#LoveScotlandsColleges: Student wins Graphic Design Challenge

February 15, 2023 - Jane Moore

Ayrshire College is supporting the launch of the #LoveScotlandsColleges national campaign to highlight the importance and strength of Scotland’s colleges.

HND Visual Communications students put their design skills to the test by submitting their logo designs for a ‘Bolly Burns’ charity lunch event, which was hosted at Cafe Spice Namaste in London’s Docklands in January.

Students followed a live design brief that had a Robert Burns or a Scottish twist while at the same time, was in-keeping with the style of the Indian food at Café Spice Namaste.

The winning student, Amy O’Farrell, attended the lunch in London and as well as seeing her design grace the cover of the restaurant menu, and media packs, Amy has been offered a scholarship from the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland to pursue her dream of graphic illustration.

The HiT scholarship programme offer learning experiences to help develop new skills, knowledge, best practice and fresh thinking. They focus on business, operational and inspirational empowerment and are tailored to an individual’s aspirations.

Amy tells us more -

It’s the first time I’ve ever done a graphic design competition or even logos, I’m more of an illustrator. It was completely out of my comfort zone but I took an illustrative approach to the design brief. I made sure that I included the touch of tartan that they were looking for as that is the dress code for the event, as well as including the Café Namaste branding colours, and they seemed to love it!

How did you come up with the design?

I did some research and looked at the styles that Café Namaste had done in the past to make sure I was coming up with something new. I wanted to create my own tartan, because I really liked the colours, and thought it would be nice for them to have their own tartan to marry up the Scottish influence and the Indian influence. I added the knife and fork as a nod to the restaurant side of things too.

How did it feel to win the competition?

It’s the first time I’ve ever done a graphic design competition. It was completely out of my comfort zone. It was so exciting to go to London and to experience the whole day. I enjoyed networking with people on the day, it’s really exciting for my career.

Would you recommend the Graphic Communications course?

I’ve really enjoyed the HND course. It’s a really varied course so you do get the chance to experiment. I was a florist to begin with, and come from an illustrator world so it’s been challenging trying to adapt my ideas into a digital process. I’ve learned a lot since I started.

Coming to this course felt like a new slate for me. I was a florist before I started, so this is something totally different. The course allows for creative freedom which is good. Doing the live brief for the competition has been useful as it’s great to be able to get industry experience and be hands-on, working to whatever brief you have been given. Doing this course will create better opportunities for me.

What’s next?

I’m currently applying to university, although I’m not sure which one yet, but there are lots of choices! I’d like to design and illustrate children’s books, do book cover design and also the idea of doing food illustration would be quite exciting. In the future I’d also consider going down the teaching route.


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