Ravensbourne University London
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James Coulson

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Visual Communication Design

Year of Graduation: 1995

Ravensbourne gave me a solid foundation in design. From typography studies to visual rhetoric and projects from contemporary visiting lecturers, it also introduced me to like-minded people who I both learnt from and was inspired by.

Ravensbourne heightened my curiosity in various media which allowed me to move across industries. I originally chose Ravensbourne for the moving image component of the course, but fell in love with the design side. My master's degree thesis focused on interactive design, which got me my first job at the BBC. Ironically, I went full circle and now work in moving image. I believe a solid design foundation will help solve problems across many disciplines.

The ethos was way stronger than any other university or college and the links to industry and opportunity were second to none. I was able to go on a three-month Erasmus exchange with the Academie voor Industriële Vormgeving in Eindhoven, which broadened my experience and inspired me to continue my education in Holland. After Ravensbourne, I studied at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht where I completed a master’s degree. The Erasmus exchange program inspired me to look to other countries for my career.

Ravensbourne taught me about conceptual thinking and that's filtered into my work. After my master’s degree, I spent 4 years at the BBC. I moved to New York in 2003 and have spent the majority of the time as a freelance designer and director. I have worked at a number of studios who deal with motion design, branding and commercials. I was also creative director at the Syfy channel. More recently, I released a self-initiated short film documentary series called ‘Other America’, where I travelled across the US filming and interviewing a cross-section of Americans, people who weren't represented in pop culture or mainstream media. For me, the most rewarding work allows me to travel and meet new people.

Enjoy your education. Take it seriously, but also appreciate the diverse body of people you’ll meet and the time you have to grow. Produce the work you want to do, not what you think you’re expected to do.

Amazing things happen here