advanced graphic design


It is always encouraging to hear from our students about their journey to becoming a student at our school.

Aileen Bennie is one of our rising stars who has achieved so much since she started on the Graphic Design for Beginners Level 1 course. She will soon be starting her Advanced Graphic Design Level 3 course following her completion of Level 2 Graphic Design.

We will be following Aileen’s progress over the coming months, but here is her story in her own words.


Hi, My name is Aileen Bennie and I come from a beautiful part of the world – Scotland.

I have been studying with the Creative Design School International for just over one year and it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience, not to mention a steep learning curve!

My passion has always enjoyed art and design and had seriously considered applying to art school, however by the time it came to leaving school was at a bit of a crossroads and chose a more academic route into Occupational Therapy. I have worked in Social Work for many years, which is interesting and varied, but I have always wished that I had chosen the creative route for my career.


When I was younger.

In primary school our Headteacher taught us calligraphy writing as it was a skill she had and wanted to share. This sparked in me a keen interest in lettering and typography. It’s something I have continued to practice as a hobby – doing handwriting for friend’s weddings and special occasions and it is a skill My aim is to continue to develop further.

I am also very interested in photography and was glad to have started with black and white film photography before everything went digital.

I have been very lucky to have enjoyed a few extended periods of travelling to a variety of countries including India, South East Asia, Australia and the South Pacific. Travelling and taking photographs was a dream and a wonderful opportunity to get out of the rat race. Thank goodness for digital cameras, though, it saves having to carry all those films around!

You can see my catalogue of travel stock photos on Alamy.

Previous studies.

Travelling made me reflect on my life and when I returned to Scotland, I knew that I had to find ways to include more creativity in my life. Over the years I have taken various short courses in photography, art and design, most recently while on maternity leave I decided to start the Open University design course. I completed the first module – which I loved doing and it really reminded me how much I enjoy being creative – however to move onto the next level, I had to study a different, more academic subject before being able to able the get to the next design module. I decided that I really wanted to focus on learning graphic design as it is an area I have always been interested in, but never pursued.

Aileen’s journey with us so far.

I began looking for graphic design courses that I could do flexibly to fit around working and family life, however found it quite difficult to find a course which was of interest but also had good tutor support which I needed due to having no previous experience of graphic design. Then I came across the Creative Design School International and was very impressed by the range of courses on offer and the fact that you can start at beginners level and progress onto other courses. As I was not sure exactly which direction I wanted to go in, this was perfect for me. Firstly, I was impressed by the website and student magazines on the Creative Design School International website and reading about other students experiences made me really keen to get started. The fisrt step for me was to start with the Graphic Design for Beginners course.

With no real experience of graphic design or design software, I have made significant progress over the last year, mainly due to the course content, interesting projects which have been great for developing skills and the support, guidance and advice from my tutor. Even using Skype was a new experience for me, but the regular Skype sessions with my tutor have been fantastic for guiding me in the right direction with my projects and have helped me improve my confidence in my work.

I have just started Graphic Design, Level 2. It is still quite early days for me and I have a lot to learn, but I am beginning to find my own personal style and focus which so far is leaning towards lettering, typography and illustration.

For anyone considering studying with the Creative Design School International, I would say – don’t hesitate, your won’t regret it!

You will be able to see some of Aileen’s work in the next issue of our student magazine ‘Think Creative’ which is due out on the 3 February 2020

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