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Graphic Design students are stars of industry awards

Original cardboard packaging designs have earned four students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) awards in a prestigious industry competition.

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Ashley's honeycomb packaging design

The respected Starpack Student Packaging Design Awards celebrate outstanding young designers who challenge conventional thinking and break the rules with ‘off-the-wall creativity’.

DMU’s second and final-year Graphic Design and Graphic Design (Illustration) students were recognised at an awards ceremony held at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining’s head office in London.

Following last year’s success, final-year Graphic Design student Ashley Scattergood from Leicester has scooped a silver award and a week’s internship with competition sponsor DS Smith for her innovative use of a honeycomb structure resembling the insides of corrugated cardboard.

Her packaging design can be adapted to different sizes / shapes and is fully recyclable. An internal flap arrangement protects items from movement and it can be stored flat when not in use.

She said: “A lot of thought and hard work went into this design so it feels fantastic to have this recognised by Starpack.

“Our tutors go to great lengths to involve us in competition and company-set briefs throughout our three years at DMU, which gives us great exposure within the industry and also prepares us for graduation and working life.”

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An energetic concept from Aaron

Aaron Marklew, a second-year Graphic Design (Illustration) student from Leicester, has also won a silver award for his creative way of promoting and displaying a sugar-free energy drink.

He used real imagery to appeal to his target audience and a concertina design gives his display stand a 3D mountain range effect.

“It’s amazing to be recognised in a competition judged by industry experts. It makes this award a great achievement for me and has really boosted my confidence going into my final year,” he said.

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“My tutors really motivated me to complete this project despite the early deadline. In fact, one of the strong points of the course is being made up of different modules with tutors from diverse specialties.

“It helps you learn different skills which you can use in other projects so that everything just comes together.”

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Michalina taps into the female psyche

Also working to the competition’s sugar-free energy drink brief, second-year Graphic Design (Illustration) student Michalina Fabijanska has won a bronze award for her concept.

Aimed at women, her rounded display unit is decorated with subtle graphics inspired by blooming flowers. It holds different flavours / colours of energy drink which stand out against the unit’s white background.

The Polish student said: “I'm very happy that I received a bronze award and it has definitely given me more confidence as a designer.

“The course has given me a lot of freedom to explore and focus on subjects I’m interested in, which helped me to develop my ideas in any way I liked. Being able to always count on support and feedback from tutors has been very important and useful too.”

Final-year Graphic Design student Caleb Yindja Omombo has also won a highly commended award for his vodka bottle branding and packaging design.

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Luxurious vodka packaging by Caleb

He said: “I created a luxurious British vodka inspired by one of UK biggest tourist attraction, the London Eye, as well as gold since it’s such a rich material.

“It’s a good feeling to be noticed by Starpack and also to get some exposure of myself. My course has helped me expand my knowledge and skills in design so that I apply it to different projects.”

Phil Andre, a Graphic Design lecturer at DMU, said: “I was keen to build on the momentum of last year's success in the Starpack awards and really establish DMU as a continuous creative force in this competition.

“This year I had a record number of students on the second-year Packaging Elective Module and final-year Competition Module and all the students pushed themselves in some very challenging design industry briefs.

“As a part-time tutor, you have a limited time with the students to build up the trust and rapport to encourage them to achieve their goals, but it has been an absolute pleasure to coach and facilitate their learning and development again this year, and they should all be very proud of their results."

Posted on Wednesday 28th June 2017

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