Graphic Art Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What Is Graphic Art?

Graphic art is a type of artwork that uses visual elements to communicate a concept or idea. The term “graphic” is derived from the Greek graphikos, which means “drawn or written,” so anything “graphic” is a visual element.

Graphic artists create visual concepts by hand or with computer software. This is done with the goal of inspiring, informing, shocking, or enthralling their audience in order to present an idea or a story.

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Graphic Design – the study of visual communication through images and text for personal, cultural, or commercial use.
  • Adobe Photoshop – the study of Adobe Photoshop software that is the standard for creating and editing images.
  • Applied Design Technology – the study of the theory and knowledge of graphic design production for the web.
  • 2D and 3D Digital Animation Production – the study of digital animation production processes and techniques.
  • Letterpress Printing – the study of techniques of letterpress printing.
  • Illustrator CC – This course covers one of the most commonly used software programmes in Graphic Design
  • InDesign CC – InDesign is a publishing program popularly used in Graphic Design and Art Direction.
  • Art, Craft, Print & Design – This course is designed for those who wish to gain experience in the world of art, design, and printing.

Studying Graphic Art in college

Taking a Graphic Art course involves undertaking self-directed projects that will allow you to gain experience and knowledge of presenting both real and commercial projects. It also puts a focus on team-based work that will prepare you for the real working environment of working within a team.

You will be encouraged to express your individuality and creativity but be guided through industry standards and principles and taught the basics of commonly used programs and software. Courses in Graphic Art range from a few days or weeks to full 3-4 year courses depending on the media and type, of course, you choose to study.

Coursework, essays, practical design projects, and portfolio work are assessed at key points throughout the course with formal assessments at the end of courses or modules in most instances.

Career options

Graphic Art is a dynamic, engaging, and fun career path for anyone creative with a story to tell and opportunities are available for skilled Graphic Artists all over the world in most industries – so the options are endless when it comes to looking for work and choosing the direction you would like to go in.

Graphic Artists are employed by design consultants, book and magazine publishers, multi-media and web design companies, advertising agencies, and in-house designers for large corporations. Opportunities within television, film, and event design are also common and Graphic Artists may find themselves working with, and learning from, experts in a wide variety of other fields.

Related jobs include:

  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Film and Video Editor
  • Industrial/Product Designer
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Multimedia Artist/Animator
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Designer
  • User interface designer
  • Illustrator
  • Multimedia designer
  • Advertising and marketing communications
  • Animator
  • Artist/Fine artist
  • Photographer

Further study

Many people dream of a career in the creative industries, but far less take up the challenge in realising that dream. Receiving a recognised qualification in your passion is the first step in becoming a working professional.

Graphic Designers are expected to continually update a portfolio of work. This is your greatest tool when applying for a job. Your portfolio of work should demonstrate your wide range of experience in various areas of design, as well as competence in programmes like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

Further study in related fields such as Copywriting, Broadcasting, and Journalism, Radio Production, Editing and Presenting will all help strengthen your skillset and abilities and will open up several new career paths.


Are there any tips for applying to internships or further opportunities?

  1. You should get involved with art clubs and societies and gain relevant experience.
  2. Summer vacation work will be a huge head start in getting the experience that institutions and employers look for.
  3. Take the time to become familiar with relevant industry software programs by working on some projects on your own.
  4. Accuracy and attention to detail in projects and portfolio work will make your work stand out from the rest.

Are there any particular qualities you need to study Graphic Art?

Graphic Art requires creative flair and design. An interest in the latest trends in pop culture and advertising can help stay relevant and keep your content fresh.

Confidence in your IT skills and a willingness to put the time in to learn new software will be advantageous.

Another important quality is patience and an understanding that art takes time and very rarely is your first draft your final draft.

Where can I study Graphic Art?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Carolyn Davidson, a student, designed the iconic Nike logo for $35 in 1971.
  • According to many graphic designers around the world, Comic Sans is the most despised font. It is closely followed by Papyrus.
  • The first-ever Watermark was created in 1282.
  • The first website was launched in 1991, 25 years ago!
  • Tim Berners-Lee, a 60-year-old British computer scientist, invented it.

Mariza Halliday

Veterinary Medicine


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