Presentation

From the conception to the production of all related media and printed matter (posters, books, newspapers and magazines), including the experimentation of digital media, digital publishing and motion design, this programme targets students wishing to master the tools and languages inherent in graphic design. Prospective, pragmatic and experimental, this Bachelor course is provided in the framework of the Visual Communication Department, which concurrently offers crossover courses and projects enabling students to acquire multidisciplinary skills (photography, interaction design, film). 

Through courses and workshops provided by major figures on the Swiss and international scene, the students apprehend the various fields of graphic design such as editorial design, typography, illustration, or brand identity and art direction. Involvement in exhibitions, publications or assignments commissioned by institutions provides an actual immersion into the professional world. The students also benefit from a wide range of theoretical courses and conferences on the ECAL premises. 

The skills and projects acquired throughout the curriculum serve to produce a portfolio of the highest professional standards. Whether they aim to become graphic designer, typographer or art director, either self-employed or working for a company, students who train at ECAL have a wide range of opportunities to choose from when they complete their CV. If they so wish they may also pursue in their chosen discipline by doing the Master Type Design at ECAL or an equivalent programme in another institution.

Language

French

Qualification issued

Bachelor of Arts HES-SO in Visual Communication, major in Graphic Design

Yearly fees (materials included)

CHF 1 925.-

Credits

180 ECTS

Length

6 semesters

Useful links

Admissions Contact

Infrastructures

Open space BA Visual Communication Digital Printshop Technology Center

Learning Objectives

First year
Workshop with Vincent Devaud
Workshop with NORM
Workshop with Ronny Hunger

1/3

  • Acquire the basics of editorial design through the articulation of sequenced content and the creation of a simple printed editorial object.

  • Learn about typographic forms by sketching the skeleton of an alphabet.

  • Define the graphic elements that represent a visual identity on various communication media.

  • Articulate and arrange content on a website.

  • Design non-photographic images by addressing production and printing technique issues.

  • Immerse yourself in cross-disciplinary courses in Photography, Media & Interaction Design, 2D/3D Video Sequence (Cinema 4D, After Effects, Premiere).

  • Acquire background knowledge via courses in theory (History of Art, Photography, Film, Digital Culture, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Contemporary Photography, Exhibitions and Publications).

  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects

Second year
Workshop with Roosje Klap
Workshop with Atlas Studio

1/2

  • Design a complex printed editorial object both formally and conceptually.
  • Get used to typographic design by acquiring technical and stylistic mastery of type design.

  • Design media and graphic content linked to a project developed for one or more digital media (html, CSS).

  • Represent and make recognisable a visual identity (institution, event, brand) on various communication media.

  • Synthesise and graphically process information or data.

  • Set fluid graphics systems in motion.

  • Broaden your horizons through practical cross-disciplinary courses within a sequence (videoclip or VR) or editing project (of your choice) in collaboration with Graphic Design and Media & Interaction Design students.

  • Enhance your knowledge through theory courses.

  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects. 

Third year
Diploma Jury
Workshop with Syndicat

1/2

  • Design, produce and carry out a complex editorial project in a specific context.

  • Define, design and carry out a communication campaign aimed at a specific audience.

  • Develop a highly-complex font (title or text).

  • Create a graphic language based on visual research and experimentation with production tools.

  • Immerse yourself in cross-disciplinary courses to refine your collaborative skills in a transdisciplinary project.

  • Broaden your knowledge with theory courses.

  • Write a dissertation based on the knowledge acquired during the course of study.

  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.

  • Put into practice the know-how acquired in a graduation work and a portfolio, which will serve as a business card to integrate into the labour market quickly or continue your studies on an MA course.

Projects

This section contains a selection of emblematic or recent projects related to the disciplines taught in the Bachelor's degree.
See all projects

Semester Projects

Type Specimen

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Type Specimen

Studio project with Robert Huber

Type design displayed on a specimen.

Information Design

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Information Design

Studio project with Angelo Benedetto

For the information design course the students have been asked to design a cartographic poster based on a film in the road movie genre, in a direct or abstract representation.

Type specimen

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Type specimen

Studio project with Aurèle Sack

Type design displayed on a specimen.

