Empowered by the forward-thinking support of Torrens University Australia, Billy Blue College of Design has continued to grow its influence and relevance through its community of industry practitioners, working educators and students that can think, make and do—design.
Billy Blue formed from the need for a design studio (Billy Blue Creative) to secure a flow of ‘right-minded’ design graduates to work in its flourishing studio in Sydney Australia.
The formula was simple: ‘Design education by industry, for industry.’
Commercial design practice is an ideas and process game, and students learned to understand the power and currency of ideas, the allure and refinement of their craft and technologies, and the swagger required to transform these ideas into a sustainable and passionate livelihood.
Since 1987, Billy Blue College of Design has launched the careers of thousands through industry contacts, collaborative immersion, idea testing, epic failure and life-changing successes. Evolving and becoming University qualified with Torrens University Australia in 2015, we stay true to our adventure into design – Thinking, Making and Connecting.
Who is Billy Blue?
‘A courageously resourceful fellow’, Billy Blue has become many things.
To those looking into the history, William ‘Billy’ Blue arrived in Sydney in 1801 after being sentenced to 5 years for stealing 20 pounds of sugar, a key ingredient in his chocolate side business. After serving his remaining 2 years in Sydney, he showed his tenacity in making his living through row-yourself ferry service which carried all manner of produce and contraband, unbeknown to the rower, under the hull. He had a fire in his belly and while it might have been the bootlegged rum, it powered him to become one of the most audacious and entrepreneurial harbour watchmen in Australia.
Sparked by the spirit of this loveable namesake, Ross Renwick and Aaron Kaplan thought it was a good idea to name a magazine after a bootlegging convict—many thought it indicated a grave lack of judgement. Yet this was a man famous for his unconventional, non-conformist, yet commercially relevant approach. Billy Blue became 5000 pages of opinion, ideas and friction that was pumped into Sydney with exceptional creative flair. The magazine became synonymous with the best and most creative work, blowing the minds of both corporate conservatives and the creative community alike.
There is no doubt of William ‘Billy’ Blue’s humblest of origins, and determination of spirit against the odds. He was no saint, but managed to adapt and prosper in a harsh and distant land where chance needed to be seized. His quick wit and fast thinking endures his legacy and has placed Billy Blue affectionately in the hearts of creatives, living by our ideas, or products and our connected impulse to seek out all opportunity.
Making — A playground for movers and shakers.
Billy Blue produces creative thinkers who can do – giving students the chance to acquire the relevant design skills, collaborate with the design industry’s leading talents, and gain practical experience along the way. Students are encouraged to challenge convention and go against the status quo to unlock a world of inspiration and opportunity where imagination is your secret weapon. Your specialist education is delivered by designers, for designers. Tapping into your career potential, and opening your mind to what is possible, is what excites us most.
Thinking — An emphasis on innovation
Billy Blue celebrates creativity, individuality, entrepreneurship, intelligent solutions and the rise of the change-agent who can lead and think in new ways.
As a Billy Blue student, you will discover how to think creatively to generate great ideas and outcomes for the real world – across brands, products, systems, environments and the magical world of storytelling. You will enter a dynamic and exciting space where ideas, artistry and communication collide and multiply. Where hard thinking and persistence meet craft and skill, to build great brands, campaigns, entertainment, interactions, spaces or wearable products.
Connecting — The power of industry connections and community
When studying at Billy Blue, you become part of the legacy. For over 30 years, Billy Blue has been a vibrant community of design practice. For the young designer to experience these conditions while at College brings a crucial edge to their future survival. Our design educators are deeply connected to empowering students/graduates with the knowledge and nous to successfully lead and navigate their career, life and global challenges, to change their futures, to achieve social and commercial entrepreneurship. It helps that we can also get your foot in the door.
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