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Peter Lester - The Open College of the Arts

Peter Lester

Hi there! My name is Peter and I teach Graphic Design Level One at the OCA. I left school way back in the 60’s without any qualifications, and for many years worked as an unskilled laborer in a lot of different industries. I recently left Nottingham Trent University, where my final full-time position was head of Masters Studies in Visual Communications. In my late twenties I was encouraged, by a friend who was a teacher, to go to ‘night school’ to get some GCEs. Next came A Levels, Art Foundation Studies and Art College. Eventually, my dream of a professional career in the creative industries and Higher Education came true. It took a lot time and dedication, but is was well worth it.

Education changed my life for the better. It can change yours too. My aim as a teacher has always been to help my students to reach their personal goals, whatever they are. You might want to investigate graphic design in order to pursue a new career, or you may want to learn for pleasure and self-fulfillment; my aim is to support you, whatever your purpose in studying with the OCA.

My professional creative background is broad; I have been employed as a graphic designer, a photographer, a publication designer, a magazine editor and for many years as a publishing consultant with the Polaroid Corporation. I have also been a university lecturer for over 20 years in all these subjects, as well as teaching illustration, advertising and branding.

What links all these professional activities, and the skills that go with them, is an understanding of design process, which includes idea development, problem solving, research methods, the vocabulary of visual language and the philosophy of learning. All these qualities are combined in the practice of graphic design, which is why it is a truly fascinating subject to study. Every brief a graphic designer gets is a challenge to plan and develop solutions to complex problems and needs.

The graphic design course has a great curriculum, which will challenge and inspire you. Through engaging together in many exciting projects, workshops and tasks, we will introduce you to the valuable processes of design theory and practice. I really enjoy helping students to gain the necessary skills and insights to become a designer, and so am looking forward to working with you, and helping you to get the best out of the course and yourself.

peter lester