Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

AOD Alumni Thilini Perera; changing the face of Graphic Design


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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