Graphic Design students assist local entrepreneur

14th March 2022

Graphic Design students from Stratford-upon-Avon College were recently tasked to create marketing materials for a local business as part of their college work experience.

Students in their first year of the Level 3 Graphic Design Extended Diploma were given the practical work experience task by Sarah Clarke, who opened her Life Coach business in July 2021.

Sara Clarke group shot
Sarah Clarke (left) was really pleased to work with the students

Sarah became acquainted with the College through her involvement with the College’s partner college Solihull College & University Centre as part of their Business Elevator Project. This project has been launched to boost the development of micro, small, or medium enterprises in the region and work in partnership to ensure that enterprises that take part are able to access the most appropriate training and recruitment services. After joining the project, Sarah got the opportunity to offer work experience for the students at Stratford-upon-Avon College.

Sarah told the students a bit about her company and the style and materials she wanted. The students then had two weeks to produce ideas and Sarah returned to assess.

Sarah was delighted to get the students involved. She comments: “I really wanted to support the students with real life business experience. And by collaborating with this age group I get a different perspective. Also, my business is aimed at young people so their input will be highly relevant.”

The students explained their design choices with a presentation. Sarah was impressed with the students work: “They all followed the brief with good use of branding and colours and really tried to represent me and the company in the work. There are so many different ideas which has been brilliant, they have been so creative!”

The students created a range of ideas and designs (including designs above by Cameron Hawker, Kes Watts, Gurmaya Shoker and Skye Stanley) making Sarah’s decision very difficult

After a lot of consideration, Sarah decided to use the designs of Cameron Hawker, Demi Green and Liv Creed and merge elements of all three of their designs. Cameron’s overall design interested Sarah, as did Demi’s leaflet and Liv’s pathway shaping.

Cameron found the experience really helpful: “It’s been great working to a professional brief for a client. I found it exciting. It’s been a good process making things traditionally and then applying it to a digital format and I can use these skills again in the future.”

Graphic Design lecturer, Beth McGlynn, discussed why these types of opportunities are integral to the course: “Work experience gives the students the opportunity to work to an industry standard. This brief by Sarah Clarke offered the students the opportunity to put all their knowledge into practice for a brief they had never worked on before. This was their first brochure and industry brief and they tackled it head on, asking questions on branding, colour schemes, layouts and content. They all demonstrated their own understanding of the brief and visualised their skills in a variety of digital and physical outcomes.”

Find out more about the Business Elevator Project here.

Find out more about the College's Graphic Design course: Graphic Design course