Learn from the great Paula Scher with BBC Maestro’s new graphic design course

The course touches on Paula’s career, vision and practice as well as guiding you through lessons on typography, logo creation, editorial design, environmental design, film titles and more.

30 October 2023

A graphic design course led by the industry legend Paula Scher has now launched on online learning platform BBC Maestro. The 21-part course takes lessons from her own career, specific vision and “innovative” practices that have helped to shape the design industry today.

Paula is one of the industry’s most celebrated and decorated practitioners. She has served on the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) board and was president of its New York Chapter from 1998 to 2000. In 2006 she was awarded the Type Directors Club Medal (the first woman to receive the prize) and in 2022 she received the D&AD Special President’s Award. She has held positions at School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union and Yale University, and she has authored three books including the 2002 Make it Bigger. In 2017 we spoke to Paula about her trailblazing career so far and her tips and tricks for being one step ahead in the design world.

Copyright © BBC Maestro, 2023

Throughout the course you can expect lessons on typography, logo creation, editorial design, environmental design and film titles, as well as collaboration with clients, a press release outlines. Typography is of particularly interest to the designer; in the course she says: “Typography expresses emotions. What you see in typography is nuance and form and spirit: words have meaning, type has spirit. And when you put them together, the combination is spectacular.” The course also features interviews with Michael Gericke and Emily Oberman, the latter of whom spoke at our first ever New York Nicer Tuesdays earlier this year.

On the course, Paula says: “Learning from successful design examples is a necessity for all graphic designers, not an option. However, the point is not to imitate. The point is to integrate the learning into your work. And the more informed you are by the influences you see, the more exciting your designs can be. In order to be a designer, you’ll need some sense of creativity, affinity for culture, graphic sensibility, and curiosity – the rest you’ll be able to learn on the way. You don’t necessarily have to ‘know’ how to draw, (although everyone can draw) but you will need to be able to express your ideas and describe those ideas to others so they can see what you’re seeing.”

Paula’s course joins a wide selection of others available through BBC Maestro, including a poetry course from the former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a music production course with Mark Ronson, and a modern Indian cooking course with Michelin star chef Vineet Bhatia. The course is available from today. You can find more details here.

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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