Each year P+S hosts the South West Design + Digital Student Awards.
The Design Awards were launched by Roger Proctor MBE, Founder and Chairman of Proctor + Stevenson, as part of an ongoing campaign to tackle the way institutions approach design education. Roger wanted to give students the opportunity to stretch their creative talents beyond academia. He recognised the need for hands-on industry experience and commercial briefs. But he also noticed a frustrating lack of creative recognition outside of London, which is why he chose to celebrate talent specifically in the South West of England.
For final-year university students, the SWDDS Awards offer unparalleled opportunities – industry exposure, advice from an expert panel of judges, and valuable creative connections.
Last year Jessica Stiddard, a graphic design student from the University of Gloucestershire, was one of our top 10 finalists with 24 Karat Coffee – a sustainable and ethically sourced coffee branding project.
Jess has gone on to become Junior Creative at Dyson. We sat down with Jess to find out what she’s been up to since the South West Design + Digital Student Awards 2022.
So, how did you find out about the South West Design + Digital Student Awards?
As part of our course, one module included submitting our work to a design award. Our lecturer presented a selection of opportunities to choose from, and she had mentioned the South West Design + Digital Student Awards.
I had also heard about a previous graphic design student from the University of Gloucestershire who had won the SWDDS Awards and the opportunities that followed for her.
What project did you enter, and what category did that fall under?
I entered my third-year brand identity and packaging project for an ethical coffee brand 24 Karat Coffee, which was on a mission to make coffee better. The brief was set by Bulletproof – a design agency in London.
I entered it into the Graphic Design category, and the fact there is no brief meant I was able to enter work I had already completed, which made it a lot easier for me to enter the Design Awards alongside my university deadlines.
Since entering the Design Awards, what have you been up to?
After the awards, I graduated with a First Class Honours and had a one-month apprenticeship with Bristol agency Outlaw, where I worked alongside Emma Proven, winner of the 2019 South West Design + Digital Student Awards.
“…I have now been working at Dyson in Malmesbury for 4 months and I’m loving every minute…”
I then went on to work at Dyson as a Junior Creative. I had been in contact with Chris Roberts, Creative Director at Dyson and judge at the SWDDS Awards, who offered me the role. I have now been working at Dyson in Malmesbury for 4 months and I’m loving every minute.
That’s fantastic! Knowing what you know now, do you have any advice for people thinking about entering the South West Design + Digital Student Awards themselves?
My advice to someone entering the awards would be: just throw yourself into every opportunity you’re given. It can lead to amazing opportunities and achievements! If I hadn’t entered the awards, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It has opened many doors for me, including my internship with Outlaw and my full-time role at Dyson.
“…if I hadn’t entered the awards, I wouldn’t be where I am today…”
What was your overall experience with the Design Awards like?
My experience at the awards was great. I had an interview where I had to present my project and my portfolio to a judging panel, which meant my work was seen by some utterly amazing judges. Even though it could have been a nerve-wracking experience, they made me feel so comfortable.
The ceremony was also great. I got the opportunity to meet other creative students who had entered their work, as well as industry professionals that Proctor + Stevenson had invited. They gave me good advice for my first steps into the creative industry.
The South West Design + Digital Student Awards is back for 2023
Think you could be one of this year’s finalists?
If Jessica’s experience has inspired you to enter, what are you waiting for?
If you’re a third-year university student in the South West of England, get your best projects in Graphic Design, Digital Design and Motion and AR (Augmented Reality) ready.
Whether it is a bold new app, a dynamic branding campaign, or an artistic animation, we want to see it.
Find out more and enter now.