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Shillington College - Opinions?

Discussion in 'Universities & Training Forum:' started by tosinogunlesi, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. tosinogunlesi

    tosinogunlesi New Member

    Hello Good people!

    Studied IT, Love graphic design and at the stage of putting together a about the really cool 3 month FT program at Shillington college in London ...anybody got opinions about the course there? before I invest most of my life savings?

    Thanks good people!!
  2. shazi

    shazi New Member

    Hi Tosin

    I was in the same position as you 3 years back. I had completed a Computer Science degree and started working for a company doing 3d design. But Graphic design is what I have always loved and when I saw the ad for the course at Shillington, I found it very hard to resist. I was part of their first class and loved every minute. Though before that I had done some graphic design for people (I am mainly a self starter) shillington provided the kick and direction I needed. I am now a freelancer designer and tho I love it, am looking for a full-time position for personal reasons.

    The teachers are great but like anything you will get out of it what you put in. I still have my portfolio which now has new additions of work I have created over the years, but I am still very happy I went. Go and visit them, chat to the teachers and students so you can make a more informed decision.

    Hope this has helped
  3. DBO

    DBO New Member

    I've been looking at this course recently as well, it looks really good and seems like a fast track route to starting in graphic design which is ideal...obviously previous student experiences help a lot in making an informed decision, getting both sides of the story if you like, so I'm quite interested to hear what people think of this course as well :icon_thumbup:
  4. creativebugdesign

    creativebugdesign New Member

    hmmm fast track route to graphic design? there is a reason graphic designer study for 4 years, 3 at degree and one on foundation. I really cant see how the valuable knowledge i gained that prepared me for life as a designer could be condensed down into 3 months, sorry, im skeptical on this.
  5. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    What he said.

    I'm thinking of becoming a computer scientist. Can I learn it in three months?
  6. Esh

    Esh Member

    I considered doing this course in Manchester when they first opened the doors there.

    These courses seem to be getting a lot of flack, but the standard of work the students leave with is pretty impressive after just 3 months. Fair enough, they didn't do a 3year degree, but if they did, can you imagine the standard of their work?

    As part of the course, they do learn things like colour theory, layout, basic design history aswel as the software skills.

    I did the full 3year degree and completed last year, but sometimes I wonder what if I just did this portfolio course instead?
  7. scatola75

    scatola75 New Member

    Shillington College - Poor!!

    I studied at shillington college last year. As I dropped studying many years ago I was looking to change my career, I didn't want to spend 3 years at UNI so I decided to take a course at shillington college.

    At first I was very confused whether to take the course at shillington college or not but than I thought that if they were asking for all that money (£7,000) it must have been a great college studying along with professionals. I WAS WRONG!!!!...I wasted my money...

    1) You will learn roughly how to use the programs, by the way they still use CS3 .....CS5.5 is out now.
    2) You will not learn anything about long document or grep style, nested style, using layers. Nothing about printing and acrobat photography. When I learnt retouching in photoshop, the lesson was ridiculous and only lasted 20 minutes, there is a lot more to learn!!
    3) Packaging was really bad!!...and I mean really bad.
    4) The time is so tight that there is no time for questions and sometimes the staff are rude too.

    5) THE CERTIFICATE IS NOT EVEN RECOGNISED IN ENGLAND. (I admit I was stupid not to realise that)

    My advice is to find a cheaper college to build up your portfolio, also because recruitment agencies are looking for real works, not samples. Or, if you’re really keen to become a designer, I would recommend enrolling at a college of art where they would prepare you for the industry properly.

    good luck !!!!!
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  8. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    I had a look at the website and the standard of the student work on there as examples looks fab, but from reading this thread I am very confused with my opinion on the whole thing. Didn't realise it was such a short course - yeah, 3 months to fit all that in is pretty tight, there were single projects on my degree course that lasted that long :icon_confused:
  9. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

  10. pcbranding

    pcbranding Member

    £7000! Anyone want to come to my house for 3 day intensive course...only £700!

  11. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    One of my tutors actually considered doing something similar when he saw that Shillington had a stall up in Manchester advertising their courses. He was gonna put one up right next to theirs advertising half the price :p

    What options do you have for paying for the course? I know it's cheaper than a degree but degrees are expensive for a reason, plus you can apply for financial support and a loan.

    I've heard they're intense courses in basic design and focussing more on software skills, effectively giving you the 'qualification' you need to sit at a Mac working up other's work for the rest of your life. Anyone know if this is the case?
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  12. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Graphic Design Curriculum | Shillington College London & Manchester UK

    They seem to cover more than just the software; also looking at some theory, lateral thinking, areas of design and then preparing for print and so on, too.
  13. c8d

    c8d New Member

    I believe, you must have at least a bit of experience in graphic design to join this course! i personally would love to go and i see myself to catch up things quiet quicker compare to someone who has no experience in industry!

