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Graphic Design: Editorial Design Summer Intensive

Discover an expanded view of contemporary editorial practice.

Key details


  • RCA campus

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.

About the course

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.

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.

Examples of course outcomes might be: 

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

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 preparing for Master’s-level study
  • anyone seeking an opportunity to experiment without professional constraint.

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.

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. 


Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
[email protected]
Jo Chounta Executive Education Coordinator