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Graphic Design students win awards after tackling cost-of-living brief

Five Graphic Design students from University of Gloucestershire have been recognised for their creativity and imagination after collaborating with the UK’s largest independent agency network.

The award-winning The&Partnership presented Graphic Design students with a live industry brief from its longstanding client British Gas amid continuing concerns over the rising cost of living for households across the UK, including increased gas and electricity bills.

The students were asked by The&Partnership to design a mobile-based rewards system that would provide British Gas customers with an opportunity to save money by following energy saving behaviours.

student Siobhan Smith

To support the brief, The&Partnership and British Gas visited the University’s School of Arts to mentor and provide advice and guidance to the students, leading to final presentations at which five second-year students received Design Excellence Awards.

Gold Award winner Siobhan Smith (pictured left) will be working for The&Partnership for three months over the summer as a paid junior designer. Silver Award winner Tosin Olatunji (pictured below) won a design subscription based on students’ requests, while Bronze Award winners Lizzy Ruck, Dan Hayden and Ellie Cole received digital design tokens.

The&Partnership has invited the five students to their annual networking event in London and agreed to provide them with mentoring and support.

Siobhan Smith said: “I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work on such an in-depth brief with The&Partnership.

Siobhan Smith - winning design for Design Excellence Awards 2023
Siobhan Smith’s award-winning submission included this design

“Working with a live client has been an engaging and valuable experience. I am thrilled to have been awarded gold and I am really looking forward to working with The&Partnership over the summer.”

Claudia Brewster, Senior Lecturer in Design within the University’s School of Arts, said: “The&Partnership and British Gas connection is recognised in industry as a longstanding and aspirational collaboration between creative agency and business.

“This was a unique opportunity for our students to participate in this well-respected industry environment. We are extremely proud of all our students for addressing real-world issues in this live brief with well-respected clients.

“Congratulations to all our talented award winners on such an enormous achievement in only their second year of studies. It is wonderful to see their hard work and creative talent rewarded.”

Main picture: The five award-winning Graphic Design students