New students often consider Art, Photography, and Graphics as ‘a hobby’ which they have an interest in. Studying a Visual arts subject at A-level requires a commitment to learning, working independently, and developing skills and knowledge which goes beyond this. It is a highly academic subject but also a very rewarding and creative outlet.
Graphic Design is an excellent choice for anyone with a vivid interest in visual communication, the art of conveying an idea with word and imagery for a commercial purpose. The course enables students to explore aspects of graphic design such as illustration, typography and advertising through a varied approach of media.
To be successful at A-Level Graphics you will need to be able to:
- Think creatively and develop personal ideas
- Work independently and be a reflective learner
- Learn confidence in participating in group critiques
- Carry out in-depth research and write about your findings
- Be enthusiastic about completing practical work
- Be interested in learning about how to ‘read’ and analyse imagery
- Take photographs regularly to bring to lessons and work on with ICT creative suite of software
- Manage workload and complete regular personal targets set by your teacher
- Present work so that it is visually pleasing and appropriately responds to artists
- Quality of written expression is especially important in the second year of study
What can I do now that would help prepare me for the course?
This course is creatively demanding and requires an open minded and industrious approach. The best preparation for this course can be direct observation drawing undertaken on an almost daily basis, studying at length and in detail the qualities of everyday objects, architecture and figurative subjects in addition a keen interest in graphic styles, packaging, typography and photography.
A-level Graphics will encourage you to develop your creative, imaginative and intellectual powers. You will expand your knowledge and understanding of visual communication in contemporary society and in different historical contexts, themes and cultures. Additionally, you will be given the opportunity to explore personal ideas through sustained investigations using a wide range of processes and media.
A-level Graphics is completed over 2 years (there will be no AS qualification in the academic year 2018-19 at Lowestoft Sixth Form college).
Component 1 ‐ Personal Investigation*= 60% of overall A-level grade
Component 2 ‐ Externally Set Assignment = 40% of overall A-level grade
*Component 1 requires a 2000‐3000 word personal study essay to accompany practical outcomes.
What we add
- Photographic studio equipped with professional quality lighting, accessories, and Mac Suite.
- Nikon Digital SLR cameras.
- Adobe editing software (Photoshop, InDesign, Bridge, Premiere Pro, Illustrator).
- Opportunities to visit various galleries (locally, nationally, internationally) and practical field trips to gather first hand resources
You will need to meet the standard college entry criteria for A-Level courses.
Additional subject entry criteria: Grade C in GCSE Art, Photography, or Graphics.
Owning a personal digital camera, with memory storage card, and accessories is preferable. Also other materials based on traditional art forms; pens, pencils, paints, fineliners, highlighters, other drawing media. The personal use of Adobe creative suite and a personal graphics tablet are also desirable.
After Sixth Form
Graphics combines well with Fine Art, Photography, Textiles, Creative Media, Film, Advertising, Creative writing, English, and ICT. It is a perfect subject if you want to consider a career in advertising, fashion photography, graphic design and communication, set design, illustration, and commercial photography. It is also very suitable for those who wish to progress to Art Foundation courses, or University Degree courses after their A-Level completion.