School of Visual Concepts

Humans teach here.

We’re a small, highly personal, Seattle-based school offering a la carte classes and workshops, as well as intensive certificate programs lasting several weeks. We’re the school you want to attend when you’re staring down a new career path or simply need to bone up on a specific area of learning.

Started in 1971 by Dick and Cherry Brown, SVC was a school taught by those actually in the business. And with each brilliant instructor who’s come through our classrooms over the years, that philosophy has remained the same.

When you come to SVC, you get hands-on experience with someone whose hands are still all the way on. And not just on, but contributing in a major way at top firms for the biggest, most prestigious brands around. This is something you can’t get online or even at many of the bricks-and-mortar schools. Our live classroom environment allows these talented instructors to start and stop, re-explain, and give personal feedback.

It can also help you land a job. If the instructor likes you, of course.

Upcoming Events

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November 18, 10:00 am

Modular Letterpress Workshop

In this workshop, you’ll spend the day designing and printing your own modular geometric designs under the watchful and artistic eye of Chris Chandler, the founder of Portland’s Neu Haus Press. Whether you’re an old hand at letterpress printing or this is your inaugural trip, you’ll discover the surprising versatility and seemingly unlimited possibilities of printing with a modular system. Here are some of the things we’ll be covering and doing during the day:

  • Experimenting with Legos, plexiglass shapes, and wood Alpha-Blox
  • Working with P22 Blox, a plastic modular typeface created by Rich Kegler
  • Operating SVC’s Vandercook cylinder presses
  • Creating effects with multiple layers and colors
  • Printing multiple designs which, of course, you’ll take home with you
  • Investigating resources for creating your own modular printing system

Registration fee is $285.  Register here.

December 6, 12:00 pm

Letterpress: Create at Lunch

One day’s not nearly enough time to learn the intricacies of letterpress, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had when you stick to basics and shoot from the hip — especially when you have an experienced letterpress instructor giving you help and inspiration. Whether you’re new to letterpress or know the lay of a type case like the back of your hand, you’ll enjoy playing with SVC’s collection of wood type and imagery, experimenting both on and off press with hand-inking and overprinting. And here’s another bonus: You can apply the tuition from this lunch workshop towards SVC’s 10-week evening Introduction to Letterpress class. So now you have one more reason to come learn these skills and more:

  • How to select the right typeface
  • Printing with pre-carved linocut images
  • Mixing inks to create the desired hue
  • Best way to hand-ink a form
  • The delightful effects of imprecise registration
  • Operating a hand proofing press

Purchase $95 registration here.

February 12, 10:00 am

Pushing Creativity: Tools for Tapping Your Full Potential

This workshop will explore experimental methods of getting out of your comfort zone and generating fresh, innovative thinking. The point is to release your inner potential so you can push your work further and smarter. Expect a very interactive day as we cover these topics:

  • Understanding the purpose and value of creativity
  • Tips and tools for thinking out of the box
  • Ways to hone inspiration and make it a real solution
  • Methods for getting inspired
  • How the design process can be an ally instead of the enemy
  • Choosing the right time, place, and conditions for optimal creativity

*Lunch is provided. Hot, cold, gluten free and vegetarian selections available.

Purchase the $425 registration here.

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