Month: August 2022

Meet our Indesign and Illustrator tutor, Helen Pummell

Following our series of interviews with the team behind City’s short courses, today we meet Helen Pummell, tutor on our Adobe Indesign and Illustrator short courses.

Portrait of tutor Helen Pummell

Helen Pummell, Adobe Indesign and Illustrator Tutor

1.Please tell us about yourself and your background

Since 1996 I’ve been a creative art worker and graphic designer specialising in print media and advertising. And for more than twenty years now I’ve also been a part time creative software lecturer at City, University of London.

I’ve prepared in-store graphics, bus and taxi wraps, brochures, flyers, posters, branding and adverts in every major newspaper in the UK.  I’ve worked with educational establishments of world renown like The University of Brighton and Oxford University, also some of the UK’s best-known high street brands like Coca-Cola, Miss Selfridge and Tesco.

2. What do you teach at City?

I teach the Adobe InDesign and Illustrator courses at City. They cover all the fundamentals needed to begin using the software professionally. The design world can be daunting to break into and learning some industry language and processes can give students a valuable advantage, so my courses cover more than just software. My aim with teaching is to give students the tools to do their own creative thing.

3. Why do you think it’s important to learn skills like Adobe Illustrator?

Illustrator is a fundamental part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, the industry standard software. It can be used for print, digital, motion graphics, 3D, logo design as well as a broad range of illustrative purposes.

4. What are your top three tips for learning Adobe Illustrator?

  1. Regular practice as often as possible – even if just for twenty minutes. Familiarity will improve everything.
  2. Look at professional examples. Anywhere you can follow vector artists such as Instagram, Dribble and Behance. Exploring professional portfolios is brilliant for keeping up to date with the latest trends and getting an idea of what is possible with the software.
  3. Try using Illustrator’s Harmony Rules to build colour palettes for all your creative projects. It’s a powerful and underused feature that can make your work stand out and accelerate your design skills.

5. Why would you recommend learning Adobe Illustrator at City?

The format is excellent for a wide range of different learners. Setting aside weekly time over 10-weeks really gives learners the opportunity to develop their knowledge and new skills. It’s a great length of time to get to grips with the fundamentals. The opportunity to practice new digital skills with guided face to face support allows students to learn at their own speed. I also make extensive notes and practice files available to all students on Moodle, City’s online learning platform, to support any personal practice during the week and allow them to prepare for, or revise, lessons as suits them best.

Thank you, Helen! For more on the Adobe Indesign and Illustrator courses Helen teaches, visit our design courses page.

For more on all City’s computing short courses, visit our home page here.

 

Meet our Photoshop tutor, Pete Polanyk

Portrait of Pete Polanyk

Pete Polanyk, City’s Photoshop tutor

In another interview with the team behind City’s Short Courses, today we meet Pete Polanyk, our Introduction to Photoshop short course tutor.

Please tell us about yourself and your background

I’m Pete Polanyk and I’ve been working in the design industry for near on 30 years and have been teaching at City for 20 years. How I actually got into the field was in the early 1980’s I wrote a music fanzine and sometime later undertook a night class in Magazine Design & Production at The London College of Printing (now the LCC) and it evolved from there. I’ve worked in national newspapers, advertising agencies and publishing houses as well as working for myself.

In my spare time I write a music/gardening blog, compile musical mixes for a shortwave radio show and produce electronic music, self-releasing it on my own label and designing the associated visual material.

What do you teach at City? 

I teach the Introduction to Adobe Photoshop course on a Wednesday evening. The course is an introduction to one of the industry’s top image creation and photo editing software.

Over the ten weeks we learn the fundamentals of the application, how to create and edit your own digital image/artwork using a variety of techniques and I also cover some Graphic Design related topics. We start right from the bottom and work our way up.

Why do you think it’s important to learn skills like Photoshop?

It’s a very versatile programme. By learning it, you could add it to your present work skills, you could develop your own creative output or it could be a way of getting your foot in the door into the design industry. Who knows where it might lead you.

