Get ahead of the game as a first-year design student

So you’re kicking off your first year at design college. Congratulations, this could be the start of a flourishing creative career – if you play your cards right. Design education in the UK is facing a crisis, with a drop of about 14,000 applicants for art and design courses between 2016 and 2017, according to UCAS.

But there are still tens of thousands of design students competing against you for attention, so it really does pay to put the effort in to ensure you stand out and start creating a design portfolio you can be proud of. At the end of it, you may even be named as one of the best graduates of your year.

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Nick Carson

Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.