Cass Visual Communication

Give and Take Studio

Cass Visual Communication

Cass Visual Communication has a respect for craft, for making and for the heritage of the tools we use to create; but it also has a future-facing ideology using digital technologies to create work of integrity, value and agency. Our facilities are unique. You can work in traditional technologies such as:

  • letterpress in order to understand the principles of typography and digital design
  • printmaking
  • publishing
  • motion graphics
  • animation
  • interactive design
  • experiential design
  • illustration

We continue to teach drawing as a core skill and seek to collaborate with other discipline areas. Our Cass Works facilities mean that you can access 2D and 3D making workshops ranging from screen printing, laser cutting, 3D printing, to ceramics; offering a range of making possibilities unlike any other Visual Communication department in the UK. We carefully consider the commercial world that our graduates will enter and ensure that you become independent and adaptable professionals with core skills that enable a life-long career in the creative industries.

Graphic Design BA, Illustration and Animation BA and Design for Publishing BA employ leading experts in the field to provide you with the right skills and attributes to enter the industry with confidence. You'll learn the very foundations of your specialist subject areas through specialist core skills and develop a culture of thinking through making, in order to understand how best to apply your skills in industry contexts. Interdisciplinary collaboration and thinking is also part of the learning experience, providing opportunities for you to experience and mirror the latest developments in industry practice across the sector. We provide opportunities for you to apply for paid commissioned work on in-house design and illustration projects and for external clients. You can also undertake an internship as part of your work-related learning. The Visual Communication cluster has designers and illustrators in residence, both our alumni and industry professionals creating a culture where students, staff and industry create a dynamic community of practice and studio working culture.

We focus on understanding, reaching and connecting with audiences through visual communication, working to briefs through work-related learning. Through our Hothouse initiative, we connect with leaders in the field to offer the latest insights and mentoring in relation to our three courses. You'll learn to think creatively and strategically, and leave with the ability to create work and fully understand the process of planning, creating, costing, producing and presenting work to clients and audiences across a broad range of outputs. Our graduates may become freelance illustrators, graphic designers and typographers working in publishing, print or editorial; or may find opportunities working as digital designers and illustrators exploring immersive experience design and experiential design. We have developed collaborative working and teaching with our Enterprise Unit Accelerator and our students are crowdfunding and testing fantastic design-related projects that are put into production. We present opportunities for you to extend the potential of your skillset, so you are prepared for the fluid expectations of an ever-changing industry.

Follow Hothouse on Twitter: @thecasshothouse

Related course

Material and Visual Culture BA combines the study, practice and curation of design, craft, art and applied arts. Innovative and inter-disciplinary, it explores the objects, artefacts and images with which we surround ourselves; helping to shape our cultural and personal identities. It is in the forefront of new ways of thinking about how people and the things that make up their environment interact with and affect each other.

Unlike most courses that study art or visual culture, this course does not privilege any one class or quality of artefact over another – any object from a painting to a dress to a postcard can reveal valuable insights into society and its cultures. Uniquely, the course asks you to work with objects that you have made, or own, or have borrowed or identified in archives and collections, to reveal the different qualities or meanings that they may have, or may be made to have by your curation or interpretation. You will graduate not only knowing a great deal about our material and visual culture and its interpretation, but also having real-world skills in the use and practical application of this knowledge. You will develop your curatorial and publishing skills, presenting your findings and ideas in innovative formats. In the final year you will work on an independent project, designing and managing your own research programme and presenting it in your choice of format, such as a book, film, website, installation or exhibition.

Visual Communication Studios

Studio VisCom 01: Future Past

Susanna Edwards and Michelle Salamon

Future Past is a studio run in collaboration with The Roman Road Trust.

Studio VisCom 02: Ellipsis

Angharad Lewis and Alistair Hall

In this studio we explore the materiality of printed communication; we test the tools and processes used to communicate visually on the page.

Studio VisCom 03: Design Futures

Ricardo Eversley and Emily Evans

Design Futures: A studio that authors via the lens of traditional and digital products as tools for design making, thinking, seeing and storytelling.