Three surfers in the water at sun set

Learn Photoshop to understand how to manipulate images

Over the years we’ve had students wanting to learn it for many reasons. We had a person who wanted to use it just to do some simple amends on promotional material for her own business as she was fed up with paying a designer an extortionate amount for doing small corrections. We had a deep sea diver who wanted to learn the skills to make a poster to promote his local diving club and a vicar who wanted to correct photographs for a parish magazine.

What are your top three tips for learning Photoshop?

  1. Learn the keyboard shortcuts rather than using the pull-down menus, it’s a lot easier and will save you a lot of time.
  2. Set yourself tasks like simple design jobs, something that may be useful for yourself or your workplace and take it from there (promotional material, a simple web banner or greetings card etc). If you’re working on a project with a purpose it will keep your concentration and hold your interest for longer.
  3. Practice, practice and practice! It’s like anything, you get better by putting more hours into it. Little and often is a good thing too. Keep at it and you’ll get there.

Why would you recommend learning Photoshop at City?

The application is taught in small groups in a friendly atmosphere over ten weeks, two hours a week. I set three simple projects that you can complete over the term which gives you more practical skills with the programme as well as some work to show for the course.

It can be a diverse class with students from different walks of life (it’s not just people from a design related background) and it does you no harm being around people from other disciplines who take different approaches when it comes to learning something new or tackling photoshop projects.

Thank you, Pete!

Pete Polanyk teaches City’s Introduction to Photoshop Short Course. For City’s  other graphic design short courses, visit this page.

To see our full range of Computing Short Courses, visit our short course home page.

 

Meet Our AutoCAD tutor, Thomas Haycocks

Cavity 777 Sculpture by Nick Ferguson

Continuing our series of interviews with some of the team behind City’s short courses, today we meet our AutoCAD tutor Thomas Haycocks.

Please tell us about yourself and your background

Macena Octopus Sculpture in conjunction with artist Suzie Wright

I come from a creative background in design and have used AutoCAD (computer Aided Design) in a wide range of projects over many years. I very much enjoy the accuracy and visual quality that AutoCAD brings. The drawings I produce are used by companies and often transferred directly to Computer Aided Machinery to be manufactured. I have worked on large scale building projects, exhibition designs and public sculptures. I have taught for over 20 years to all levels and very much enjoy the interaction that teaching brings.

 

What do you teach at City?

I run the AutoCAD courses. We offer a range of courses starting from beginners through to courses that provide students with a greater depth of knowledge and a higher professional level of skill.

Drawing by City AutoCAD Short Course Student

At City, the courses are taught through demonstrations using AutoCAD, the knowledge learnt is then reinforced and embedded through AutoCAD based tasks. The AutoCAD classes are structured so that each week a new topic is covered. Together, these classes combine to make the whole course.

Why do you think it’s important to learn skills like AutoCAD?

AutoCAD is used across many industries and professions. The programme is at the forefront of Computer Aided Design. Whether you want to use it for your own personal use or to build your employment skill set, it offers the ability to accurately draw up your tasks and manipulate the drawings to exactly how you want them.

What are your top three tips for learning AutoCAD?

  1. Understand the AutoCAD interface – This will enable you to gain confidence in using the programme so that you can draw and present exactly what you want.
  2. Use AutoCAD to draw up your own projects – This will enable you to become fluent in using the tools, commands and features of AutoCAD that are relevant to you.
  3. Explore AutoCAD – There are many features in AutoCAD that can be found by exploring the commands. Not all of them are easy to find, but once you know them, they can help in the construction and presentation of drawings

Why would you recommend learning AutoCAD at City?

The tutors are experienced and highly knowledgeable in their fields. The team at City running the short courses are very professional, organised and provide a strong support service.

Thank you, Thomas!

To find out more about the courses Thomas teaches at City, check out AutoCAD beginners and more advanced short courses.

For more information on all our Computing Short Courses visit our web page here.

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