UN School of The Arts celebrates as students win plethora of awards

Date 16.11.2015

The University of Northampton’s School of The Arts has been celebrating a record number of awards achieved by students, who have been busy designing innovative new toys, creating fantastic advertising campaigns and re-imagining classic novel covers.

In May, third year Product Design student Christopher Doyle won a prestigious prize in the Royal Society of Arts’ (RSA) Student Design Awards for ‘Morty’, a multifunctional educational toy which incorporates packaging and up-cycling of household waste as a part of the play experience.

Fashion student Alice Chambers was named as the winner of the Glovers Company’s Ladies Glove Design Competition for Autumn/Winter 2015. Alice’s glove design was inspired by Hunter’s Autumn/Winter 2015/16 clothing range and as the brand is most known for its wellies, she added the boot fastening aspect to the front of her glove design, with the colour inspired by their iconic red label.

June saw a bumper crop of awards being picked up by second and third year students. Laura Pickering was awarded a scholarship from Northamptonshire-based shoe makers, Joseph Cheaney & Sons. Jonathan Church from Cheaney’s visited the University’s Avenue Campus and judged the students’ designs before declaring Laura the winner of the Leslie Church Scholarship Fund.

Graphic Communications and Illustration students were busy impressing the judges at the YCN Student Awards, picking up commendations for their work. Graphic Communications student, Amba Smith, created a UK-wide campaign for Save the Children, to inspire and motivate dads to read to their children for 10 minutes a day. Anthony Hailes, an illustration student, created a new cover and interior page illustrations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to fulfil a brief set by publishers Pan Macmillan.

There were more awards for book cover illustrations at the recent Penguin Random House Design Awards with two students picking up honours for their designs: 19 year old Scott Kooken, from Budel in the Netherlands won the Adult Non-Fiction Award, wowing the judges with his cover design for international bestseller Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner. 24-year-old Gemma Minchin from Bedfordshire took second place in the Adult Fiction Cover Award for her playful take on a cover for Jeanette Wintersons’ Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.

Three Graphic Communication students won plaudits for some stunning designs for the much-coveted internationalD&AD Ne​​w Blood Awards. Victoria Langridge won the npower award for producing a range of work associated with Lumi – an app designed to raise awareness of the different energy saving options available to customers – which included postal and digital marketing and elements of the app itself. Gemma Minchin won an award after producing advertising artwork for newspapers, websites and posters promoting three films from acclaimed director Ridley Scott – Alien, Blade Runner and Prometheus. Finally, Rosemary Nicholas’ award winning entry was based around Japanese film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki. She created a fictitious cinema event to celebrate 30 years of his work, and produced a promotional poster featuring hand-rendered typography.

Jayne Bingham, Deputy Dean of the School of The Arts, commented: “We are exceptionally proud of our students’ achievements this year. Our students have become widely recognised for their talents and skills in craftsmanship, design and manufacture – and most importantly for being ahead of the design curve. Winning prestigious industry awards such as these is brilliant for their portfolios and future career prospects.”

Jayne continued: “At the University of Northampton we thrive on encouraging our students to develop confident and individual approaches to the design development process, challenging the boundaries of convention. This year we have also had students pick up nominations for prestigious awards: Fashion and Footwear students Tiffany Ruff, Heather Jenkinson, Sarah Newman, Amy Darwin and Daniyal Khan were all in the running for National Footwear Student of the Year 2015, hosted by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. Daniyal was also shortlisted in the top 10 in The Business Design Centre’s New Designer of the Year Awards, for his spectacular glow in the dark leather. We look forward to following all of our students’ careers after graduation. ”

​To find out more about courses within The Arts at the University of Northampton, visit the webpage. ​

Pictured clockwise from top left: Rosemary Nichols’ D&AD New Blood entry, Christopher Doyle with ‘Morty’, Gemma Minchin’s Penguin Random House Design Awards entry, Scott Kooken’s Penguin Random House Design Awards entry, Alice Chambers’ Glovers Company Ladies Glove Design Competition entry.