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Graphic Design BA(Hons): After you graduate

Careers and progression

Our graphic design graduates are renowned for being autonomous, versatile, entrepreneurial visual communicators. They are employed worldwide in the fields of branding, advertising, digital moving image, typography, interactive design, packaging and 3D design, photography, information design, and sustainable and experiential design.

Exceptional achievements in international competitions (including the D&AD Awards, Creative Conscience Awards and the RSA Student Design Awards) mean that our students hold a strong reputation for innovation, creativity and commercial understanding.

Many graduates develop their own design practices, while others choose to take postgraduate courses before embarking on their careers.

What our graduates say

Check out what our graduates have gone on to do and how studying at Kingston helped them achieve their goals.

Sanpathit Tavijaroen (Steve)

Name: Sanpathit Tavijaroen (Steve)
Year of graduation: 1991
Course: Graphic Design BA(Hons)
Current job: Associate Creative Director,  ACR Worldwide (part of Leo Burnett advertising group)
location: Bangkok

By the time he was 27, Sanpathit had already gained a senior role and enviable reputation in the advertising industry.  He believes his Kingston Graphic Design degree has much to do with his success. 

"Since I was young my dream had been to become a creative in an advertising agency and I moved from Thailand to England to help me fulfil this ambition.

"I received a few offers from universities with leading creative advertising courses, but the Kingston open day really impressed me and I felt its Graphic Design course really was 'the course for the creative'. The degree shows how graphic design can be used as a device to deliver ideas and I believed it would help me become a trend leader.

"Once on the course I felt inspired every day. The School of Graphic Design is an amazing environment that helps creativity grow.  The course is very well structured and the cream of industry professionals are brought in as part-time tutors, which is awesome.  The final year work placement was also really effective enabling me to work alongside top designers. 

"After university I returned to Thailand.  I managed to get seen by some big agencies and was grateful to the Kingston tutors who had helped me organise and perfect my portfolio when all the companies I saw offered me a position.

"I started my career as a graphic designer at Leo Burnett and, 18 months later, went on to become an art director at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising.  In 2003 I returned to Leo Burnett and this is where my career started to shine.  I've won awards such as Cannes, Clio and D&AD and I was ranked no.3 Best Art Director in the world in 2004 and 2005 by Lurzer's Archive Magazine. My name is now established in the advertising industry and my creative ranking gets higher and higher. I achieved this when I was only 26.

"I am now 28 and was recently promoted to an associate creative director working for ARC Worldwide; a new company under the Leo Burnett network with 40 offices globally.  The company provides what we call 'holistic solutions'.  This means it executes commercials in every format such as: print;short film; viral communication; website; ambient media; public event and PR activity. This requires a great deal of skill, knowledge and a bit of madness because I have to think more and work harder.

"Fortunately, the Graphic Design course taught me how to answer a brief in any medium and this was perfect preparation for the job I now do.  I love creating work that other creatives can't do or are not brave enough to try.  I feel my work incorporates the feelings, inspirations and experiences from the graphic studio at Kingston.  I honestly believe if I hadn't forced myself to get up early for the Kingston open day and had made the decision to go elsewhere, my career would have never been this successful."

 

Markus Pesendorfer

Name: Markus Pesendorfer
Course: BA(Hons) Graphic Design
Year of graduation: 2000
Current job: Creative Director, Pek
Location: Beijing

Just two years after graduating, Markus was asked to develop a design degree course in China.  He found himself fascinated by the country and he is now running his own successful graphic design business there.

"I wanted to design in a fast-changing medium such as advertising.  I thought about where the centre of graphic design is in Europe (or even the world) and that left only one choice: London. My search narrowed down to three universities and Kingston was my first choice.

"I felt the course was absolutely great. The freedom was exactly what I was looking for. It pushed my boundaries.  Having a variety of guest lecturers and the support of the tutors made me realise the spectrum of graphic design and that, if you want to become very good in your field, there are people to help you realise your vision.

"We also had the opportunity to work in lots of different media.  Some of us played regularly as DJs, which helped us keep the balance with our visual work.  Another team effort was to produce short films.  This enabled one student to get into the Film Institute competition and pursue his passion as a film director.  Projects like the 'Designition Forum' and Marks & Spencer's proofed our education in a business environment, while my becoming a member of the Typographic Society was a highlight for which I still thank my tutors.

"Straight after graduating I started working at a new media company where the conceptual thinking process I had learned at Kingston was an interesting addition to the business.  Two years later I got an offer, via Middlesex University, to go to China and develop a degree level multimedia and graphic design course.  I'd never been to China before so it was an opportunity I couldn't refuse.

"I spent four years developing the programme.  It was much more of a challenge than doing a similar job in Europe - 50 years of communism have left their mark in often unexpected ways.  I believe the main culture difference is an attitude towards life and its side effects.

"I am now working for the best graphic design company in China - my own!  We mostly design for print and online applications. A big part of my work involves explaining design elements to co-workers and suppliers.  Negotiations generally take a very long time and often involve 'business dinners'.

"The versatility in projects and methods on the Kingston Graphic Design course help me address the multitude of issues arising in this diverse environment (design and non-design related).   The degree has taught me to look at an issue from many angles and find alternative solutions. 

"The wit and cleverness of Chinese people teaches me new approaches to design and life almost every day and I enjoy the independence of running my own company and the challenges I face.  Design is a vocation not a profession.  You don't turn off your brain at five in the afternoon and switch on again at nine in the morning.  Being a designer is a commitment for life.  Being a designer is great!"

 

Examples of recent graduate destinations

Types of jobs

Graphic Design BA(Hons) graduates have gone on to the following roles:

  • Animation director
  • App developer
  • Art director
  • Art teacher
  • Assistant product manager
  • Associate creative director
  • Book designer
  • Conceptual designer
  • Copywriter
  • Creative director
  • Design consultant
  • Design intern
  • Designer
  • Fine artist
  • Games developer
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Animation festival director
  • Marketing designer
  • Photographer
  • Project manager
  • Storyboard artist
  • Visual effects supervisor
  • Web and media designer

Employers

Graphic Design BA(Hons) graduates have gone on to work at the following organisations:

  • Aardman Animations Ltd
  • Apple Inc
  • BBC
  • Boden
  • Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd
  • Citywise Direct Marketing
  • Design Bridge
  • Egmont Magazines Ltd
  • Eye Deer Creative
  • Google
  • Graphic Thought Facility
  • Harper Collins
  • JD&AD
  • Ogilvy & Mather
  • Penguin
  • Pentagram
  • Redwood Publishing
  • Royal Shakespeare
  • Sony UK
  • The Body Shop International Plc
  • Topman Creative Studio
  • V&A Museum
  • Why Not Associates
  • Wolff Olins
  • World of Interiors

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate. 

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements;
  • working or studying abroad;
  • volunteering;
  • peer mentoring roles; and
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

Courses available after you graduate

If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni. Here are some courses that might interest you:

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art at River House

View Kingston School of Art at River House on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art at River House

View Kingston School of Art at River House on our Google Maps
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