AOD Alumni Thilini Per­era; chang­ing the face of Graphic De­sign

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - COMMENT -

I re­mem­ber col­lect­ing any printed para­pher­na­lia that looked cool and beau­ti­fully de­signed (la­bels, tags, ad­ver­tise­ments, fly­ers, posters- you name it I had a drawer full of it), but hon­estly didn’t re­ally know that I could study it as well or what the scope of graphic de­sign could be. I was only good at any­thing I can build, craft, or draw. When I was 14 my un­cle gave me a Dave Saun­ders ‘20th Cen­tury Ad­ver­tis­ing’ book, which was pos­si­bly the turn­ing point. At the time, ad­ver­tis­ing was the only in­dus­try in Sri Lanka that was run­ning on a graphic back­bone, so study­ing any form of vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion was the goal.

How did you hear about AOD?

I had heard of AOD through their ad­ver­tis­ing in the lo­cal news­pa­pers. I was look­ing at a few op­tions of go­ing over­seas for my bach­e­lors but then AOD in­tro­duced the Graphic De­sign pro­gramme and it looked like a good op­tion so I en­rolled. What was your ex­pe­ri­ence at AOD? AOD was great. The ex­pe­ri­ence of study­ing at AOD was re­ally good. Since I didn’t have an ‘art’ back­ground, the Foun­da­tion in Art and De­sign helped me form cer­tain skills in an in­ten­sive man­ner and pre­pared me for to study vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­sign. The fi­nal year of the de­gree gave new per­spec­tives and in­sight to fur­ther de­velop and spe­cialise in ar­eas within vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion so you have a clear idea of what you want to do af­ter grad­u­a­tion; with the flex­i­bil­ity for change.

What skills did you gain from AOD that are use­ful today?

The knowl­edge about de­sign from art his­tory to idea gen­er­a­tion all helps you at dif­fer­ent stages in your ca­reer; in var­i­ous forms. Un­der­stand­ing de­sign from its roots; and the ex­ten­sive de­sign­ing think­ing struc­tures that are taught can be ap­plied to not only the creative as­pects but to other ar­eas as well.

Why should an in­spir­ing de­signer en­rol at AOD?

AOD has an in­built lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional net­work which comes with your ed­u­ca­tion and which will al­ways be avail­able to you. And with spe­cial projects like SLDF, De­sign for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment and fash­ion­mar­ etc. open up the stu­dents ex­po­sure, es­pe­cially in­dus­try projects and other ac­tiv­i­ties like field vis­its that’s done out­side the class­rooms all add up to your ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reer build­ing. The op­por­tu­ni­ties are al­ways there. Once all the tools are taught, it’s up to you to make it into any­thing you want. Vis­ual Com­mu­ni­ca­tion De­sign doesn’t just stop at that; you can ap­ply your think­ing/skills to dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries and projects and branch out as you please.

Why is Vis­ual Com­mu­ni­ca­tion De­sign im­por­tant in the cur­rent busi­ness and so­cial en­vi­ron­ment?

It’s dif­fi­cult to think of a world with­out vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion at its core. It’s a lan­guage in it­self, you need to learn to use it and ap­ply de­sign and de­sign think­ing to lo­cal in­dus­tries, ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tutes, cul­tural ini­tia­tives and cre­ate a de­sign state of mind ca­pa­ble of de­vel­op­ing new mod­els for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, sus­tain­able growth and so­cial im­pact.

Vis­ual Com­mu­ni­ca­tion De­sign is an ed­u­ca­tion path that de­mands an in-depth study of a large but ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing sub­ject area. Vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­sign­ers are trained to be­come ex­perts in cre­at­ing and as­sem­bling im­ages (or videos), ty­pog­ra­phy (let­ters in spe­cific font styles), sym­bols, colours and vis­ual cues to send out a spe­cific mes­sage, ex­actly as in­tended. Who needs this type of skill? All busi­nesses in ev­ery part of the world need this. Vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­sign is what drives the ad­ver­tis­ing, mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tions com­po­nent of busi­ness as well as cor­po­rate iden­tity con­sist­ing of logo de­sign and brand­ing

Call 0775727772 to learn more about sim­i­lar AOD alumni suc­cess sto­ries, study­ing Vis­ual Com­mu­ni­ca­tion De­sign, In­te­rior De­sign, Fash­ion De­sign, Fash­ion Mar­ket­ing or Mo­tion Graph­ics & An­i­ma­tion De­sign with 100% in­ter­nal de­sign de­grees from Northum­bria Uni­ver­sity UK, stay tuned to AOD’s of­fi­cial dig­i­tal chan­nels AOD Sri Lanka on Face­book, aod_de­sign on in­sta­gram, or con­tact AOD on 011586772/3 or email

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