    If I had the money i would do it today! But unfortunately I have financial problems!

    i suggest to think more about it and if you see your self being as a designer then go for it!

    Good Luck :icon_cheers::icon_wink:
  14. theFontz

    theFontz New Member

    Ive also enquired about this course. Its very,very expensive for just 3 months of learning. And for me, its hardly realistic to be taught any profession in just 3 months. Ive done manual labour jobs that can take a good while to get used to. I wish there was a fastrack to becoming a designer(although i still wouldnt be able to afford it). But it just looks like an almost scam to me.

    But good luck all the same if you do go for ir.:icon_thumbup:
  15. Xenonsoft

    Xenonsoft Active Member

    Interesting to see this thread on here.

    I've just been looking at courses to take to get some proper grounding and teaching in Graphic Design. The course at Shillington does look great but 3 month's isn't an amazingly long time.

    Anyone else's views on this are more than welcome.

    Thanks, Fred.
  16. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I recently spoke to a girl who's just about to finish her Shillington course and she said over those 3 months you get about 36 projects. Typically it's a project a day (start at 8:00 and finish at 5:00) with branding projects normally lasting 2 days.

    Personally I wouldn't feel happy doing a course like that since there doesn't seem to be any time spent developing an idea or trying something new. She showed me some logo ideas in her sketchbook for a project she'd just finished and they all revolved around the same basic idea.

    It sounds like a good course if you just want to 'get into' design from another industry or pathway but if you lack any prior experience I think you may be shooting yourself in the foot a little, since there's a lot more to being a designer than just creating nice designs.
  17. scatola75

    scatola75 New Member

    Shillington College - NOT recommended .

    Buddy I went there because I was looking for a carrier change. basically the are very good advertising themselves . Do u really think that u can learn indesign,photoshop,illustrator in 3 months . no way !!!
    we mainly worked in indesign , we did the pen tool in illustrator and graphic chart . photoshop almost nothing i had to take another course to learn it properly after spending 7000. finally Acrobat was hilarious , basically we didnt do anything , we learned how to press the OK button to save it as pdf your maney or give it to me i can teach you more things :)
  18. Brian

    Brian New Member

    standard rates for design from a professional studio are around £300 to £400 per day, so if you are a pro designer on the same level as the teachers at Shillington don't you think you are selling yourself a bit cheap there? You'd be better of just sticking to the day job, presuming you are a professional designer.

    It's more the other way around. They will teach you the basics of operating the software and a mac, and how to do some specific, useful advanced tasks but really 3 months is too short a time to become an expert in the main 3 Adobe programs and fit in any other learning. They teach you how to be a real world designer, an appreciation of a wide array of design and bring you up to speed on the tips, tricks and observations real designers have learnt in their careers. Not everyone who takes the course is cut out to be a designer, not everyone who does a degree comes out of it being a good designer, you either have that spark or you don't. If you have it then Shillington will open your eyes to how to wield it in a professional manner. If you don't have it then no amount of teaching is going to make you a good designer. Same with art, music etc.

    professional designers mainly work in InDesign. You are not being truthful about what you were taught in Photoshop and Illustrator. They showed you many techniques and tools within both bits of software. I understand where you went wrong and why you are frustrated by it, you thought you were going to the class Paul here describes. theyre teaching you how to be a designer, not a software operator. All the basic and a fair amount of intermediate and advanced use of the software was shown, if you couldn't pick it up in 3 months then fair play, it's a lot to take in. I would question though why you chose to take a higher education course in graphic design when you don't even know how to use the basics of photoshop. Thats like someone turning up to a degree level Illustration class then complaining they didn't teach you how to use a pencil. I got photoshop free with a scanner in the mid 90s when I was about 14/15 years old. I taught myself how to use it over time, thats because I am an artistic minded person and I enjoy this. You wouldn't take a degree level course in music having never played an instrument in your life, did you just decide you wanted to be a designer out of the blue 5 minutes before you booked the course? If it has been a goal of yours and something you are passionate about to the point where you want to spend thousands of £ on a course don't you think you should have actually tried digital art software? You should be living in it.

    I went to this college (Liverpool St one) in 2009 having used photoshop for about 13 years, I don't think you need that much experience in photoshop, maybe a few months teaching yourself at home with Youtube vids. I learnt Photoshop when I was a kid in that time with no internet, no youtube, no forums etc, a 486pc with 4 meg ram, it's not that hard. When I went there I had never used InDesign or Illustrator before, by the time I left I could use those 2 bits of software as well as or better than any Designer I have met since, even seniors, having worked in quite a few places with a lot of degree educated designers. You don't need to know all the software, a basic understanding of Photoshop that anyone can teach themselves in a few months is enough to go there and come out knowing as much as the average jnr designer getting paid for their work. I left there 3 years ago, I'm a middleweight designer now, all I knew was photoshop and how to make really bad grungy flyers when I went in and now I can design anything from a logo to a 300 page brochure without even touching photoshop.

