I’ve just begun lecturing with a new group of students at Solihull College, which i’ll be doing every Monday during the 2009-2010 academic year. This won’t effect my freelance availability much with all that holiday they get… it’s only 30 sessions finishing at the end of June!

Just the same as last year, I’ve got a lively bunch of (mostly) 17-18 year old students on a 2 year Graphic Design National Diploma. In the mornings we are doing Mac based work, so I’m starting off with Photoshop – the cornerstone design application that any creative needs to know. Over the rest of the year we will cover Illustrator and InDesign training, using small projects to develop and practice techniques. The afternoons will be taken up with guided time on their active projects.

Before we really get started though, they first have to complete a 6 week ‘short award’ NCFE graphic design course. This gives the students a chance for us to see their potential and enthusiasm to the course before they continue to the formal National Diploma, it’s almost like a second interview! We are not looking for the next ‘Yellow Pencil‘ award winning design on this project (although that would be nice!), we want to see their how they approach their work, both individually and together and how dedicated they are to building a career in the creative industries… not who’s downloaded the coolest brushes for Photoshop (I’ve probably seen them before!)

Teaching design applications can be tricky, it’s a technical subject. Certain fundamental knowledge such as DPI, RGB, CMYK, image and graphic file types must be established early on. I’m looking forward to seeing their skills develop over the year – with a bit of hard work and dedication I’m sure they will do just fine!