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A group of five A Level Graphic Design students from New College, travelled to the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining in London on the 26th of June, via a Limo to the 2019 Starpack Awards! 

The competition is an international event aimed at designers to challenge and inspire creatives in the subject of packaging. This year the College’s students entered the 'alternative advent' brief and used a range of techniques to produce an interesting and engaging count-down to Christmas that didn't rely on chocolate. New College students Jamie Shaw and Maria Bartucca were delighted to take home Gold awards and Rowan McGuinnes was highly commended for his project.

All students used a range of prototyping, cardboard engineering techniques and graphic communication to bring their ideas to life. They also used Adobe software, a laser cutter and conventional crafting tools to make the actual packs and accompanying presentation boards. 

On the big day, New College students Jamie Shaw, Rowan McGinnes, Maria Bartucca, Sasha Stowe and Rebekah Selwood-Starr attended the ceremony, heard from a guest speaker and had a ride on the London Eye. They then explored the street art of the Banksy tunnel and more conventional artwork of the National Gallery. They also investigated the immersive consumerism of the M&M and Lego stores and visited the British Museum.

Each of the design pieces were unique, Jamie chose to use the Nintendo Labo brand for his Gold winning pack. The pack pieces fully integrate with Nintendo Switch controllers to bring users a new physical mini game every day leading up to Christmas.

Rebecca created a calendar for a dog, the design intends to give pets a reward every day, and provides ideas for exercises, tricks and health tips. Rowan's highly commended 3D Christmas tree was designed for either an office desk or child's bedroom. Inside each origami decoration is a reward and challenge for the day. The pack was designed to look great from any angle and is refillable, saving waste and helping the next generation value the environment. 

Maria drew inspiration from an escape room to create her gold winning calendar. Inside the main body are individual numbered envelopes with puzzle pieces and a riddle. Over the course of advent, users are able to build up the puzzle to reveal a QR code. When this is scanned it takes users to a website to receive a reward.

As a learner over 18, Sasha entered the Interactive Labelling brief from the Student Awards. Her interactive pack contained a range of vegetable seeds for home growing goodness. The outer sleeve was decorated with sophisticated branding and holographic finish illustrations. Inside, the pack opens up to reveal six triangular compartments with further information. These labels can be scanned using a smartphone to unleash an augmented experience, including animations, growing instructions and recipe videos. 

Dan Hazelton, New College Graphic Design Lecturer said:

“Packaging is one of those things that is either forgotten or given a bad wrap (if you will excuse the pun), but it is actually very difficult to get right. All of these students have shown great understanding for cardboard engineering, environmental considerations, hygiene and consumer safety, visual appearance, branding, user interaction, product protection and many other factors that make their creations much more than a box. I am very proud of my students for embracing and succeeding at these challenging tasks and know that they will be better designers because of it. Next time you are in a supermarket, or putting out your recycling boxes, think about the amount of work, consideration and creativity that has gone into these disposable designs.” 

If you are interested in learning more about Graphic design at New College join us at our open evening on Thursday 4th July 5-7:30pm.