Students have designs on dance company

Students at New College Durham have been taking their first steps towards becoming professional designers by working on a live brief for an innovative dance company.

Over 30 students studying Level 3 Graphic Design and the Foundation Degree in Graphic Design at New College Durham, were tasked with designing promotional materials such as business cards, corporate stationery and posters for Southpaw Dance Company, in line with their current branding.

Graphic design lecturer at New College Durham, Danielle Gabrielle, said:

“We are grateful to be able to engage with innovative local companies such as Southpaw, and provide our students with the opportunity to showcase the skills they have learnt in the classroom, build a strong portfolio and enhance their commercial awareness.

“Live briefs such as this, are designed to replicate a real working environment, where students are set a task and are expected to research, create designs and present their ideas to a client. Live briefs and industry engagement is a vital part of the graphic design course at New College Durham and it help to ensure that our students are fully equipped for the workplace.”

Southpaw, a contemporary dance company based in Newcastle, creates work within hip hop dance theatre. Robby Graham, Artistic Director of Southpaw Dance Company, chose the designs of Level 3 Extended Diploma Graphic Design student Lewis Scott, who produced a set of templates and a series of posters.

17-year-old Lewis, from Washington, said:

“Working on a live brief was a great experience. It makes you think like a professional designer and work at a commercial pace.  My design concept was inspired by the geometric shapes in the Southpaw logo. I am very excited about my work being printed professionally and used across the country.”

To showcase Southpaw’s ethos and dance style, Robby Graham also did a surprise performance at the College when the students were briefed and held a workshop for the College’s dance students. He commented:

“It was amazing to perform in the College’s central atrium space and connect with the students before we briefed them. To see what they were able to come up with in a very short time was inspiring. Lewis is a talented young designer and he was able to capture our style perfectly. We look forward to using his designs.”


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