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Gold, silver and bronze - DMU students clean up at packaging awards!


Creative packaging concepts have earned students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) a record of 10 accolades in the prestigious Starpack Student Packaging Design Awards.


Gold award winner, Helen Jones

Introduced in 1964, the industry-respected awards celebrate outstanding packaging designers who challenge conventional thinking and break the rules with ‘off-the-wall creativity’.

Second and third year Graphic Design and Graphic Design (Illustration) students entered the corrugated card category and took home an unprecedented number of awards between them; one gold, three silver, three bronze and three commended.

This builds on DMU's continued successes at the Starpack awards since its inaugural entries in 2014.

Helen Jones was awarded gold for her lightweight, yet sturdy, portable children’s activity table, which holds toys to keep young children entertained when away from home.

Her entry also came third overall in the sponsor's industry awards from DS Smith, a leading packaging business based in the Midlands, earning Helen a £125 prize.

Inspired by her experiences as a mother, the table provides a safe play area, encouraging creativity and teaching children to take responsibility for their own toys.


Helen's portable activity table is a fun and safe way for children to play

The third year Graphic Design (Illustration) student said: “I'm a self-confessed perfectionist, and can be my worst critic, so winning gold feels really amazing and has given me a huge confidence boost.

“Starpack host industry awards too, so I’m hoping that my achievement will be recognised by future employers once I graduate from DMU.”

As a mature student, the mum of two said: “Going back to university a bit later in life has inspired my 17-year-old son to study graphics at college too and he’s doing brilliantly.

“To positively influence and inspire your kids is what any parent wants.”


DMU’s three silver award winners are Jack Tite, Emily Newman and Harry Hennessy.

Harry designed a cardboard suit carrier that uses rolling techniques to stop clothes from creasing.

The carrier is made up of just two pieces which use interlocking methods to close, cleverly eliminating the need for glue or other non-cardboard material.

The second year Graphic Design student, said: “It was an amazing feeling to get silver! Especially after we were told the competition had something like 30 percent more entries this year.”

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Emily won a silver award for her ‘paint your own’ bug house for children. She used the fluting of various thicknesses of corrugated card to make different sized openings for a range of insects.

The third year Graphic Design student said: “I experimented with folding the card in different ways to create some sections of the larger openings.

“I also added a line drawing around the edge so that children can paint it themselves to make it bright and colourful.”


Children can have fun colouring or painting in Emily's bug house

The three bronze award winners are Matt Reid, Mateen Hussein and Zhuonan Li, with the designs of Ffion Norman, Amy Sarfas and Ellen Kerbey receiving commendations.

Graphic Design lecturer at DMU, Phil Andre, said: “It has been an absolute privilege to work with these students this year. Some found the process tougher than others, but all of them have risen to the challenge and exceeded their own expectations.

“DMU is producing some incredible talent, with fresh and exciting designs and ideas, and I am proud to have helped support them on their journey.”

The students will be presented with their awards at a ceremony taking place at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining’s head office in London on 29 June 2016.

Posted on Wednesday 18th May 2016

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