    I understand what you are saying, and theres some truth in that, but at the same time how long do you spend on logos now? As I said before most rates are around £350 a day, how many clients come to you with £7000 in their pocket to pay you for a month working on their logo? Most small businesses, which is what most designers deal with, only have enough money in their budget to pay you for 2 days work. Ok, we know in actuality you end up spending more than 2 days on it, working 60 to 70 hour weeks dealing with all the tweaks and amendments back and forth etc, but thats what theyre paying you for and its a hard reality of real life design that a lot of uni student shave to get to grips with on the job as an intern for many, many months. You don't have 6 months to do 1 design, you don't need 6 months and no one is going to pay you those sort of sums unless you are rebranding Apple or the Olympics. They want you to produce 3 separate ideas for the logo projects, thats not always possible, creativity can be nurtured but not directly taught like maths, what matters is that you learn from that sort of time pressure in a relaxed and friendly environment and that in the end you come out with 1 really good idea you can stick in a portfolio and show a potential employer, they will know that when they add that to the 1 good idea they had and another good idea one of their middleweights had that you can contribute to sending 3 strong ideas to a client, and its not going to take you months to come up with it.

    Ive worked with people who have masters desgrees in design and come to us as interns not even understanding the basics of making a design with bleeds and margins that can be safely printed, not understanding master pages in InDesign or how to even do basic tasks in Photoshop. With any course you get out what you put in, if you really want this then do yourself a favour before you sign up to any course, be it uni, Shillington, whatever, open up Photoshop, start there, play around, learn it, watch some tutorials. You will be spending 60 hours a week in one of these programs for the next 40 years of your life, give it some time, get your head around the basics, if this is something you still really want to do with your life then go look at some courses, and don't be put of Shillington by what scatola said, hes perfectly entitled to his opinion and it obviously wasn't the right course for him at that time, but when I took it there were about 20/30 of us in the class and I can safely say 95% of those people came out with the skills and drive to start a design career and were more than happy with the course. I've had contact with 3 of them since and they are now professional designers working in a range of places.
    LucaParente, pealo86 and Paul Murray like this.
  19. pealo86

    pealo86 New Member

    Thanks for the detailed advice! I was about to post a thread in here asking for reviews of Shillington but you've done a good job of doing it all yourself.

    I don't suppose you could give me some feedback on whether you think it would be worth me studying? I've been considering it for the last couple of months and even more so over the last few days.

    I graduated from a BSc in 2009 (which was a complete waste of time) and have been working full time as a freelance web designer for nearly 3 years.

    I have a significant amount of experience behind me (see my portfolio link in my sig) however about 95% of the jobs I work on are websites, then the other 5% approx being logo design.

    I really want to branch out more and work on more graphic design / print-based projects. I love the idea of working on jobs involving designing brochures, flyers, posters and stationery. But I practically never get any enquiries for this type of work because my speciality is a web designer.

    I don't like the idea of being labelled purely a 'web designer'... I feel that, at heart, I am a "designer". Not strictly just for the web. I know plenty of people who design for both print and the web and do a good job of it.

    Too many people think that because I can code that means I need to stay well clear of designing for print... why? Because I know HTML / CSS / WordPress that means I'm in no way capable of learning how to design a brochure? I think not.

    Sometimes I even get referred to as a "web developer"... which sends shivers down my spine. But I find people normally just say this out of ignorance more than anything.

    So anyway, before I ramble on too much... do you think studying at Shillington would be a good way to broaden my skill set in terms of branding and print design? I'm thinking of saving to study part time in September. But I was going to pay a visit to the graduate show this Thursday in Manchester, the standard of the graduates' work online looks very high.

    I get the impression, from my research over the last few days, that Shillington could give me the kick I need to refine my career in the right direction. I am primarily self-taught and as mentioned previously the vast majority of my skills and experience lie in web design... but this isn't necessarily where I want to be. I'd like to think that studying at Shillington would be a great way to fill in the gaps for me as a designer, as I think there's only *so far* you can go purely with self-tuition.

    Any thoughts would be great.
  20. pealo86

    pealo86 New Member

    Also (as it's too late for me to edit my post :crazy:)...

    As you may gather from some of the content / blog posts on my website, I enjoy frontend development... but only when I take care of the design. Design is my true passion, I barely even mention my development skills on my website & CV because it's not the type of work that I'm particularly keen to take on.

    My ultimate goal is to work on a mix of design projects for both on and offline mediums. I'm happy to code for the web, but only when I've designed it. Then I would like to work on more jobs involving branding and print design.

    If I were to study at Shillington, I may then consider working, perhaps just for a couple days per week, at a creative agency... purely for the experience more than anything else.

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