Students from the second and third year of our Graphic Media Communication degree were given a creative challenge and an incredible chance to work with teams of designers and illustrators at Hallmark. The students had only 2 weeks to produce work for a live brief set and judged by the company. This task was assessed as part of their course but an additional incentive was the opportunity to impress this leading employer who is always keen to engage the very best young design talent, and for the two students who showed the most promise there was the offer of a prestigious 2 week paid placement at Hallmark.
Course Tutor, Paul Holmes, explained “Our students work on professional projects throughout all the course, using briefs set by industry. They have all benefited from the input from Hallmark. Creative Director, Jo Marchbank and Art Director, Angie Williamson came in to set up the project and then returned a week later to give a professional critique of work in progress. The two students who are selected will find doing the placement in February gives them the edge in the final months of their degree.I am really proud of all the students, who have produced a plethora of work in a very short time. ”
The task was to design a minimum of 6 pieces for 2-D product (cards, giftwrap, paper products) or a minimum of 3 storyboards for 3-D product (animation, e-greetings, new media, gifts) on the theme of Christmas. They were required to evoke emotion, tell a story, identify their consumer, and balance fonts and imagery to produce something special which was worthy of bearing the Hallmark brand. Angie Williamson returned to the Yorkshire Craft Centre with Jill Ramsey, Hallmark’s Studio Manager, to see the final submissions and decide the winners.
Angie said “Working with a real live brief gives the students commercial discipline and a flavour of the dynamics, schedules and creativity required to succeed. We are a major employer of graduates and we want to do more. We are very impressed with the results of this project.”
Jill added “This is a win-win situation; giving experience to the students and enabling us to locate and attract the brightest talent. We want to give them a chance and support our local college. We are looking for that spark of ingenuity. Digital is becoming more important with the growth of e-greetings and personalisation. Hallmark is a really innovative company and the winning students will be mentored by the Art Director and designers, so it is a wonderful chance to learn and show what they can do. Ultimately they may get some of their work published and then they will be paid for this as well as earning a wage whilst on placement.”