Design Editorial

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Design Editorial

Studio project with Diego Bontognali

Visual identity

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Visual identity

Studio project with Atlas Studio

Type specimen

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Type specimen

Studio project with Aurèle Sack

Communication of an architecture

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Communication of an architecture

Studio project with Nicole Udry

Create a communication of a chosen building (a school, a religious space, an office building, a theater, etc.). Second year course of graphic design in context, centered on image creation and editorial design.

Heart break

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Heart break

Studio project with Gilles Gavillet & Jonathan Hares

Munch Porn World

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Munch Porn World

Studio project with Guy Meldem

From adoration to contempt, the packaging is captured between its status as a tempting product, driving people to buy it, and as waste. The object contains a selection of used packaging from the food retail industry. The eye-catching advertising landscapes follow one another, accumulating visual signs: colour combinations, typography, photographs, illustrations, mascots, etc. Diving into this sea of abundance, so familiar, questions the consumer's relationship with these consumer goods. Why do we know so many brands? Do we buy a product? Or the image of it?

Editorial design

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Editorial design

Studio project with Harry Bloch

Image Creation

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Image Creation

Studio project with Guy Meldem

Les statues de la discorde

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Les statues de la discorde

Studio project with Gilles Gavillet & Jonathan Hares

Workshops

Cryptocurrency

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Cryptocurrency

Workshop with Marietta Eugster

During this workshop, each student had to design a poster presenting a cryptocurrency. Each student had to visually reinterpret the characteristics of his cryptocurrency while taking into account an imposed grid in constant evolution. The posters printed with the plotter will then be overprinted.

Encyclopedia of Demons

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Encyclopedia of Demons

Workshop with Atlas Studio

After choosing a demon from Theresa Bane's Encyclopedia of Demons, each student had to visually reinterpret the characteristics of their demon in several ways. A stencil printing technique (cutting a sheet of paper) allowed students to create their visuals on the spot and independently.

Amen Break

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Amen Break

Workshop with Vincent Devaud

Creation of a poster on a piece of music of one' s choice, using the Amen Break sample. The poster is composed of two layers: a typographic layer and an abstract layer explaining the rhythm. In a second step, the posters of each student were reduced to A5 format and the layers exchanged. The result was silkscreen printed.

1,15m²

GRAPHIC DESIGN

1,15m²

Workshop with Sacha Léopold (Syndicat)

During this workshop week, the students worked on the curation, mediation and placement of their own exhibition. The students selected a corpus of works from the iconographic and textual collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, both based in New York. The exhibition space, 1.15m² (refering to the surface area of an F4 poster) is printable, hangable and foldable. It is both a surface but also a base or a volume. The students' results question the means of reproduction and representation of the works in the design of an exhibition.

An addendum for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

GRAPHIC DESIGN

An addendum for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Workshop with Roosje Klap

During this workshop, all students were asked to write an extension article for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which together formed an addendum for this historical text. It has formed a new part of the temple that hold and protect our humanity. To provide contextual background to the work, students had been reading and discussing an article each day, followed by a daily topic. By the end of the week, an extension of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was celebrated in the form of 20 flags and a collaborative video of 20×20 seconds.

Lost Records

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Lost Records

Workshop with Ronny Hunger

Sometimes you don’t know that something has been lost — until it’s found again. How many brilliant lost, neglected and forgotten artists can there be? How many albums have been forgotten? How many have been lost? How many were rejected by labels because of political content, critical album artworks or band names? How many didn’t make it through a release and were eliminated or shelved for lack of success? How many dreams, hopes and statements were destroyed? We found 8 of these forgotten albums and worked on the record cover artworks, we tried to catch the mystical mood of these lost recordings, we tried to capture this forgotten music and tried to tell these incredible stories.

Moins Zéro

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Moins Zéro

Workshop with Denis Roueche, Prune Simon-Vermot

During 4 days, the students in the first year of the Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and Photography were confronted with the weather in the Far North of La Chaux-de-Fond and presented the results of their work in the form of a giant calendar at QUARTIER GENERAL. With the participation of students: Pauline Baldinetti, Ines Barrionuevo, David Benito Py, Alexandre Brunisholz, Emma Chapuis, Lucien Grandjean, Hugo Hectus, Elena Najdovski, Julie Neuhaus, Laetitia Paroz, Guillaume Pavia, Caroline Perrenoud, Amanda Puna, Alizée Quinche, Clara Roumegoux, Steven Rüthy, Julie Ryser, Guillaume Schilter, Samuel Schmidt, Timo Tiffert, Laura Trummer, Adeline Vermot, Loris Wahler, Justine Willa Teachers: Denis Roueche, Prune Simon Vermot Assistants: Amaury Hamon, Clément Lambelet, Olivia Schenker

Workshop with Giliane Cachin

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Workshop with Giliane Cachin

Workshop with Giliane Cachin, Amaury Hamon

Poster design communicating a fictitious opening of editorial publications.

