Royal College of Art is not a business school

Lynda Relph-Knight’s editorial on graphics at the Royal College of Art (Comment, DW 20 August), displays yet again the design establishment’s depressingly limited concept of graphic design as simply the visual wing of marketing and “international business”. Anything outside of this clichéd view is defined as “arty”.

A closer look at the RCA degree show Relph-Knight dismisses in this way would have revealed the quite extraordinary range and depth of ideas of the students here – on the environment, on religion, on womens’ issues, on race, on genetics and many more issues of far greater social and philosophical importance than corporate branding.

The RCA is a university, not a business school. What makes our graduates by far the most employable in design education in the UK (a recent study of RCA graduates showed an employment rate of 95.2 per cent for graphic design) is the fact that they can spend their two years here developing the deeper personal skills they’ll need to equip them for whatever area of communication design they choose, as well as being responsible and active members of society in a broader sense.

Professor Dan Fern

Course director

Communication Art & Design

Royal College of Art

London SW7

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