The history of Billy Blue College of Design
William Billy Blue the man
The story begins when chatty chocolatier Billy Blue stole a little raw sugar on the streets of Kent and was tried, convicted and eventually transported to Sydney in 1801. Making waves from the start, Billy soon befriended Governor Macquarie, who appointed him Harbour Watchman. From there, he kickstarted the city’s first (and now very famous) ferry service, dabbled in a little bootlegging and earned his revered title, “The Old Commodore”.
Billy Blue Magazine
Years later, in 1977, geniuses Ross Renwick and Aaron Kaplan stole a little raw convict energy, founding Billy Blue magazine to celebrate local culture and keep his rebellious spirit alive. This thought-provoking publication evolved into an agency dedicated to developing the most audacious and outstanding design work in the nation.
Billy Blue College of Design
As Billy Blue Creative grew, Ross and Aaron struggled to find designers who embodied the talent and skills to meet their creative standards and the unconventional spirit of Billy Blue. So, they advertised for students to learn alongside them, in their studio. They received applications from 68 hungry creatives and, in 1987, Billy Blue School of Graphic Art opened its doors with one mission: to bridge education and industry. The school’s reputation blew up, consistently impressing both corporate conservatives and the creative community with sharp wit and creative flair.
Billy Blue today
Billy Blue opens doors
The name continues to open doors today, now as Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia. We’re consistently ranked as one of Australia’s top design colleges and have broadened our course offerings into the world of creative technology.
We honour that Billy Blue energy, pushing innovation in learning delivery, fostering the next generation of Australia’s design and creative tech talent.
Our Design Philosophy
Challenge convention and fight the status quo. We are digital disruptors and industry leaders who are passionately focused on the future, using imagination to unlock inspiration and opportunity wherever we go. When you study with us, we’ll give you all the tools you need to create your own success – first, we’ll help you define what success looks like for you.
Our smaller class sizes (on campus and online) mean you enjoy a far more immersive, effective and collaborative learning environment. You will break and remake the rules, experimenting with form and function while working towards a dynamic career in your chosen field.
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