Studio VisCom 04: Give and Take

Sara Carneholm and Russell Weekes

In Studio Give and Take we will explore different aspects of art direction, a field that is as relevant to illustrators as it is to graphic designers.

Studio VisCom 05 (Animation students only): Space Speaks, Time Talks

Mark Collington

This studio explores how a text manifests itself in the spatial and temporal medium of animation production.

Cass Visual Communication - Undergraduate courses

Design for Publishing - BA (Hons)

Our Design for Publishing BA undergraduate course trains you to produce high-quality print and digital media in state-of-the-art studios at The Cass.

Graphic Design - BA (Hons)

On this course you'll nurture traditional graphic design, skills and practice. You'll also have access to the latest developments within industry.

Illustration and Animation - BA (Hons)

The Illustration and Animation BA degree will teach you skills in image-making and visual storytelling including children's books, graphic novels and app design.

Cass Visual Communication - Postgraduate courses

Design for Cultural Commons - MA

This MA will help you become a pioneer in the field of cultural and urban commons.

MA by Project - MA

This unique research degree is tailored to opening new opportunities in creative practice, professional and academic fields. The course provides unparalleled access to a range of resources within a stimulating and creative environment.

Recent Successes


Kieron Baroutchi

London based Graphic Artist and Educator

Works within the disciplines of Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation and Printmaking.

Emma Davenport

Emma is a senior lecturer with The Cass.

Emma teaches on Critical and Contextual Studies.

Damian Grist

Senior Technician - Printroom

Completed a MA in Fine Art at London Metropolitan University.

Alistair Hall

Visiting Lecturer Graphic Design

An award-winning graphic designer based in London, Alistair has been running his own design studio, We Made This, since 2004.

Heather McDonough

Teaches on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Heather McDonough is a fine art photographer with a background in print and design.

Clare Qualmann

Teaches on BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Clare Qualmann is a London based artist working across a wide range of media; from drawing and sculpture to text-works and live art events (often in the form of walks).

Kim Vousden

Graphic designer,typographer and image maker

Teaches letterpress and relief printmaking.

News from Cass Visual Communication

28 Brick Lane - Street art competition opens for student submissions

Entry deadline: Midnight on Monday 2 July 2018

Cass Projects and Tower Hamlets Council are delighted to announce the launch of a artwork competition.

Cass Summer Shows 2018 – dates announced

Students from London Met’s Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design showcase their talent with a season of summer events.

The Cass’s Head of Visual Communications to imagine Southampton in the future

Susanna Edwards has been asked to use her expertise to visualise what Southampton will be like in 2117.

Students' writing and design talents celebrated in new anthology

Students from English Literature and Creative Writing have teamed up with Visual Communication students to create an inaugural collaborative anthology.

Celebration week 2017

20-24 February

Students, staff and studios across The Cass celebrate and share their work in progress with panels of invited critics.

Russell Weekes

Friday 11 November, 1.15–2pm

A talk by Russell Weekes, as part of the Hothouse talks.

Creating a buzz

Find out which awards were won by FlySpy

Cass Visual communications students and alumni work on award winning short film titled FlySpy

Cass Vis Comms lecturer and Grafik Magazine editor releases new book

A step by step guide for anyone who loves magazines or dreams of starting their own.

Open Call 2016

Cass Alumni group announce open call

Uncertain States, the lens-based collective founded at The Cass, announce dates for annual Open Call.

Cass Summer Show

10 June - 2 July 2016

Dates have been announced for this year's Cass Summer Show art exhibitions.

Grafik Website Takeover

Cass Graphic Design and Illustration students takeover Grafik Website.

Making a living: Kirstin Helgadottir

18 March, 1pm. Room CR622

The final making a living talk is by our very own visual communication cluster alumna Kirstin Helgadottir.

Lunch time talk by Helga Steppan

Friday 4 March, 1-2pm, CR1-02

A talk about work, process and dyspraxia.

Draw comics to change the world

Cass hosts IDEA Art and Design Advocacy Lab featuring leading cartoonists and artists

Celebration Week 2016

18 - 24 February

Students, staff and studios across The Cass celebrate and share their work in progress with panels of critics and invited guests.