecturers continue to freelance in their spare time and our part-time lecturers all have full-time roles in the industry. All are exceptional designers and great mentors. There are two lecturers per class and we occasionally swap them around so that students experience lecturers from our other campuses. We also invite guest lecturers to share their knowledge and experience of the graphic design industry.
To be a graphic designer you don't necessarily have to be a good artist in the traditional sense. During the course you will need to do some rough sketches (thumbnails) in order to develop your concept before you start working on the computer but your drawing ability will not be scrutinized.
Our course is primarily a print-based graphic design course. We have introduced a 'designing for web' component as we acknowledge the shift to online design and the importance of understanding how to design a web interface using InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.
We always have a number of students who are already working as graphic designers or who have studied at other design schools or universities. Their reasons for studying vary. Some are self-taught in the software or studied a long time ago and feel that they need to up-skill, some feel that they need to get the edge back into their commercial work, some feel that their portfolios are lacking and others may feel that their previous courses haven't taught them the real essentials of being a working designer. Whatever the reason, these students benefit enormously from studying the graphic design course at Shillington School, even with prior design experience.
Please request more information and you will be emailed the application form for your chosen location. This contains information on the fees and installment plans available.
Additional costs during the course are minimal. At the start of the course you will need a letter size sketchbook for your Concept Diary, a ledger size sketchbook for your Visual Diary, a notebook and pen and a letter size folder with plastic sleeves for the school handouts. You will also require a USB or some CDs for backing up your work. At the end of the course your work will need to be professionally printed for your portfolio (allow approximately $60) and you will also need to purchase the portfolio itself. These range between $30 and $150.
You will not need to buy any books as the school has an extensive library of design books and magazines for your use during school hours.
A home computer is a worthwhile investment for both during and after the course and you may be entitled to a discount on computer hardware while you're a student with us. You will have access to your own computer during school hours but if you are a part-time student you will be required to have access to a computer and the design programs outside of school hours. However, full-time students will also find it beneficial to have a computer out of hours, particularly during the last few weeks of the course.
At Shillington School we teach using Apple computers and you will find that the majority of the industry use the same. However, if you already have a PC at home you can purchase the PC version of the Adobe software. There are minimal differences between the Apple and PC versions of programs and you may initially have an issue with the fonts but there are ways to work around this.
We are a private school and unfortunately cannot offer any assistance with the course fees. We do however offer the option to pay via installments which many students find useful. Details of our course fees and installment plan options will be emailed to you if you Request an Info Pack.
We do not have credit card facilities available at the school at present although hopefully these methods will be introduced soon. Payments are to be made by check or cash. We can only allow bank transfers to pay the initial deposit if you are located outside of the US or if you are paying for the course in full along with the deposit. Please contact the Studio Manager for more information.
We do not provide accommodation for you but you may find the link below useful:
We usually have a few international students on each course. Your fees will be the same as the local students but you cannot obtain a student visa through the school. Therefore you will need to ensure that you are able to legally remain in the country for the duration of the course. You will need to liaise with your local embassy in order to see if you are eligible to obtain an appropriate visa. It is also expected that, if English is not your first language, your English skills are excellent. If english is your second language, before enrollment you may need to have a verbal interview with the Studio Manager before enrolling in the course.
There are 23 places on the New York course. Applications are taken on a first come first served basis. If you want to enroll it is best to get your application in as early as possible. There may sometimes be availability a couple of days before a course starts but usually courses fill a month or so in advance, so get in quick. We can't enroll you without both a completed application form and your deposit. If a course is full and you wish to go on a waiting list please email the Studio Manager stating the course and location. You will also need to include a contact number. Please note that being on the waiting list does not guarantee you a place on the course but means if someone cancels or transfers, you may still be able to enroll. There is no need to pay a deposit to be placed on a waitlist.
Great! If you request more information you will be emailed an application form. You will need to print the application form (or wait for the hard copy that accompanies the brochure in the mail), complete and mail it to the Studio Manager, Level 6, 315 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10017 along with your deposit. Checks are to be made payable to Shillington School. Please ensure you read the terms and conditions on the application form.
As long as there are places on your chosen course (always best to check with us beforehand) and you've sent in the required documentation, we should be able to enroll you right away. Required documentation includes a completed application form, a scan or photocopy of your high school diploma or any higher degree and
You will receive a Confirmation of Enrollment (COE) in the mail. If you don't receive this within 7 days of applying please contact us to make sure there are no issues. The COE contains information of when the course starts and when the fees are due. Please note that if you wish to pay the balance prior to the course commencment date, you are more than welcome to do so.
You will receive an email from us approximately 7 to 14 days prior to course commencement. This contains further information about day one of the course but in short you will need:
Day one is really an induction where we go through all of the admin requirements as well as other things such as software, visual diaries, course structure etc.
Many of you are keen to get going and that's great! We love people as motivated as you! We suggest that you start looking at our blog as a reference as well as the other recommended blogs listed on there. You can also start collecting design examples that you like (press ads, business cards, colour swatches, post cards, annual reports, brochures, flyers, packaging, textiles, patterns...) whatever you find inspiring.
We also can't recommend Social Media enough in our industry so get yourself a Twitter account and start following designers, studios and industry bodies (as well as Shillington of course). If you're not sure who to follow have a look at who we follow as a start). Also join our Facebook page as we're constantly posting inspirational links. Finally there is LinkedIn. Always good to get a head start when finding contacts in the industry.
If you have any other questions obviously feel free to get in touch but otherwise we'll see you on day one!