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Posted 20.07.20

Second year Graphic Communication student wins JDO Raw award

By Naomi Girdler

Emma Flintham's winning entry into the competition

Each year, packaging design agency JDO recognises the best emerging design talent in the UK with its prestigious JDO Raw award. Now in its fifth year, the high-profile competition offers students the opportunity to put their skills to the test, designing and marketing food and drink products within a competition theme. This year, Plymouth College of Art BA (Hons) Graphic Communication student Emma Flintham has won first place with her creation ‘Algae Cacao’.

Emma, who is a second year on the BA (Hons) Graphic Communication course, mixed algae and chocolate to create ‘Algae Cacao’, a protein bar chocolate combination that impressed the judging panel, selecting her designs over 150 other entries.

This year’s brief, ‘Mash Made in Heaven’, asked UK students to design a food and/or drink brand for millennials using a mash-up generator to randomly select two unexpected food, drink or flavour combinations. Runners-up created new brands and packaging for a range of food and drink types including whisky, gin, craft beer and vodka. 

“The talent of tomorrow needs support today. This is a tough time for everyone and we need to be nurturing and celebrating the new talent that is struggling to be seen and heard. The brief set this year has challenged the students to be at their very best. This competition has the potential to kick-start careers - as it has done for our new junior designers.”
- Fiona Florence, Managing Director of JDO

Emma’s design stood out to judges for its distinct branding. The algae motif runs deep, from the spirulina algae within each chocolate bar to the green algae plants printed on the packaging. The packaging is also designed to be almost entirely recyclable using a combination of paper and bamboo materials.

This year's theme, 'Mash Made in Heaven' challenged students to design a new food or drink brand combining unexpected food, drink or flavour combinations.

Emma said: “It’s such an honour to come first place, knowing that all those hours of hard work have paid off. I wanted to create a product that would be both sustainable and healthy. ‘Algae Cacao’ combines spirulina algae and cacao for health benefits and is fully recyclable.”

Subject Lead on BA (Hons) Graphic Communication Amanda Duffin said: “Live industry briefs and placements are integral to our graphic communication programme, giving students opportunities to network with other creative professionals and work on meaningful, real-world projects. In this project, Emma demonstrated excellent execution of the design process, not just thinking about the final outcome, but also about the vision, values and narrative of the chocolate concept she created. We can't wait to see what Emma produces in year three of her studies.”

Emma and her winning design

JDO Co-Founder and Creative Director Ben Oates said: “Emma’s design fulfills the RAW criteria perfectly and it tells a unique yet believable brand story. From the idea to the execution, Emma has considered every touchpoint that a good designer should. The combination of chocolate and algae is truly unexpected - something we celebrate at JDO, but it’s also a marketable product. The bright colours, the bold font, the recyclable paper packaging, it all comes together to tell the story of ‘Algae Cacao’. I can see it on the supermarket shelves already.”

Managing Director of JDO, Fiona Florence said: “The talent of tomorrow needs support today. This is a tough time for everyone and we need to be nurturing and celebrating the new talent that is struggling to be seen and heard. The brief set this year has challenged the students to be at their very best. This competition has the potential to kick-start careers - as it has done for our new junior designers.”

Emma will complete a four week paid placement at JDO, as part of the winner’s prize for JDO RAW 2020, as well as taking home a pair of Apple Airpods Pro and £250.

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