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Posted 13.08.18

Diner design success for Illustration student

By Kat Peberdy

First year BA (Hons) Illustration student Charlotte Leadley has seen her winning design for burger chain Hubbox rolled out across their restaurants.

Students across the programme were set a live brief by illustration graduate Tom Sutcliffe, to redesign the children’s menu for the American style diner brand. With sites across the South West, from Bristol to St Ives, Hubbox has established itself as a popular eatery for those craving award-winning burgers and craft beers.

We caught up with Tom, who specialises in handcrafted traditional print styles and urban street art, to discuss how he set the brief and then worked with Hubbox’s creative team and CEO to select the winning design...

How did this project get started?

I was asked by the illustration department at Hubbox to set a live brief for the first year students, because as a recent graduate of the programme I had close links to the students and staff. The very same week the company announced that they were going to launch a new children’s menu. I came up with the idea of asking the students to design the menu and the CEO loved it. Hubbox is a very style oriented brand and they love supporting and developing young artists in any way so this was a perfect fit.

A2 board presented by Charlotte Leadley for the design brief

Good timing! Can you describe the brief that was given to the students to get them started?

I deliberately left the brief fairly vague, as I have done countless freelance jobs since graduating where the client gives you minimal information and I was keen to help the students learn about the importance of research in a situation like this.

“I had a lot of opportunities to take part in industry briefs and it was extremely helpful. Having that ‘real world’ experience before you even finish your degree is invaluable.” – Tom Sutcliffe, BA (Hons) Illustration graduate

The students were asked to research the brand, to get an idea of the style, the colour palette and the tone of voice and to apply it to their work. They were then given the original children’s menu and asked to redesign it and to present it on an A2 board.

What was the judging process like?

I visited the illustration studios and took photos of everyone’s work. I then took these to a meeting with all of the restaurant managers, head chefs, the head of operations and CEO and we selected our favourite three designs.

These students were then given feedback and asked to make some amendments to their work before we picked Charlotte as our winner.

“As a first year student it was so gratifying seeing my illustrations being used in real life. Being chosen as the winner was a huge confidence boost as an illustrator, what started out as a couple of ideas on post it notes becoming fully realised is the best feeling!” – Charlotte Leadley, BA (Hons) Illustration

What were your thoughts on the quality of the submissions?

I was absolutely blown away by the quality of work! To imagine the presentations came from a first year group really surprised me. I was also able to provide feedback for every single student who submitted a design, which was great.

Work in progress sketches from Charlottes original design ideas

Have you had feedback on the design from customers?

Customers and Hubbox teams love the design. Not only for the quality of the work Charlotte produced but also the story behind it. It’s a great talking point and the customers love that a student from Plymouth College of Art did it.

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