10 Meritorious European Design Schools to Study Graphic Design

By Janil Jean , Oct 28 2014
European Design Schools

Featured Image: unplash/Headway

Europe is known for many things, its art and architecture being the most prominent features. The various eras of the past and their respective aesthetics have left a deep mark on that continent. You will find some of the best tourist destinations there, and it is true, that most of us covet a secret wish of spending time there. Such a place of wholesome beauty and design couldn’t come to be without a continuous flow of great artists, architects, and visual designers. Art plays a major role in their lives. Therefore, it only makes sense that so many Europeans love to make a career in arts; be it graphic design, product design, fashion design, architecture, amazing typography design, web design industry, etc.

Even the term design was first associated with the applied arts in that very continent during the 20th century. Visual communications has now become the most widespread field of art in the world because it covers a huge range of subjects, such as, illustration, advertising, animation, web design, brand management, copywriting, information graphics, performing arts, and so on. The field of graphic design is considered a subset of visual communication. It uses symbols, words and images to communicate the message of an organization and reach the customer-base through all viable means such as publications, billboards, advertisements, websites, identity design, etc. Graphic design teaches us how to tell simple stories through fantastic visuals for your clients.

When I was in the process of finding design schools, I had multiple options and they were all really great. But for me, the best options were the graphic design institutes within the United States. Later, I found out how awesome some of the schools are around the world. Even in Asia, there are many countries where art and design are given prime importance in life. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some short-term courses overseas, be it in Asian or Europe. While doing research for an assignment, I came across these great European design schools that I am going to share with my readers today. Hope you find a high standard design institute soon or send us your suggestions for a good one. Check out the following:

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Aalto University

Image source

Location: Helsinki, Finland

About: The school of Arts, Design and Architecture was established in 2012, as a merger between two different schools; i.e. the faculty of architecture in the Helsinki University of Technology and TaiK, the largest art university in all of Nordic countries. The new school provides excellent courses in media, design, art, architecture, and motion pictures. A combined approach between these disciplines of the school provides innovative and technology-driven ideas that put special emphasis on a user-centered approach, in the creation of human environment.

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

Image source

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

About: The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) is one of the best international hubs of creative minds. Their integrated structure provides a unique environment that consists of renowned education, a cutting edge research group, and an award-winning consultancy. The school was established in 2007 with a vision to create impact through the design of innovative products, services, and environments.

La Poudrière Animation Film School

La Poudriere

Image source

Location: Valence, France

About: La Poudrière imparts knowledge and training of art and design, exclusively to the animators and filmmakers. They offer comprehensive courses on all of the stages of film production as well as specialize in animation production. The students learn to work in a challenging environment and bring a project to completion either alone or in collaboration with a team. As visual graphics play a huge role in film-making, the school puts a great emphasis in providing experience in that skill.

Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Image source

Location: Köln, Germany

About: The Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) is a high level research institute for audio-visual media. The academy was founded in 1990, and since then, it has provided a unique educational concept in Germany that requires a merger between art, science and film within a single degree course. It’s been over a decade now that the school is offering PhD courses as well.

Florence Institute of Design International

Florence Institute

Image source: Florence Institute of Design

Location: Florence, Italy

About: FIDI is usually the first choice for any design related degree. It is an international design school, situated in the heart of Florence. The school teaches Italian design with specialties such as, graphic design, interior design, furniture design, and architecture for students from around the world. All the masters, bachelors, and diploma courses are conducted in English language, with the use of dynamic teaching methods and interactive learning. They believe in combining modern technology with inventive traditions. The graphic design courses encompass the knowledge of tradition, theory and the latest graphic software.

European University, Cyprus

European University Cyprus

Image source: European University 

Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

About: The European University Cyprus was first established in 1961 as a Cyprus College, but was granted university status in 2007. It is one of the 40 institutions in Europe that are awarded the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation system (ECTS) Label by the European Commission. The four year Bachelor of Arts degree at this university develops the creative skills of its students in a wide range of professional skills and expertise in print media, interactive media, 3D design, motion graphics, and so on. They also learn the essential skills of project planning and time management and get prepared for the fast-evolving field of art.

L’École de design Nantes Atlantique

Le Cole de Design

Image Source: Le Cole de Design

Location: Nantes, France

About: L’École de design Nantes Atlantique is a private art institution that believes in the recognition of creative workers as true professional, promotion of design as a strong economic asset, and design practice that tackles social, economic, and environmental issues in a responsible ways. From master’s degree to vocational courses, they impart the philosophy of design being a trigger for innovation. Since 1998, the school is situated in the northeastern area of Nantes, and being the only design institution in Western France, it holds a unique regional position.

