In the beginning of July I attended a two-week the Porto Design Summer School, an editorial design course, in Porto. It was the design summer school of our partner university ESAD, Escola Superior de Artes e Design, Matosinhos. The programme was a good mixture of lectures, discussions, time for working on the assignments and getting feedback in the group or individually. The lectures were done by the four graphic design tutors Sonya Dyakova, Ronnie Fueglister, Andrew Howard and Hamish Muir.

The 1st assignment included a sightseeing tour in Porto by not taking any pictures but instead by remembering things about Porto by heart. This typographic work should reflect the city Porto by using 5 words. Another assignment was about doing hands-on layout exercises. Instead of using computers we got a printed grid, printed sheets with limited type sizes and predefined sizes for pictures as well. I really enjoyed the analog work for designing editorial layouts. Even tough we had a lot of restrictions and rules the created results were very different and impressive.

I think that these works also reflected our diverse group of 15 participants from all around the world. Cultural differences, different ages and different design backgrounds, but we all shared the love for editorial design. The results were always presented and discussed in the group, which helped me a lot for my own progress.

On the last assignment we worked for more than a week. We got three short stories, had to add further content and to design and print a publication. What I will always remember after this project is that you have to know the content by heart to design a really good book. Furthermore, take the courage and kill your darlings, which means to delete the ideas that are dear to your heart, but actually not needed. I had to work a lot on this.

For more impressions check the instagram account #porto_design_summer_school

I definitely recommend the Porto Design Summer School organized by Andrew Howard in cooperation with our partner university ESAD, Escola Superior de Artes e Design, Matosinhos. If you want to go there and you have any questions—don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks again Andrew for the great organization, all the tutors for their input and feedback and the great participants.

Text: Sigrid Bürstmayr
Photography: Miguel Howard, Porto Design Summer School