Tourism

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Tourism

Workshop with Nicolas Haeni, Robert Huber

Graphic designer Robert Huber and photographer Nicolas Haeni piloted a transversal workshop between the first years Bachelor Graphic Design and Photography. By joining their complementary skills, several groups of students selected a swiss tourism-related activity, offering an alternative and offbeat vision in edition form.

Workshop Gilles de Brock

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Workshop Gilles de Brock

Workshop by Pauline Baldinetti, Inés Barrionuevo, Emilie Bouchet, Emma Chapuis, Isabel Garcia Argos, Hugo Hectus, Elena Najdovski, Julie Neuhaus, Thaïs Nguyen Huu, Lynne Nougou, Laetitia Paroz, Guillaume Pavia, Ares Pedroli, Amanda Puna, Julie Ryser, Samuel Schmidt, Timo Tiffert, Laura Trummer, Adeline Vermot

Screenprinting workshop supervised by Gilles de brock, assisted by Sylvain Croci-Torti

Workshop Studio Feixen

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Workshop Studio Feixen

Workshop by Marvin Armand, Sidonie Bays, Guillaume Besson, Arnaud Claret, Elise Connor, Jean Ducret, Loïc Dupasquier, Astrid Durand, Basile Fournier, Leah Hardy, Lucas Haussener, Bruno Jolliet, Alexandre Lescieux, Niki Paltenghi, Noé Proton, Aurore Péry, Lou Rais, Jean Reynaud, Arthur Seguin, Andréa Uldry

My First Kiss

GRAPHIC DESIGN

My First Kiss

Workshop with Emmanuel Crivelli

Poster design about "My First Kiss", with Emmanuel Crivelli (Dual Room). All the students wrote down their first kiss story. Following this, all stories were anonymously shared before being redistributed.

Diploma projects

Adeline Vermot – Victimes vs Héros

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Adeline Vermot – Victimes vs Héros

Diploma project by Adeline Vermot

This project is an analysis of gender representation in contemporary popular cinema. The choice of films was based on the ones that were the most successful at the box office. I was interested to see the messages they conveyed, as they had been seen by a large number of people. The choice was also based on French cinema since Hollywood has already dealt with these issues a lot. To do this, a system was established to compare the six films with each other as well as the situation of men and women. The content is in the form of images and dialogues from these films and is supplemented with infographics and texts. The result shows how strong stereotypes still are and that being aware of them is a first step towards deconstructing them.

Laetitia Paroz – A–Z du sexisme linguistique

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laetitia Paroz – A–Z du sexisme linguistique

Diploma project by Laetitia Paroz

Linguistic sexism expresses the gender-based discriminatory nature of some words and expressions in language. After drawing up an alphabetical list of misogynous terms in French such as “blondasse” (blonde bimbo), “pute” (whore) or “sorcière” (witch), I carried out research on each term, allowing me to take a variety of informative, funny, absurd or first-degree approaches to the word depending on its definition. This work took the shape of a book featuring a rich diversity of content. Page after page, archival images, rap punchlines and historical texts are mixed with series of popular images. The whole forms a book that questions and challenges readers according to their own sensitivity.

Lynne Nougou – Masters at Work

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Lynne Nougou – Masters at Work

Diploma project by Lynne Nougou

The project is a visual and textual research on the different aspects of Voguing , combining different methods of image processing, while offering a critique of the practices of its appropriation. A combination of rhythm, style, dance and performance, Voguing is a cultural form that is part of the Ballroom Scene founded in New York in the 1960s. This space of expression, sharing and performance is both a safe place and a means of expression for marginalised people but also a manifestation of the appropriation of the trans, queer, black, Afro-descendant and Latino space. Yet, it has been cyclically reduced to a mere trend, stripping it of all its history and claims.