Inedi design school

Mannequins
Image source. iStock/Eivaisla

Location: Vizcaya, Spain

About: In the world of fashion design, graphic design, and multimedia design, you will find countless individuals who have been trained and taught at the Spanish Inedi design school. The school was established in 1986 as a commitment to produce diligent creative in all fields of design. Their design courses inculcate a sense of independence, discipline and determination in the students that come here from the world over.

Istituto Europeo di Design

Istituto Europeo di Design

Image source: Instituto Europeo di Design

Location: Milano, Italy

About: IED offers professional degrees in four disciplines, which are Fashion, Visual communication, Design, and Management. The design school consists of seven campuses in Italy, two in Spain, and one in Brazil. It is an international network of advanced training in the fields of design and offers three-year post-graduate courses, as well as Master courses, and specialization courses in several languages, such as, English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering

Elisava Master in Packaging DesignImage source: Eliseva 

Location: Barcelona, Spain

About: Affiliated with Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), ELISAVA is there to impart knowledge, research, development, and innovation in all the fields associated with design, communication, and engineering. This school prepares students to meet professional challenges at a global level, strive to bridge the gap between design and business sector, and also contributing in transforming the human environment by combining the three said faculties of design, engineering and communications. The Domus Magazine ranked it among the best design and architecture schools of Europe in 2013.

Blog Update: 17 April 2015

• Central Saint Martinis

Central Saint Martinis

Image source

Location: London, UK

About: Central Saint Martinis is a reputable institute imparting innovative and quality education in art and design. The college covers nine major programmes, including fashion, textile and jewelry design, and graphic communication design. In addition to curricular activities, the Saint Martinis also promotes a broad range of art festivals, workshops, and exchange of ideas across various disciplines which caught attention universally, and the institute was voted the world’s best higher education building in 2012.

•ECAL, École Cantonale D’art De Lausanne

ECAL exposition

Image source

Location: Renens, Switzerland

About: École Cantonale D’art De Lausanne is home to a unique multicultural environment where students from all over the world come to be a part of contemporary art and visual design. ECAL is also hub to a number of internationally-renowned artists, designers, and speakers. This prestigious design institute also enjoys collaborations with other establishments from across 4 continents. Their focused studies include graphic design, fine arts, photography, and media and interaction design. If you want to be a part of various national and international design projects, then ECAL is the place for you.

Blog Update: 02 May 2017

Open Colleges’ Graphic and Digital Design

Graphic designer at work. Color swatch samples.

Image source. ThinkStock.com

Location: Australia

About: Established in 1910, Open Colleges is an online educational portal for students willing to hone their graphic design knowledge and skills. A combination of entry-level and diploma courses are offered and certified by the North Coast TAFE. The organization is affiliated with credible associations, universities and councils to provide a quality e-learning experience. Having served over 700, 000 Australians, they continue to provide flexible courses for budding professionals.

About The Author

Janil Jean is an idealist blogger and social media addict who loves conversations related to branding, storytelling, startups and small business technology and design.

13 thoughts on “10 Meritorious European Design Schools to Study Graphic Design

  1. vicoo says:

    What about ECAL ? école cantonale d’art de Lausanne?

    1. Janil Jean says:

      Great suggestion! 🙂

  2. dédé says:

    Central Saint Martins is missing as well !

  3. Uba Babs says:

    This is very great to give design a recognition in education,because it is an important aspect of art,http://www.fuoye.edu.ng

  4. Sandeep says:

    can you post a link with universities offering masters in graphic design particularly in ENGLISH
    in EUROPE

  5. UpTern Desouza says:

    We’re looking for soon to be or recent graduates with degrees in Graphic Design who would like to complete a year long, paid internship here in the U.S. The position is with a well known marketing and advertising firm and they need someone to start soon. Must have attended school outside of the U.S. and speak English proficiently. We will support your J-1 visa and provide you with housing while you are living in the U.S. Interested candidates should complete a quick pre-application found here – http://www.upternglobal.com/start-the-process.html

    Thank you and we look forward to making your internship abroad simple!

  6. Purvaja Patel says:

    How good is IED Milano for Graphic Design? Planning to study a semester abroad. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Naomi Berrill says:

      The Best IED for Graphic is Florence one

  7. sugarntasty says:

    Admire innovative designs of Europe only problem were losing talent. To USA and Asia how can we
    retain them, not impossible problem getting start up. Funding USA” master of developments acquisition of future art and technology least article. Shows non-Anglo universities pressure to sell ideas to USA for profits going create monopolies. Problem Austria is retaining lead in graphic designs great article.

  8. Molly-ann Barnett says:

    Hi I have a place for the FIDI graphic design course this year. However I am a little confused and I can’t decide between FDA and FIDI. Why did you rate FIDI over FDA?

    1. Naomi Berrill says:

      The are both low quality for Graphic, no labs and no relationships with companies. the best is IED Florence, Master in graphic Design they work with Adidas, Bmw and lot of companies

Leave a Reply