The South West Design + Digital Student Awards

Industry exposure, recognition from creative leaders, networking opportunities, a portfolio review and some brilliant prizes: The South West Design + Digital Student Awards has it all. Each year, we invite students from across Wales and the South West of England to submit their best work to us, so together, we can showcase what creatives outside London have to offer.
roger giving a speech at the design awards

Showing what the South West is made of

Powered by P+S, the SWDDS Awards were launched as part of our ongoing campaign to tackle how institutions approach design education.

Over the years, we started to notice a pattern in the type of design graduates leaving university and entering the job market. Often, they were exceptionally talented - but had zero commercial experience. And that's a problem, because it's a huge part of our job.

We were also frustrated by the lack of culture and creativity funding anywhere west of London, meaning students in our region weren't getting the same leg up into the industry as their peers in the capital. And so, we launched the SWDDS Awards to celebrate local talent and encourage key creative commercial thinking, too.

Each year, we invite final year university students to apply with their best work to one of three awarding categories, and battle it out for up to £4,000 and a paid internship with us at P+S.

2021: The creative throwdown

From saving the bees to protecting our oceans. From ending period stigma to raising awareness of cervical cancer and Aphasia. From celebrating poetry to promoting Welsh history and culture. And from stunning social commentary to flying high with nature’s aeroplanes. 2021’s talented finalists blew us away with the variety, energy, and commercial class of their projects. It’s why they were our top picks of the 165 strong entries we received from 19 different unis. And it’s why an extra special commendation award was added to the mix.

Going virtual for 2020

Even a global pandemic couldn’t stop the South West’s creativity, with almost 200 entries for 2020’s SWDDS Awards – and it didn’t stop us from celebrating local talent, either.

We followed the exact same judgement process as in previous years, but kept things exclusively online. Our judges whittled down the entrants to just 10 finalists, before hosting their face-to-face final interviews over video chat instead of at P+S headquarters.

When it came to announcing the champions, our Winners’ Ceremony may have been virtual, but there was no shortage of excitement. We all came together via video chat once again, to congratulate our finalists’ outstanding work and celebrate our overall winners.

Don’t worry if you missed out – check out our 2020 video here, including the amazing work we received from all our finalists, and announcing this year's champions!

Check out the 2020
Finalist's Book
Check out the 2020 Finalist's Book

Three categories
Three winners
And no brief

To make the competition accessible to time-pressured final year students, they have the option of submitting work they've already created - as long as it fits into one of our three categories.

Graphic Design. In other words, offline design projects. Think 2D, 3D and print.

Digital Design. Online design projects if you like. Think web and digital graphic design.

Motion and AR. If it moves, we’re interested. Think video, animation, XR, VR, AR, and 3D graphics.

As for the brief? There isn't one. But we expect every project to have purpose, commercial value, and market, cultural, or social demand.

The three best entries will be awarded £1,000, with one of our victors chosen as our 'Ultimate Creative Champion', receiving an additional £3,000. Any of our 10 finalists are also in with a chance of winning the 3-month paid internship at P+S.