Young designers excel in national competition

From left to right: Connor Dodd, Edward Foster, Imogen Milsom, Robert Wharton, Lucy Porter and Sian Bonnell

Published: Friday 20 May 2016

The calibre of graphic design undergraduates at Blackpool and The Fylde College continues to be recognised with a number of recent successes at national level. 

One degree student has made it to the final of a prestigious UK design award, while several others have been commended in a scheme recognising innovation in packaging design.

For the RSA Student Design Awards, Jay Stannard has been shortlisted against seven others to improve the way medicines are protected, dispensed, distributed and taken in sub-Saharan Africa. He has created a universal symbol language that replaces written instructions with a series of familiar images. These can be used to explain such things as dosage, storage and how to take the medicine.

If chosen as the overall winner on 1 June, he could then see his design developed during a paid internship with healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline.

Jay said:

“Literacy levels are very low in some poorer parts of Africa, which makes it very difficult to teach them about the medicines they need for themselves and their children. My idea was a series of pictograms that simplify the instructions and make reading them without the written language as easy as possible.

“It’s great to have been shortlisted, now all I have to do is sit in front of a panel of judges and explain the thinking behind my design, which is a little daunting.”

Fellow student Connor Dodd has received a bronze accolade in the Starpack Industry Awards, while classmates Imogen Milsom, Sian Bonnell, Robert Wharton, Edward Foster and Leah Woodland were commended in the same competition.

Their briefs included repackaging existing products, creating a point of sales display or producing packaging for a BBQ pack. Their competitors weren’t just students, they also included people already working in the design industry.

Several of the group were also successful in the National Calender Awards earlier this year, with Chris Cornall’s Student Survival Guide making it into production.

Imogen Milson said being able to enter competitions like these is invaluable to their learning:

“Doing work for the industry improves your confidence. Grades are all well and good, but when you get national recognition it gives you that extra edge.”

Edward Foster added:

“It pushes you that little bit harder because your designs are being seen by industry professionals that you might end up working with in the future and you want to make a lasting impression.”


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