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Twelve studios set industry briefs for NTU Graphic Design students

Students in their second year on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at NTU have this year had the opportunity to complete briefs set by 12 creative studios.

Carina Barber_Stock Taylor Beson live brief
Work by Carina Barber for the live brief set by Stocks Taylor Benson

Students were given the opportunity to work on a selection of industry focused briefs - providing vital experience in preparation for their career after university. Following the completion of the work, outstanding students were recognised by the agencies with mentoring schemes and placement opportunities.

The briefs were set by leading agencies from across the world including Maek Design from the United Arab Emirates, and covered a variety of disciplines:

48.1 – Branding/packaging/Motion
Atomic Media – UX/UI
B.A.M – Editorial
Canoe – Brand Strategy/Social
Cub Studio – Motion Graphics
Holly St Clair - Illustration
Jack Renwick Studio – Branding
Maek Design – Campaign/Packaging
Stocks Taylor Benson – Packaging
The Archipelago – Illustration/Campaign
Untold Studios – Visual Identity/ Music Graphics

Lois Blackhurst from Stocks Taylor Benson who set the students a packaging brief commented:

“Our live brief was to design a pet food brand and packaging, and this year we opened it up to a wider range of animals.

Across all the interim critiques we saw a lot of thorough research, which in turn produced some interesting USP's and product propositions for the student’s brands. It was especially nice to see some more unusual snake and reptile food packaging – I think this is what I would have chosen to design!

We felt the students took onboard feedback from the interim crit, and at the final presentation we saw some very credible and well-considered pet brands, a few of which wouldn’t have looked out of place going straight onto a supermarket shelf – well done!”

Carina Barber for the Stock Taylor Beson live brief
Work by Carina Barber for the Stocks Taylor Benson live brief

Second Year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student, Carina Barber who took part in the packaging brief set by Stocks Taylor Benson and was also offered a placement after the project commented:

"I was given the opportunity to work on a live brief with Stocks Taylor Benson this year- designing pet food brand and packaging concepts. It was such a fantastic chance to get feedback from industry professionals and I learnt so much throughout the process. The live brief not only gave me experience in packaging design, but also allowed to me further develop my skills in photography, animation, social media marketing and presenting.

I was also overjoyed to hear Lois and Charlotte liked my design and have generously offered me a week's placement over summer which I am very excited for. The live brief was my favourite of the year and I feel very thankful to the design tutors who organised the whole event."

joe Newing
Work by Joe Newing for the 48.1 industry brief

Paddy and Joe from London-based creative studio, 48.1 commented about their experience working with the students:

“This is the second year working on the student briefs and, as with last year it has been a wholly positive experience.

As an agency, it gives us an opportunity to write the brief we’d love to work on, to throw ideas around with aspiring young creatives outside of the constraints of the commercial world, and to pass on some of the things we’ve learned over the last decade.

And again, the students didn’t fail to surprise us with their creative solutions to the brief with several standout projects that exceeded our expectations.

We hope that it’s been as positive an experience for the second-year students as it has for us.”

Second Year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student, Joe Newing who took part in the branding, packaging, and motion brief set by 48.1 and awarded a mentorship scheme from the agency said:

“Working with 48.1 gave me a great insight into the professional aspect of graphic design. I feel like it has really helped me develop my communication skills when presenting my ideas to a client/studio."

Susie McGowan from Jack Renwick Studio, who set the students a branding brief and have this year offered two placements commented:

My experience of participating the live brief was an overwhelmingly positive one. On an organisational front the live brief experience was really well organised, ran smoothly and a real joy to participate in.

For this strategically-led brief, tough thinking, curiosity and persistence is required, and this can sometimes be daunting for students without much experience in this way of approaching creative projects. This year’s group really rose to the challenge, and we were extremely impressed with the depth, bravery and maturity of the thinking on show. The project outcomes were grounded in the problems faced by their respective clients, resulting in conceptually rigorous and creatively strong outcomes that could work in reality.

We encourage the students to take forward some of the lessons and strategic approach practiced in this branding exercise, and we are confident this group of mini-strategists will go far in industry in the future!"

Congratulations to the below students who were successful in securing work placements and mentorship schemes:

Stocks Taylor Benson offered a placement to:

Carina Barber

Jack Renwick Studio offered 2 placements to:

Scarlet Smith

Travis Donnelly

Atomic Media offered 5 placements to:

Emma Scott

Abbie James

Natasha Nicholson

Zaneta Goraj

Chiara Cucurachi

48.1 offered a Mentorship scheme throughout the student’s final year to 3 students:

Joe Newing

Amy Hancock

Hoi Wong

Opportunities to work on live briefs, set by industry professionals, is a vital part of a student's studies, bridging the gap between University and professional life.