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

Doing It Clean - Scottish Soapworks

30 October 2014

HND Graphic Design final year students pitched today to Jenny Smith and Rebecca Huntley from Scottish Soapworks, an Edinburgh-based company specialising in high quality handmade soaps, bath and body products. The brief was to come up with inventive packaging and promotional ideas for the company's handmade and organically-flavoured soap collection.

The class was organised into five teams of four, and each team had input and art direction from mentors at five of Edinburgh design agencies - Lewis, Multiply, Blonde, Family and Neish.  Each group was allocated 20 minutes to pitch in the studio, and then answer questions.  After the presentations, the work was exhibited in the college hub, where the tutors held a reception that included interviews, a photo-shoot, product sampling, and a marketing surveys carried out by our very helpful and enthusiastic first year students. Jenny then gave detailed feedback on each presentation, and was full of praise both for the ideas and the professional approach which external clients have come to expect from our student designers.

Blonde Digital, one of the agencies involved, also popped in to see the exhibition and lend some support to the students, and we've included samples from the Blonde teams' pitch.  Work from all five teams will soon be available on our pinterest boards, and the winning team will be announced next Wednesday.  Their ideas will then be put into production.

Team Blonde - 'Pick n Mix' - packaging, digital, outdoor.
Rachel Cameron, Craigh Roberston, Saulius Stebulis, Eweline Egbert, mentor Vicky Sinclair (Blonde Digital)

Design Success at the Scottish Digital Awards

24 October 2014

Jordan(left) and Mark receive their award from Metadigital Director John MacFarlane. Pic @Herald DBA.

We're celebrating a second national award in the space of week after three of our 2014 graduates lifted the student award at the 2014 Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards last night.

The event, held in Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel, gathered together more than 250 industry professionals as the industry recognised commercial success across Scotland in digital technologies and strategies. The evening was hosted by BBC Scotland's Catriona Shearer and featured talks from Mike Neilson (Head of Digital for the Scottish Government) and John Maxwell Hobbs (Head of Digital at BBC Scotland).

The student award, sponsored by metadigital, went jointly to our HND Visual Communication graduates Ryan Allan, Mark Phillips and Jordan Pollock for their Lockdown campaign at The Royal Albert Hall, a YCN project which "impressed the judges with its innovative, creative and distinctive branding."

This year the awards had a record entry, and the other shortlisted teams in the category came from Glasgow Caledonian University and Glasgow University.  Tutors Helena Good and Chris Hughes were there to celebrate the occasion, but unfortunately one of the winning trio, Ryan Allan, was on holiday in Tenerife. Thankfully, social media meant that he didn't have to wait long to find out the result!  The other shortlisted teams in the category came from Glasgow Caledonian University and Glasgow University.

David Craik, Partner at Bright Solutions and a judge on the panel, commented "This was an outstanding submission. It's unusual to see such strong conceptual work as well as a professional level of execution from such young designers."

We had some extra news to celebrate on the night as digital professional of the year award went to Scott Walker, of Edinburgh agency LEWIS, one of our longest serving mentoring agencies and supporters of the course.

- Full list of winners and gallery at the Digital Awards website
- Check out some of the visuals from the Lockdown submission here
- Read a report of the awards night in the Glasgow Herald

Dystopia - Penguin Book Covers

23 October 2014

The HNC recently presented their book cover project 'Dystopia'. They had to select three titles from a series of eight famous Dystopian-themed novels, and design the covers purely in typography. As part of the project, they also received useful input from our 'Design Buddies' - a pool of 10 of our recent graduates all working in industry.

Although the class came up with a wide range of great ideas, during the assessment we noticed that they all shared a common approach, fusing swiss style typographic rigour with a stripped down colour palette and a 90's-era grunge aesthetic.  This stylistic approach perfectly echoed the theme of the books. Two good examples of this messy minimalism came from Rumana Sayed and Kim Louden, both shown below. You can check out more of the work on Pinterest.

Rumana Sayed

Kim Louden

Best Educational Event 2014

9 October 2014

Class of 2014. Photo by Derek Anderson.

Edinburgh College, the design team and the class of 2014 are celebrating this week after picking up the award for Best Educational Event at the Scottish Event Awards 2014. Details of all the results are on the Scottish Events Awards website.

Mentor and Art Director on the project Alan Lennon accompanied tutor Chris Hughes and design students Dan Plunkett, Adriana Matecka and Saul Stebulis to the event at the Glasgow Marriott. The award recognised the quality and success of Say 2014  - our graduate show and industry night event held in May at Creative Exchange in Leith. The event attracted more than 100 creative industry professionals and showcased an amazing selection of design work by our graduating HND students.

Alan, one of our longest serving mentors, commented "It's been a privilege to work with these talented students in the planning and execution of  Say 2014. The process, discipline and professionalism they demonstrated is a testament to the quality of the design course and high level of tuition they receive. This prestigious award is a fitting recognition."

Say 2014 required a huge amount of support from all our mentors, industry supporters, colleagues and technical staff, and some amazing dedication and hard work by all of the class of 2014. Here's a reminder of the event -

Inspire CD Cover

6 October 2014

Our NC class gave their first full presentation today in the studio for 'Inspire' - a CD cover project we like to set every year for this class. NC Graphics is the foundation and entry year to our HN programme, and the focus is on process rather than product in the early stages.

The project produced lots or original thinking and some great artwork, as well as giving us an insight into the musical tastes of our fledgling designers. This effort by David Buchanan was suitably inspiring - an imagined compilation album by Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros, called 'Vonlenska' (the name of the invented language which the band write and sing in). The cover came wrapped in brown paper and contained a cover wallet plus a 16-page stitched booklet.  More examples will appear soon on our Pinterest boards.