Students Get Graphic with Live Challenge

One of Scotland’s largest further education institutions has given students a unique opportunity to experience what life is like working in the industry they are training to join.

Graphic Design students from Edinburgh’s Telford College were given a chance to work on a live graphic design project as a result of an ongoing relationship with Rufus Spiller, Creative Director at Line Digital.

Rufus who has already worked with several students on the course’s mentoring programme set the students the task of working on a project for Diary specialists Charles Letts & Co. Ltd – one of his agency’s own clients.

The Graphic design HND class which was split into two teams were given a brief by Letts which was to create an immersive, fresh and useful space in which people could use to plan and manage their time effectively whilst re-imagining the traditional diary format.

Helena Good, Graphic Design Lecturer at Edinburgh’s Telford College said: “This was a great opportunity for our students to completely immerse themselves in their design work and to experience what life would really be like working at a successful graphic design agency.

“Working on this type of project is a good way of assessing if our students have the necessary skills for going out into the world of work. This particular piece of work by the students was a clear indication that they are definitely on the right track.

“In terms of benefits to the students themselves it gave them a real chance to work as part of a team and to see exactly what kind of briefs they would have to work to should they choose to continue down the graphic design path.”

The HND students which were tasked to complete the brief within one week, made use of the extensive materials available in the graphic design department including the suite of Mac computers and interactive white boards. They also had regular contact with Rufus for direction.

Rufus Spiller said: “It was great to work alongside the client and college to bring the ideas of young design students to light.

“Working with Telford College in this way allowed us access to designers directly in the target market, allowing them to directly input into future product development.

“Telford also allowed us to run the team as they would work in the professional environment they are about to enter. This added a level of professional practice that all participants rose to.

“At the end of the project the standard of work produced was highly professional and it was great to see such talent presenting their ideas directly to the client in a real world situation.”

To get a feel for the diaries that Letts produce two students from each team were given the opportunity to have a tour around the Letts factory to see the full production of a diary in order to give them a better understanding of the full process.

Craig Fairgrieve, Web Development Manager at Letts said: “We were looking for some fresh input and new ideas for our diaries and thought it would be a insightful experience to work with the design students at Telford.

“Working with students on this project was great experience for Letts as it really helped to identify the different elements in which we should be considering for future designs of our   diaries.

“It was clear that the brief had been clearly understood by the students with the finished products delivering the key elements of what we were looking for. We saw a lot of effort go into these ideas from both teams and it was clearly evident in the final work that was produced by the Telford students.

“Now we are looking to take both ideas to the research stage and hope to produce a diary as a result of this project. The students should be extremely proud of themselves and it is something valuable they can add to their portfolios.”

Edinburgh’s Telford College, provides a wide range of career related programmes to help learners progress into work or University education. Currently the college has around 17,000 students and 600 members of staff.

More information about the college can be found at

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