An iPad is the dream gadget for most students and Samuel Wyatt, who is in the third year of his BA (Hons) Graphic Design, Illustration & Digital Media course, has won not one, but two! His prizes resulted from success in a competition held by Salford Software, the College’s technology partner, who has created a new online student portal for the College. Since this new technology was to benefit students, the company felt the best people to consult about how this should be named and branded were the students themselves.
Lisa Drakonaki, Marketing Manager at Salford Software explained, “We ran the competition for students focussing on an online and mobile channel through which students can access email, Moodle, timetable, library books on loan, College updates, student promotions, SkyDrive access plus Facebook and Twitter - everything students need on a dashboard which also gives a snapshot of information. The whole concept is our product called Cobra but it is being renamed for Bradford College. We asked students to devise a name and a logo for that IT solution. The judging panel comprised journalists from two publications, Bradford College’s IT Services Manager, Rose Kane and Web Designer, Nicki Wilson, plus Salford Software staff including CEO Paul Beaumont and Account Manager, Rob Harcourt. We never imagined one student would win in both categories but when Samuel did so well we got him an iPad in black and another in white.”
Samuel explained the how he chose the name. “I was thinking about using the web to network and collaborate and thought about the bigger world and even outer space. I originally began with Planet Orb, but decided that ‘Orb’ on its own was a modern and stronger name that would be more in touch with my peers in the College.”
Course Tutor Paul Holmes said “We treated the competition as a live brief suitable for professional practice. Sam created a lot of options to be decided by the client. Orb means ‘all encompassing’ so it is perfect for a student network. Sam took it on board, ran with it and developed it. Branding is a key area for design students and this semester our third years have had additional input from trainee lecturer Kirsty Wharton, who worked at Hallmark and is an expert on brands. Along with the rest of the rest of the team, I am very proud of Sam’s achievement.”
Bradford College’s Network Manager, Rose Kane, elaborated, “There are loads of applications for the Orb and I envisage it becoming part of the College vocabulary; verbalised as in ‘Have you Orbed me?’ They will be able access to access the Orb on their phone, on their laptop, on a College PC, whenever and wherever they want to. Samuel impressed us as he had taken the concept into different formats – showing a masthead, a logo, different fonts and colours; and showing how it could look in different applications.”
Rose and her team will be working with Salford Software to finalise the new designs for the introduction of Orb in early summer. That Samuel’s designs will soon be at the heart of their access to College systems for twenty-two thousand students is very satisfying for Samuel.
Paul Beaumont, Chief Executive of Salford Software stated, “Bradford College is at the cutting edge of providing technology for its students to access College resources from anywhere, at anytime, via a laptop or a smart phone. The College is one of the first in the country to implement this new solution and it will take the way that they engage with their students to the next level. We’re delighted to be working with them on this project. Sam has been lucky enough to name and brand something that will be used by both existing students at the college as well as those becoming alumni over the coming years – Sam included. It’s quite a legacy and I congratulate him on his winning entries.”
The wins are also proof that Samuel, who is in his fifth year of study at Bradford College, having completed a BTEC Diploma in Graphic Media Communications before progressing to the degree programme, will be industry ready when he graduates this summer. He concluded, “I am very proud of myself as this is a major achievement. I did this really quickly and I think it shows my development. It demonstrates how I have speeded up my creativity, which is not just about increasing workflow but also about quality, and becoming sharper. You learn and have support and mentoring and develop your ideas. This becomes a ritual and by the end of the third year you can turn over things at a faster pace and with quality. Having an iPad will be great for showing my portfolio externally and for leisure use. Winning two is incredible!”