Isabella Loughlin nominated for her entry in the Sparks competition

2nd Year BA (Hons) Graphic Design Student

Isabella Loughlin is a second year Graphic Design student at UCLan whose timely concept ended up going further than even she expected. She was nominated for her entry in the Sparks competition for Blue Marlin Design agency in London, which rewards designers with a placement if their idea is recognised as one of the best.

The project brief stated that they had to create an alcohol brand with a story associated with their home town.

Isabella came up with an excellent design based around whiskey, a shoebox and the shoe industry.

“I decided to focus my project on an old man I met at a bus stop in Rawtenstall. He told me that the bus stop I was stood at used to be an old shoe mill, and that either shoe or cotton mills surrounded my hometown in the past.

“He was called Frank Jones, and it turns out he’s an author as well. He’s even got a book published, which is one of the most popular school textbooks on shoe making, named Frank & Alb after Frank and his best friend. And so I chose to pursue whiskey because it’s old-fashioned, and vodka didn’t seem to suit his personality.

“So my concept was a little made-up tale about this man that I’d met, influenced by the stories he’d told me at the bus stop.  The idea was that Frank & Alb transformed what they had left from the shoe factory into a whiskey distillery, using the leftover materials to help craft and package their bottles of whiskey, which is why it’s inspired by shoes in a shoe box.”

Isabella Loughlin
Isabella Loughlin

As a result, Isabella was invited by the company to present her design to Blue Marlin at a creative workshop in London, where she could receive a bonus £500 prize if she wins, though she has already secured a placement with the company.

She explained the amazing opportunities that are now in front of her thanks to her success and UCLan’s input, and she could be about to showcase her skills across Europe.

“Anyone who gets shortlisted, and I think there’s six people in total, get a three-month placement guaranteed, and the winner gets the money with a year’s placement on top, and you can arrange where you want to work, like Manchester, London or Amsterdam for example” she continued.

Isabella is now looking to the future, with her plans to relocate and test herself after she graduates. When talking about the Graphic Design course at UCLan, which has got her moving in the right direction, Isabella was full of praise:

“The placements are amazing on this course, I haven’t even gone yet and I know that. The standard of work that comes from the course is ridiculously good as well, I was inspired by everyone in my final year, and hopefully people in first year are the same.

“This course is full of potential that every graphic design student should hope to achieve.”

28 June 2018