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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Students to Get Graphic at New Design School

As companies' advertising budgets continue to increase every year, creative directors like Igor Ganzha say they are strapped to find graphic designers with the essential marketing skills needed to grab the consumer's attention.

''Many of the designers work as artists and see design that way -- as art,'' Ganzha said. ''But we need educated advertising professionals, designers who know something about creating products according to client needs.''

Officials at the British Higher School of Art and Design, which opens in Moscow in September, said their institute may be the answer to Ganzha's and other advertising directors' problems.

Its graduates will be trained to meet client needs with creative talent and to fill a void in the country's advertising sector, which lacks the technology and sophistication to produce competitive products in a consumer-driven economy, said Alexander Avramov, the school's director.

The school is a joint project between the University of Hertfordshire in England and Moscow's International Institute of Advertising. It will offer a bachelor's degree in graphic design and illustration, with programs for full-time students and part-time, mid-career professionals.

Courses will be taught in English and will include creative imagery, web site and multimedia design, print design and computer graphics. After four years, students will be eligible for a Russian diploma of higher education. By completing an optional fifth year of study at the University of Hertfordshire, graduates of the school will have an internationally recognized bachelor degree in advertising.

Under the Soviet system, advertising was an abstract concept as consumers were given few product choices. But as consumerism takes hold of the economy, companies are turning to large advertising campaigns to grab their market share.

Last year, Russian companies increased their advertising spending by 51 percent from the year before to $2.7 billion. The increase made the country's marketing industry one of the best performers worldwide, the Russian Association of Advertising Agencies said last month.

In addition, 25 percent of student course work will be internships in Russian firms. Market research papers and projects will also be required, allowing the students to apply concepts learned in the classroom to the specific needs of the Russian market, Avramov said.

But some critics of the Moscow-based school have questioned whether British marketing ideas will fit the specific needs of the Russian consumer market.

British designers have been the leaders in the creative design field for several years, said Vladimir Rungue, the vice president of Russia's Union of Designers. While the British professors may not be experts in Russian culture or in the country's marketing needs, the ideas they will bring to the school will be understood cross-culturally, he said.