Hard work pays off as design students win top industry awards

16 July 2017

Six students win Design and Art Direction (D&AD) New Blood awards

Design students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been rewarded for their hard work at a prestigious industry awards ceremony.

Often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the design world’, five UCLan students won a total of six awards at the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) New Blood awards.  The awards are open to budding designers around the world, with winners receiving a well-respected ‘coloured pencil’ which represents the top talent in design and advertising.

Six students from three different courses all picked up awards ranging from a ‘wooden pencil’, which is awarded to a shortlist of the best work submitted for each brief, and a ‘graphite pencil’, which is “awarded to work that goes further to nail the three judging criteria.”

Graphic design student Harriet won three pencils; two wooden and one graphite. Course leader Jonathon Harker stated that this is a huge success, as “one student with three winning projects is unheard of.”

Harriet, who worked with illustration student George Townley on one of the wooden pencil winning projects, has branded her success as “insane.”

"The course has made a phenomenal impact on me. Looking back on the four years, I cannot believe how much of a different person I am now."

She said: “It was so stressful working on the projects at the time, sometimes forgetting what it is all about. It was all a blur those last few days towards the deadline and hearing about my nominations just shows that it was all worth it.”

Working together on their project ‘Creative Block’, a series of posters to help motivate and inspire creatives, both students have learnt a lot from one another and would like to see more of it incorporated within the design courses. “No-one in our class has really collaborated with other graphic design students before and it was nice to see how someone else works. It is something that they should definitely do more of, encouraging collaboration,” said George.

Harriet added: “The course has made a phenomenal impact on me. Looking back on the four years, I cannot believe how much of a different person I am now. The people I have met have changed my life and most importantly, how I think about design. This is has paid off by getting the three nominations and just shows that I came to the right place.”

Advertising student Charlie Bulmer won a wooden pencil with his ‘Fighting Conceptions’ project. Responding to a brief set by the British Army that asked for new ways to position the organisation as an attractive career choice, Charlie looked at how people develop assumptions from the information they are given based on our previous experiences.

He commented: “The D&AD nomination was the perfect end to a lot of hard work, and a testament to how the advertising course is run. The entry came out of a lot of trial and error in finding the best way to execute my idea, with each attempt constructively criticised by my tutors and some from other disciplines.  It's important to take that criticism well and apply it to your own vision so you can see what works and what doesn't, and the proof that the system here works is shared amongst all winner's from UCLan’s design school. I can look back over my time here and look at myself now, and proudly say I've achieved something fantastic.”

Amy Wooding and Ashton Hoban from graphic design also won wooden pencils.

"The D&AD nomination was the perfect end to a lot of hard work, and a testament to how the advertising course is run."

Amy’s project, ‘Us to You in 1 Hour’, utilises wordplay connections between the locations of the producer and the Amazon fresh consumer within the Greater London area.  “I am just really shocked. It is all really exciting and I wasn’t expecting it at all”, she said.  “A big part of it is placement and how much you learn whilst on it. It is an ideas based course, so it gets you to look more deeply into things rather than just making things look nice.”

Ashton worked on the idea of John Lewis saving the by day providing the essentials during the festival period. From ponchos to sun cream, come rain or shine 'John Lewis Saves the Day'.   She said: “I was a bit nervous because I have put a lot of work into it, but I am really glad to have won, it’s an amazing achievement.”

Speaking of her time on the course and the end of year Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show exhibition, Ashton added: “It’s gone really fast; it’s exciting and sad at the same time.  To get everyone together at the end of the year and do a show was really nice, you got to see how well everyone has done.”

Charlie Bulmer also shares this view.  “Looking back I remember nervously walking into our classroom to meet all my new course mates and I can remember some of the work from our presentations over the years.  It's great to see how far everyone’s come. Looking forward, I'm excited to learn much more and to find out what my next challenge will be.”