International Awards for Photography and Design Students

International Awards for Photography and Design Students

Students have beaten competition from thousands of students to gain two international awards for commercial photography and packaging design.

Amy Jay and Sean Armstrong study at Hugh Baird College and have scooped two top accolades in the 2014 Design & Art Direction (D&AD) New Blood Awards. Both are progressing on undergraduate courses in Digital Imaging and Photography at the Hugh Baird University Centre – degree programmes validated by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

D&AD was formed in Britain during the 1960s by a group including photographer David Bailey to promote excellence in design and advertising. Now a global association which also promotes vocational training and charity work, D&AD holds its awards annually. The New Blood Awards are open to anyone in full or part-time education, recent graduates or anyone aged under 24.

Amy, aged 21, from Old Swan, Liverpool, has won an award for the photography brief designed by mobile phone giant Nokia. Her photograph for the brief, entitled ‘decisive moment’ captures a plate of spaghetti being thrown at a person’s face.

Sean, aged 42, from Southport, enjoyed success in a brief written by multivitamin drinks brand Purdey’s. He designed a range of rebranded and repackaged drink bottles and labelling, partly inspired by the shape of water drops and tornados.

Amy is progressing onto the second year of the Foundation Degree in Digital Imaging and Photography at the Hugh Baird University Centre. The Foundation Degree is one of a number of new degree programmes launched for 2014 at the University Centre, all validated by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

She said:

“I really enjoyed the art and design course I studied at Hugh Baird College and I am looking forward to continuing on the Digital Imaging and Photography degree. The tutors have been really helpful and encouraging. In the future I hope to work in the media industries, so the degree course should boost my knowledge and help me firm-up my career plans.”

Sean said:

“I’ve been working in graphic design and photography for 15 years but went back to college because I never had any qualifications related to them. The course at Hugh Baird was fantastic. There was flexibility to focus on the areas that I’m particularly interested in and the tutors were brilliant. I’m continuing my studies at Hugh Baird College and I’m interested in becoming a teacher and hopefully can do a teacher training qualification once I’ve got a degree.”

As part of their course, the students entered the D&AD awards to support their photography and design studies. Tutor David Lockwood said the impact this has on developing students’ working skills and experience is tremendous.

“A key focus of our courses is vocational and commercial photography with a work-based orientation. Our approach develops real-world skills. We entered the D&AD competition because it has commercially-focused briefs written by real clients such as Nokia.

“Our students were competing internationally with up to 1,000 others in each category - including those studying on the best degree courses across the country.

“The success is great for Amy, Sean and the Hugh Baird University Centre. The students can promote their personal portfolio on the D&AD website and put the D&AD award symbol on their own individual websites, giving them national credibility. It’s also great for Hugh Baird University Centre to have two students achieving such success internationally.

“Photography has had a revival in recent years, he said. Although cameras and technology have become more accessible through digital technology in some ways, students now realise that they need proper education and training to get the best results, and to develop both the creative and commercial skills and experience to be successful in this field.”

College principal Yana Williams said:

“The development and success of new courses at Hugh Baird College and the University Centre, like our new Foundation Degree in Digital Imaging and Photography, shows that people are increasingly studying locally because of the costs associated with studying away from home.

“We benefit from students of all ages and backgrounds, not just young people who are already in education, but a lot of mature students, who are taking new career paths.

“The Hugh Baird University Centre is continuing to align itself with the region’s key economic growth sectors including Liverpool’s burgeoning creative industries and media scene. The courses reflect wider initiatives to further develop Liverpool’s creative industries.”