Visual Design Essentials is a one-day masterclass for digital designers and professionals. Get practical, candid instruction from someone who’s learned visual design the hard way, then learn by doing, with multiple hands-on challenges and team critique sessions. Optional homework assignments will help you further develop the new skills you’ve learned.

You'll learn and practice

Basics of form
Point, line, surface, volume. Geometric, organic, random forms. Exercise: Point placement, attraction of elements.

Layout and composition
Elements in relation. Symmetry, repetition, and rhythm. Activity in structure. Grouping. Gestalt theory. Page grids, common print grids, responsive digital grids, grid arithmetic. Alignment. Hierarchy and visual weight. Positive and negative space. Exercise: Conveying meaning through layout.

Anatomy of a typeface. Typeface classification. Type terminology: hinting, kerning, letterspacing, leading. Alignment, hyphenation, measure.  Choosing base fonts. Choose font pairings. Typographic scales. Webfonts in practice. Handling text over images. Exercise: Typography visual sprint, plus critique.

Icon design
Icon vs. index vs. symbol. Resolution and recognition. Icon consistency. Icon design techniques. · Exercise: Icon design, plus critique.

Visual concept
Visual research. Idea generation. Action verbs. Scrapbooking. Mood boards, brand matrices. Connotation and denotation. “Fresh eyes”. Contemporary trends.

Production and practice
Layer management. Exporting multiple resolutions. Producing assets. File formats, compression, and image optimisation. Version control. Useful tools.

Final exercise
Create a full screen mockup from a provided wireframe/sketch. Plus critique.

Homework assignments (optional)

Who should attend?

This workshop is ideal for:

  • user experience and interaction designers looking to move into full-stack product design, or eager to work more effectively with their visual design colleagues;

  • developers, product managers, and other digital professionals looking to learn the key principles and skills of visual design;

  • early-stage visual designers looking to solidify their learning and gain fresh perspectives from an experienced practitioner.

Your instructor

Cennydd Bowles is a recognised authority on digital product design, former design lead at Twitter, and author of the popular book Undercover User Experience Design. At Twitter, he led several redesign efforts including TweetDeck 3.0 ‘Evo’, putting Twitter “in line with major companies like Apple when it comes to design.” (GigaOm).

Book now

Visual Design Essentials is available as an in-house workshop for between eight and forty participants. Now booking for summer 2019 and beyond.

Sample slides

You’ll receive digital copies of not only the full workshop deck, but also an A3-sized reference guide: the ideal cheat sheet!

Participant feedback