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Graduation project 'Samen dichten' | Roos Laan, Graphic Design 2014, Nominee Department Award

Image: Graduation project 'Samen dichten' | Roos Laan, Graphic Design 2014, Nominee Department Award

Professional Objectives

Graphic designers are increasingly working on the boundaries of the discipline. The department therefore strives to arrive at a broad definition of the discipline and to encourage students to explore those boundaries, crossing them when necessary.

In general, the design process can be divided into four major phases: collecting, examining, visualising and publishing information.

This methodology enables designers to appropriate the following attitudes and skills:

  • developing concepts for the transfer and exchange of information, shaping them with the use of image, typography and other means
  • examining, organising, editing, visualising and managing information
  • working on commission and/or initiating projects
  • identifying socio-political problems and making statements about the profession and the world
  • triggering new developments in the discipline or advancing existing developments
  • in addition to meeting the needs of user and/or clients with their work developing and adding depth to their personal visions and work
  • and, above all, questioning the world and taking nothing for granted

Description of the study programme

The Graphic Design department educates students to become critical thinkers and versatile practitioners who develop outstanding concepts for visual communication. Ideal graduates are investigative designers who are fully aware of current affairs, choose their media wisely and master both traditional and new media. Graduates excel in their professional careers through their extraordinary conceptual and visual abilities, extensive knowledge of the profession and the world, strong technological curiosity and highly developed social engagement.

The department offers an extensive curriculum. The programme is built around four main courses: Design, Interaction, Image and Typography. The excellent quality in the field of typeface design and typography distinguishes the programme from other graphic design studies. The type design education starts in the first year, in combination with typography. In the second year, students can choose to pursue this topic in the Letterstudio elective. The electives Playlab and Design Office are equally unique. Playlab is fully dedicated to avant-garde research, while Design Office focuses, with its external assignments for real clients, on the practical aspects of the discipline. Furthermore, these courses are backed up by additional theory and coding classes. Each year, the department uses the strong content of the programme and the composition of the teaching staff to achieve actuality, versatility, depth and interaction between theory and practice.

Students work towards general or specialised graduation profiles. The social dimension of the programme is reflected in the assignments, projects and teaching philosophy. A pioneering and questioning attitude prevails in relation to the discipline. On top of that, the department is well known internationally and the study environment is remarkably international, with foreign students, guest lecturers, field trips and collaborations with academies abroad.

As described above, we regard the notions of image, interaction and programming as important points of interest in contemporary design, and they therefore occupy a prominent place in the programme.

Final qualifications for Graphic Design

The final qualifications have been summarised in seven competencies. The KABK has established these competencies according to the national final qualifications for Graphic Design programmes.

1. You are able to develop an innovative concept arising from your artistic ambition and research, elaborate it into a distinctive image, product, means of communication or spatial design, and to contextualize it in a meaningful way (creative ability)

2. You are able to consider, analyse, interpret and assess your own and others' work, and are capable of constructively considering your findings in relation to your own work (capacity for critical reflection)

3. You are able to further develop your vision, work and working methods in breadth and depth through an ongoing process of research, and in this way contribute to your discipline and to society (capacity for growth and innovation)

4. You are able to establish and maintain an inspirational and functional working environment and to organize your research, work and practice (organizational ability)

5. You are able to effectively present your vision, research and work and engage in a dialogue with clients and other interested parties (communicative ability)

6. You are able to relate your artistic practice to the artistic and social context (external awareness)

7. You are able to make an independent contribution to a collaborative product or process (capacity for collaboration)


Graduates are awarded the Bachelor of Art (BA) degree, which qualifies them to enter postgraduate programmes in the Netherlands or abroad

Postgraduate studies

After completing their Bachelor’s degrees, graduates may enrol in a Master programme in design (MA Design) or art (MA Fine Arts), or in other Master programmes at other art academies. In addition to our own Master programme in Type and Media, graduates have gone on to pursue Master’s degrees at many renowned institutions, including the Royal College in London, the Yale School of Art in New Haven, ECAL – Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, the Typography Workshop at ArtEZ in Arnhem, the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam and the University of Leiden.

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Last updated: 2017-04-11

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