Traditional incandescent light bulbs are disappearing from UK shops to be replaced by energy saving light bulbs. Although retailers stopped replenishing stocks of the old 100w bulbs in January some consumers are still not aware of this.
School of Art & Design students were tasked by Callum Ives, Senior Lecturer in Visual Communications, with developing innovative ideas to spread the message about energy efficient bulbs. They worked with a ‘live’ client, Suzanne Barnes from the successful Suzanne Barnes Design Partnership based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Students were asked to create a viable solution to the problem of making the low energy light bulbs more attractive by designing a new fitting or developing ideas of how to brand, package and market the bulbs successfully.
The second year BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Design) students pitched their ideas to Suzanne, which included an interactive exhibition stand, a colourful marketing campaign to educate people about disposing of the energy efficient bulbs and even a novel cuddly toy mascot.
Two of the most effective designs chosen by Suzanne and Callum were a fully branded promotional T-shirt, poster and exhibition stand by James Sharp, and close runner-up was Dawid Szczepanski, from Poland, with his novel ocean influenced campaign featuring Starky the cuddly anglerfish.
Callum said: “Having a live client affords students an invaluable insight into the demands made of a professional designer. Design creativity, the ability to apply it practically and interpersonal skills are all rigorously tested. We were very lucky to have Suzanne’s input this year and the students responded most enthusiastically.”
Suzanne Barnes said: “It was great to introduce a current and relevant theme to the project. The students embraced the task, and their interest was evident in the research shown in their sketchbooks. It was extremely rewarding and enjoyable to see the final presentations.”
Picture: Dawid Szczepanski with his design
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