A campaign to persuade people to choose a rescue dog over a puppy has earned a University of Northampton graduate a coveted industry award.
Graphic Communication graduate, Taylar Wong, submitted her digital campaign concept for the Dogs Trust rehoming charity as her entry for this year’s YCN Student Awards – and it earned her a commendation from the judges.
Taylar’s concept likened a rescue dog’s stay at the Dogs Trust to time a university, and saw her produce images of cute canines wearing graduation mortar boards for use on social media and physical advertising.
See Taylar’s work for the Dogs Trust on her website.
She explained: “The award brief was to make rescue dogs Britain’s favourite breed and so I decided to create a yearbook/graduation campaign which focused on the positives of rescue dogs – and treated their time at a Dogs Trust shelter like their time at university.
“This put a quirky spin on the rescue centre, and informed people about the training, vaccinations and other positives in adopting an animal from the Dogs Trust.
“My campaign aimed to give more personality to the dogs, highlight key positive points and add a little fun to the rather lengthy adoption process.”
She added: “I put cute dogs wearing mortarboards at the forefront of the campaign – because after all, who doesn’t love a cute dog in a hat?”
Some of Taylar’s concept work for the Dogs Trust
This isn’t the first time Taylar’s graphic design work has been recognised by award judges. During her time in Northampton she collected a hat-trick of D&AD New Blood Awards, which recognise creative talent around the world.
Following graduation, Taylar was in-demand with employers, and turned down several job offers before taking a designer role at Byte, an independent marketing technology agency with offices in London and New York.
She said: “The job is amazing. I’m currently working on a variety of briefs and have already completed work for leading brands, including Asos, Collusion, Pret, Spotify and Facebook.”
Taylar added: “I really enjoyed my time on the Graphic Communication course. I went in on a bit of a whim, a last-minute decision as I came through Clearing after finally realising I wanted to study graphic design.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect and I think looking back over my three years at University, I’m amazed at what I managed to achieve considering the level I was at when I joined the course.
“The course taught me lots of things; creativity, problem solving and design skills as well as other things such as business skills and project and time management. This all came in really handy when applying for jobs – and I have no doubt that it continues to help me now.
“As much as I love working, I’d love to come back on the course as a first year again and be able to tackle all the fun, exciting, open ended briefs with graduate eyes. Overall, during my time at University I made some great friends, got on well with the tutors and department staff and learnt a variety of skills that have proven to be very helpful and transferable in the industry.”
Trevor Brown, Programme Leader for Graphic Communication at the University, is thrilled, but not surprised, to see Taylar doing so well since graduating.
He said: “It was clear from the very start of her degree that Taylar was not only a talented designer but driven to push herself in every project, and ultimately driven to succeed as a top designer.
“She would often assume lead roles in team briefs and her project management skills and strong work ethic not only assured her success as a high-achieving design student but has evidently got her noticed in the sector.
“As a second year she was picked up by the local creative agency Creative Folks after working on a live project ran with the Graphic Communication course and continued to work for them throughout her final year.
“Taylar has always demonstrated dedication to the course and she explored every opportunity presented to her. She will undoubtedly be in demand throughout the sector as her reputation deservedly spreads. It was a pleasure sharing her creative journey at the University of Northampton and we wish her every success.”
The YCN Student Awards exist to stimulate, elevate and celebrate the freshest creative thinking around the world. Centred on a collection of modern design and communication challenges, the programme is open to students and recent graduates anywhere in the world.
Visit Taylar’s website.