The design courses blog for BA (Hons)
and HND Vis Comm at Edinburgh College

D&AD @ Glasgow School of Art

8 February 2011

This week Helena and I went to the D&AD Event at Glasgow School of Art. We took along eleven HND1 students. Other attendees included tutors and students from most of the Art Colleges in Scotland - the hosts Glasgow, ECA (Edinburgh), Gray's (Aberdeen), Duncan of Jordanstone(Dundee), and Edinburgh Napier.

D&AD's Director of Education Rhiannon James introduced the Student Awards and New Blood, and talked the group through the D&AD's new website and its resources. She also hosted a round of judging, allowing the students to get an insight into how submissions are assessed. The subject work was a series of ten submissions for a campaign for Nokia from the 2010 briefs.

The key criteria for judging is a mix of creative thinking, good execution and staying on brief.

This is invaluable advice to students, because the rewards for success at D&AD are huge - whilst the average graduate takes nearly 24 months to find work in the creative industries, 43% of D&AD winners gain employment within four weeks.

Franki Goodwin, founder of the Franki&Jonny Agency, and a former graduate of GSA, then gave an excellent followup talk about interpreting a brief.

Franki's agency specialises in cinema promotion, and a standout example of her work was a poster for the Todd Haynes movie 'It's Not There' - the acclaimed Bob Dylan biography - into which she managed to blend Mondrian, Andy Warhol and the four leading actors. During that particular project, her studio played Bob Dylan non-stop for about three weeks - a great example of what she terms 'immmersion' in a brief.

Another useful aspect of the event was the tutor meeting, where tutors got the chance to exchange ideas and thoughts on the current state of the industry and of education, and to discuss D&AD's continued efforts to promote and support both institutions and students alike. And it was heartening to know that the head of the committee assigned to this task is none other than Neville Brody.

The afternoon events included an Industry-led workshop with Simon Shaw, Creative Director at Navyblue, where, coincidentally, two of our HND2 students Emma and Andrea are currently on work placement (and managed to swing a day off to join us). There was also a Portfolio Surgery, where students got the chance to have their folios looked at by creative professionals, and an Industry Evening (held at Glasgow Caledonian) which we unfortunately were unable to attend.

And just for good measure, AVA were there with a stall of discounted design books, and of course these events all took place inside the architectural work of art that is the Rennie Mackintosh Building.

A big thanks to all the students who made it along to this event!

AVA Academia
Neville Brody