Each year, packaging design agency JDO recognises the best emerging design talent in the UK with its prestigious JDO Raw award. The high-profile competition offers students a once-in-a-lifetime creative brief, with past involvement from household names such as Ministry of Sound, Bestival, and Basement Jaxx.
For the first time in the competition’s history, entries from first-year students have made it to the final round. BA (Hons) Graphic Communication students Emma Flintham and Brogan Algar, from Plymouth College of Art, were both shortlisted in the competition’s top ten creative pitches, with all other final nominees currently in their final year of study. JDO Ambassador Boma Krijgsman said “This is the first time that first-year students have made it into the top ten of the JDO RAW competition. What an amazing achievement!”
The brief for 2019 challenged students from across the UK to design an original brand and packaging concept for a new 0% alcohol spirit. As an increasingly prominent product category, judges emphasised the importance of on-shelf memorability, alongside a distinct brand narrative and strategy in order to cut-through the competition.
“Live industry briefs and placements are integral to our graphic design programme, giving students opportunities to network with other creative professionals and work on meaningful, real-world projects. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Emma and Brogan and I’m sure they’ll both be designers to look out for in the future.” - Amanda Duffin, Subject Leader, BA (Hons) Graphic Design
Industry experts on the judging panel included JDO’s creative directors Ben Oates and Paul Drake, alongside musician Felix Buxton and PepsiCo’s head of design for western Europe, David Marchant. Ben Oates, Principal and Group Creative Director at JDO said “We judged all the work on the candidates' ability to tell a compelling visual story and their ability to craft and style that story. We looked for single-mindedness and an end result that evocatively touched us.”
Emma Flintham’s submission focussed on Gen Z consumers interested in personal wellbeing and nutrition. An idea for a range of health-kick cocktails offering energy boosting ingredients and anti-inflammatory properties led Emma to a lively visual identity that celebrates natural ingredients and big flavours. Emma said: “I wanted the packaging to say that this is a way to treat yourself without wrecking your body or the environment.”
Brogan Algar’s recyclable packaging led with monochrome illustrations to highlight our individual ability to leave a mark on the world through environmental consciousness. Brogan said “I wanted to reflect the idea of creating a positive impact on the world in the design, and so took inspiration from tattoo designs, which we use to create positive, permanent marks on our bodies.”
Staff and students celebrated the first year’s accomplishment at JDO’s award ceremony and industry party on 17 July. Amanda Duffin, Subject Leader of Plymouth College of Art's BA (Hons) Graphic Communications programme, said:
“Live industry briefs and placements are integral to our graphic design programme, giving students opportunities to network with other creative professionals and work on meaningful, real-world projects. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Emma and Brogan and I’m sure they’ll both be designers to look out for in the future.”