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Laura lands top award for her giffgaff mobile phone campaign

Date 11.06.2021

A budding creative from the University of Northampton has won a prestigious design award after designing a digital marketing campaign for a mobile phone giant.

Laura Tucker said winning a D&AD New Blood Pencil Award was an unexpected pleasure after catching the judges’ eyes with her animation for giffgaff. The competition, which recognises creative talent around the world, has a high profile in the design industry.

“It feels so surreal,” said the second year Graphic Communication student. “The Pencils were introduced to me in college when I was just starting my graphic design journey, and I must admit that when I first heard about the awards, I never thought it would be something that would ever really involve me due to their high-profile nature. So, to have won one of the pencils is a really bizarre thing, but in the best way possible.”

Laura was set a brief to create a multimedia campaign for mobile phone company giffgaff, to promote its campaign to recycle old handsets.

She produced a 20-second animation, below, a series of Instagram stories and a set of digital display banners which centred on the premise: Recycle your old phone. Get some cash in your pocket. Cha-ching.

Stills from Laura's animation.

Stills from Laura’s animation.

Laura's character she devised for her campaign.

Laura’s character she devised for her campaign.

Laura's Instagram assets.

Laura’s Instagram assets.

“It was quite special that this award came as a result of following a desire to try out 2D animation, which I had been wanting to try for such a long time, but the opportunity never really arose,” said Laura, 19, who is from Milton Keynes.

She added: “Although the animation was the main component, we were asked to also produce a thumbnail and Instagram posts to go along with it. Through my experience as a freelancer, and a designer within an agency, I have become accustomed to considering the whole picture of a design project – this essentially means that alongside creating the components your client is requesting, you should also consider the other possible design opportunities that may come about from the project at hand.

“So, planning by considering all possible design components is really key, which is something I focused on within the project. This resulted in me creating a thumbnail, banner advertisements, social media posts and stories, as well as producing the main animation with fully fleshed sound production and effects (produced by my partner). Although this did add to the workload, I was determined to finish it to the best of my ability. This resulted in something that I am quite pleased with and that I feel is as industry level as I could make it as a novice in 2D animation.”

With an award under her belt, and another year to go on her course, Laura is already setting her sights on life after uni.

She said: “I hope to enter the industry of either branding, publishing, or motion design at a junior level. I want to continue to learn and develop my industry awareness and skills to that of a professional standard, and to find my footing in the vast and dynamic industry.

“So far, the course has honestly been everything I could have asked for when it came to my design education. I think the main for me is the incredible support that the design tutors provide throughout the journey. I receive supportive, positively challenging and encouraging feedback throughout.

“I think structurally it is really great in gradually building you up to the industry standard required post-university as they introduce more independent thinking as the terms develop, which mirrors the lessened guidance when entering the professional field.

“For the D&AD project I was supervised by Trevor Brown, my personal tutor, and his teaching was a great balance of guidance, support, but also allowing us to be individual and take the lead with our own creativity – it was really refreshing and personally, I think that this encouraged me to be a bit more open to my own creativity.”

View Laura’s wining entry on the D&AD website.