Taught course

Graphic Design: Editorial Design Summer Intensive

Royal College of Art · School of Communication
Certificate of Participation

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Entry requirements

Admission criteria

It is preferable for participants to have:

  • an undergraduate degree in a design or a background in publishing
  • a basic understanding of typography
  • a good level of English language
  • applicants must be 18 years or over.

Months of entry


Course content

Course overview

This five-day short course offers graphic design and visual communication students and professionals a series of topic-focused workshops in the principal aspects of contemporary editorial design.

The course aims to establish an intensive learning environment, offering practical and theoretical guidance in forging your editorial design practice. Each participant will work on an individual and team editorial design project while on the course.

At the end of the course there will be a final presentation in the studios, followed by a drinks reception with RCA tutors.

The Visual Communication programme at the Royal College of Art has a wide variety of editorial design expertise within its teaching cohort, whether content creation or new modes of publishing. The Summer Intensive offers the opportunity to study with these staff and external practitioners, many of whom are leaders in their fields.

How will I learn?

Learning takes place in groups of up to 20 participants. Through a series of workshops, lectures, studio visits and presentations on the Visual Communication archive you will:

  • experience the RCA model of studio teaching and practice to develop design and presentation techniques while building a portfolio
  • work collaboratively with a diverse range of colleagues from varied backgrounds, honing teamwork and leadership skills
  • work with leading design practitioners and educators to develop a critical, creative and insightful practice.

What will I learn?

You will learn to:

  • view editorial design as a multifaceted and diverse discipline
  • produce editorial design that satisfies readers, content providers (such as writers, editors and photographers) through tuition, guidance and insight
  • develop a new found confidence in the ability to work in print and electronic media
  • discuss approaches and gather knowledge about contemporary and historical trends, building awareness of the wider editorial design landscape
  • develop an enhanced notion of what a contemporary editorial design practice can be
  • expand your skills and grow confidence in making editorial design approaches.

Course outcomes

Examples of course outcomes might be:

  • test spreads for publications (print and digital)
  • printed publication with attention to layout and format.

Who should attend?

Those who should attend include:

  • current graphic design students
  • recent graduates with a need/desire to improve editorial design skills and knowledge
  • professionals working in publishing, advertising and communications who want to increase their editorial design knowledge
  • people interested in self-publishing
  • those seeking an opportunity to experiment in a ‘safe’ environment without the limitations of professional life, and where the only rule is the need to be brave
  • those preparing for Master’s-level study.

Programme team

This course will be delivered by staff from the RCA School of Communication’s Visual Communication programme.

Adrian Shaughnessy is a visiting lecturer in Visual Communication at the RCA. With a reputation in all aspects of graphic communication, Shaughnessy co-founded the influential design group Intro, leaving after 15 years to set up the independent publishing imprint Unit Editions, now entering its tenth year. In 2017, Unit Editions was selected as one of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year. Shaughnessy has designed, written, edited and published numerous books on design, typography and visual culture. His book How to be a Graphic Designer has sold over 80,000 copies and has been translated into numerous languages. Shaughnessy is a member of AGI, the organisation of the world’s leading graphic designers.

The full list of academics and external practitioners names is to be announced.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Certificate of Participation
    part time
    1 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

RCA Short Courses