Timo Tiffert – Ornamental Impulse

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Timo Tiffert – Ornamental Impulse

Diploma project by Timo Tiffert

Ornamental Impulse , the first issue of SUPER FRESCO FUMETTI , is a magazine that addresses a variety of topics in a playful and visually experimental way.

Julie Neuhaus – The Bio Mind

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Julie Neuhaus – The Bio Mind

Diploma project by Julie Neuhaus

Prix BG Ingénieurs Conseils | The Bio Mind illustrates eight principles of creation and function existing in nature and thus focuses on biomimetics.

Laura Trummer – When She Left the Room, the Spirits Went With Her

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Trummer – When She Left the Room, the Spirits Went With Her

Diploma project by Laura Trummer

In her latest collection When She Left the Room, the Spirits Went With Her , fashion designer Tara Mabiala brings together various sources of inspiration, including those of 70s Blaxploitation films and Westerns. The two genres might seem far apart but they meet on the importance of the characters’ clothing: it is symbolic of their roles, asserts their statuses and anchors the action.

Guillaume Pavia – Medium is the Party

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Guillaume Pavia – Medium is the Party

Diploma project by Guillaume Pavia

Medium is the Party aims to communicate and defend the importance and benefits of partying while bringing together a worldwide community around these claims.

Inés Barrionuevo – L10n

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Inés Barrionuevo – L10n

Diploma project by Inés Barrionuevo

L10n is an independent web platform and magazine allowing the geolocation of a quality but non-mediatised movement. It supports artists and aims to compensate for social inequalities.

Samuel Schmidt – 1096 Halftones

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Samuel Schmidt – 1096 Halftones

Diploma project by Samuel Schmidt

A handbook for handmade screen printing, this project offers an alternative frame construction technique.

Thaïs Nguyen Huu – Mises à nues

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Thaïs Nguyen Huu – Mises à nues

Diploma project by Thaïs Nguyen Huu

Mises à nues is a collection of five outfits. In my opinion, clothes are a reflection of who we are and the values we defend. Wearing an outfit is assuming one’s identity, being confident and loving oneself. Each outfit represents the series of gestures and attentions one can do for oneself to feel good and confident on a daily basis. Five women confided in me a part of their intimacy through a selfie and words they use to highlight their body. I then interpreted their stories and transcribed them on textile. Each fragment of life becomes a visual that is captured. Once worn, the static illustrations become a moving volume that takes our inner story to the outside world – out in the open, for ll to see.

Emilie Bouchet – Ho(me)-to-Mobile

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Emilie Bouchet – Ho(me)-to-Mobile

Diploma project by Emilie Bouchet

Through this project, I have tried to reappropriate this automotive world by focusing on the forgotten details of the car while creating a publication bordering on fetishism, which retraces my various outdoor rides of the past few months.

Julie Ryser – Dupliréalité

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Julie Ryser – Dupliréalité

Diploma project by Julie Ryser

Dupliréalité aims to immerse us into reproductions of places of life that are essential to an individual’s existence. The cities explored include La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne and Renens, which have a direct link with my own reality.

Program

This section lists the detailed modules and courses for each semester of the programme.

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6

Graphic design practice and techniques I
8 ECTS
  • Editorial Design I
  • Image Making I
  • Type Design I
  • Visual Identity I
Theory I
6 ECTS
  • History of Art (opt.)
  • History of Photography (opt.)
  • History of Cinema (opt.)
  • History of Video Games
  • Introduction to the critical history of graphic design 
Transversal Skills I
6 ECTS
  • Graphic design

  • Photography
  • Interaction Design
  • 2D / 3D Sequence
Project Week I
6 ECTS
  • Conception
  • Creation
Graphic design practice and techniques II
10 ECTS
  • Screen Design I
  • Image Making II
  • Type Design II
  • Visual Identity II

 

Theory II
6 ECTS
  • History of Art (opt.)
  • History of Graphic Design
  • History of Industrial Design
  • History of Ideas
  • Introduction to the critical history of graphic design 
Transversal Skills II
10 ECTS
  • Graphic design

