Each year, Bulletproof runs ‘Futureproof’, a one-day brief student competition offering third year graphic design students the chance to win a cash prize as well as a month’s paid placement in their Covent Garden studio.
It’s a select competition as Bulletproof works with just three universities: Falmouth University, Norwich University of Arts and the University of Gloucestershire, all chosen for the quality of their graphic design courses and students.
The Bulletproof team travelled to our design studio to deliver the brief and oversee a full days workshop. Students are briefed first thing in the morning and then have until 3pm to develop and deliver their thinking and creative responses.
This year’s theme was ‘Make your Own Luck’. The students had to take one card from each of three bags, which contained a packaging format, brand name and product. The combination of elements defined the brief and could be anything from a tub of beer to a sachet of bacon!
The task? To bring the concept to life through an engaging brand identity and packaging design using all three choices with only the most thought-provoking, intelligent, brave, witty and well-articulated ideas being shortlisted for the final.
Of the six lucky finalists chosen, we are proud to say that three came from Falmouth! Below our finalists talk about the competition and the experience.
“The brief pushed you out of your comfort zone but the challenge allowed me to approach the brief in a new way and come up with loads of different ideas for the problem. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it has showed me that even with a quick one day brief, you can still come up with interesting and new ideas.”
“The Graphic Design department at Falmouth encourage us to get stuck in with workshops and competitions to get some experience working on live briefs. As workshops go, I thought the brief was really interesting. Choosing from the ‘mystery bag’ meant that there were lots of outcomes instead of a singular challenge. The random element meant that everyone had their own individual brief, as opposed to 20-30 iterations of the same brief. You get a lot less of the same ideas, which is great! One day doesn’t give you a lot of time to dawdle as well, so you have to just get on with it.”
“The random selection structure created a fascinating and different challenge for each student, keeping everyone on their toes and each piece of work fresh. It pushed us to speed up our design process and I was surprised at the high quality of everyone’s work considering the limited time frame. For my design, I aimed to create something witty, simple and fun, which would hopefully bring a smile to people’s faces.”
On the day of the ceremony, Olivia, Chris and Adam made their way to the Bulletproof studio after checking in to their London hotel. As an added bonus, all finalists have their travel and accommodation paid for by Bulletproof.
The evening kicked off with portfolio reviews before cracking open the Prosecco and beer. The Bulletproof team gathered to celebrate the work and chat to the finalists with each project mocked up onto display boards mounted on wooden easels. The studio’s breakout area was transformed into a buzzing pop-up gallery and a chance to mingle and raise a glass.
Mingling over, and it was time to announce the winner and hand over the trophy. Drumroll please…Falmouth’s Chris Ireland took the top prize for his Wild Dog branding and concept!
“We were so impressed by the high standard of everyone’s ideas, but what stood out for us with Chris’ design was how hard he pushed his thinking. Chris had quite an obvious combination of Beer + Can + Wild Dog brand name, however he didn’t just do a generic beer label. He pushed the thinking and created an innovative and feasible design. We were really impressed by his overall approach and attitude,” said Beth Drummond, senior designer at Bulletproof and one of the Futureproof judges.
After the ceremony, the Bulletproof Futureproof team and all the finalists headed over to Southern Joe’s American restaurant in Covent Garden for cocktails and a dinner worthy of winners. And the night didn’t end there, as the group headed on to a local bar afterwards to meet the rest of the Bulletproof team and join them for drinks.
Bulletproof said: “Year on year the standard is staggeringly high and we’re constantly impressed by the work we see. This year Falmouth certainly had the edge with three finalists and a high level of creative and thinking. Well done team!”