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Case Study

Alex Close

County Durham, UK

BA (Hons) Graphic Design


Alex Close almost didn’t make it to university as he tried to drop out of college to become an electrician. Luckily his tutor talked him out of it, and he decided to continue his studies in Graphic Design at the University of Sunderland, after attending an Open Day. His favourite part of the course was his final year, and he believes the connection with his fellow students and his tutors is what made the course great. He now works at North East design agency, Blumilk.

I was studying Graphic Design at college and going to university seemed like the next logical step. I had actually tried to drop out of college and become an electrician but my tutor talked me out of it, and I’m so happy he did! I was set on moving away to study further down the country, however when I went to the Open Day at the University of Sunderland and had my interview, I got a really good vibe from the place and knew it was a good fit.

My favourite part of the course was my final year – I loved every project we did. The communication and connection with the other students and my tutors are what made the course great.

After I graduated, I got a job as a graphic designer at a fantastic printing company called Northern Print Solutions. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t stop until I got the role I wanted. After nine months there, I applied for a job at one of the most established design agencies in the North East - Blumilk. And after a few interviews and a trial day, I got the job! I’ve been here 16 months now and I absolutely love it. Everything I learned at university helps in my work today. When I went to university at 19, all I knew was how to draw, I didn’t really understand typography, composition, layout, adobe or how to think like a designer. I dedicated myself to the degree and it all worked out for me.

Sunderland was just fantastic; it had a family vibe to it, which I know my friends who went to other universities up and down the country didn’t feel when they were studying. I met the best friends I could ever ask for and I’m great friends with my tutors. Overall, it was three amazing years of learning and growing. The best time of my life so far.”

Published 3 November 2020

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