  • Photography
  • Interaction Design
  • 2D / 3D Sequence
Project Week II
4 ECTS
  • Conception
  • Creation
  • Collaboration
Graphic design practice and techniques III
12 ECTS
  • Screen Design II / Editorial Design II
  • Information Design I
  • Type Design III
  • Visual Identity III / Graphic Design in Context I
Theory III
6 ECTS
  • Information & Communication
  • Global Visions
  • History of Graphic Design Seminars
Transversal Skills III
6 ECTS
  • VR Sequence

  • Book Design 
Project Week III
6 ECTS
  • Motion Design
  • Creation
Graphic design practice and techniques IV
12 ECTS
  • Screen Design II / Editorial Design II
  • Information Design II
  • Type Design IV
  • Visual Identity III / Graphic Design in Context I
Theory IV
6 ECTS
  • Information & Communication
  • Global Visions
  • History of Graphic Design Seminars
  • Introduction to the Thesis
Transversal Skills IV
6 ECTS
  • Clip Sequence

  • Magazine Design

Project Week IV
6 ECTS
  • Motion Design
  • Creation

 

Graphic design practice and techniques V
12 ECTS
  • Editorial Design Project
  • Communication Project
Graphic design practice and techniques VI
6 ECTS
  • Type Design Project
  • Creation Project
Theory V
6 ECTS
  • Thesis
Transversal Skills V
6 ECTS
  • Digital Editorial Design
Diploma Studio
6 ECTS
Theory VI
6 ECTS
Diploma Jury
18 ECTS
Find all the programme documents below

Alumni

Ariane Delahaye
Alice Franchetti
Clément Gicquel
Matthieu Huegi
Sylvan Lanz
David Loy
Alice Vodoz
Career Opportunities

Graphic designer, Motion designer, Art director, Creative director, Publisher, Illustrator, Type designer, Web designer, Teacher…

Other alumni

Jan Abellan, Thibault Brevet, Mateo Broillet, Maxime Büchi, Clémence Chatel, Chaumont & Zaerpour, Guillaume Chuard, Mathias Clottu, Emmanuel Crivelli, Vincent Devaud, Marietta Eugster, Eurostandard, Mads Freund Brunse, Louisa Gagliardi, Noémie Gygax, Hugo Hoppmann, Maximage, Mathieu Meyer, Adeline Mollard, Ian Party, Olga Prader, Teo Schifferli, Florence Tétier, Régis Tosetti, Raphaël Verona, Nadja Zimmermann

Staff

Heads of department

Visual Communication Department
Vincent Jacquier

Bachelor Graphic Design
Angelo Benedetto

Coordination

Artistic assistant
Julien Gurtner

Assistants
Inés Barrionuevo    
Emma Chapuis
Léonard Guyot
Clio Hadjigeorgiou
Pierry Jaquillard

Technology Center
Vincent Jacquier
Tibor Udvari
Amaury Hamon

Professors

Angelo Benedetto
Harry Bloch
Diego Bontognali
Gilles Gavillet
Guy Meldem
Aurèle Sack
Nicole Udry

Multidisciplinary fields professors

Antonio Albanese
Claus Gunti
Vincent Jacquier
Milo Keller
Violène Pont
Pauline Saglio
Anouk Schneider
Joël Vacheron

Lecturers

Sébastien Agnetti
Atlas Studio
Alexandru Balgiù
Jonas Berthod
Sami Benhadj
Mélanie Boissonneau 
Giliane Cachin
Angelo Cirimele
Mehdi Derfoufi
Pierre Doze
Laurent Guido
Jonathan Hares
Robert Huber
Calypso Mahieu
Benjamin Muzzin
Laurence Salmon
Olivia Schenker
Karen Schmutz
Lionel Tardy
Chi­-Long Trieu
Sebastian Vargas

Visiting lecturers

Maxime Büchi
Emmanuel Crivelli
Gilles de Brock
Vincent Devaud
Marietta Eugster 
Eurostandard
Ronny Hunger
Eike Koenig (HORT)
Florian Lamm (Lamm & Kirch) 
Félicité Landrivon
Sacha Leopold (Syndicat) 
Mevis & Van Deursen 
Maureen Moorren
Karl Nawrot
Noir Associates
NORM
Mitch Paone (DIA Studio) 
Damien Poulain
Brian Roettinger
Klap Roosje
Joanna Schaffter (Schaffter Sahli) 
Michiel Schuurman
Spin Studio
Studio Feixen
Studio Joost Grootens
Julien Tavelli (Maximage)
Jonas Vögeli