welovedesignetc
The graphic design course blog for
HND Visual Communication at Edinburgh College

YCN At The Barbican

19 September 2018

Earlier this week we attended the YCN Awards in London to see five Edinburgh College students (four from Graphic  Design and one from User Experience Design) receive YCN Commendations.

YCN has been going now since 2001,  and we have been regularly attending the awards since 2008. This year Director Nick Defty introduced the ceremony at the Barbican with a nice summary of the YCN ethos, its aims and achievements since its inception. He talked about some of the challenges currently faced by the Creative Industries, and also the opportunities encouraged by YCN, things like collaboration, fresh ideas and inclusion.

This year there were three guest speakers - Ciara Phelan and Dorcas Brown from Grand Matter,  Anna Carpen, Creative Director at And Rising, and James Greenfield, the co-founder of Koto.  As always these speakers were tasked with providing words of wisdom and advice to the YCN Commendees, and their efforts were insightful, amusing and hugely appreciated.  James Greenfield in particular stuck a great note when he advised all creative students to try and eliminate worry from their work, and just get on which developing great ideas.

HND Graphics students Iain Waugh, Kit Lawson and Kryz Wajand produced winning entries for Dogs Trust, Art Fund and British Gymnastics respectively, with Natasha Ryan and Sophie McKinlay (from the HND UXD course) commended for the Action on Hearing Loss brief. All received a wonderful YCN wooden block this year, designed by Tom Forsyth.

Since 2009 the HN Graphics course has amassed no less that 19 YCNs, a formidable feat competing against Art Schools and Universities across the UK and Europe.

Its become a tradition on these visits to the YCN Awards to catch up with any former graduates who are now working in London, and this year we met up with 2015 Graduate Olga Kominek, who went on to study Graphic Design at Glasgow School of Art, graduating this year with a 1st BA(Hons). Olga is now working as an intern with design and fashion magazine Wallpaper*. You can check out her work over on behance.




Kryz, Kit and Natasha at the YCN reception.


Iain Waugh, Natasha Ryan, and Tutor Alex Gunn


YCN solid wooden blocks


Kit Lawson gets on stage at the Barbican.


Another Big Star

22 June 2018


Niamh picks up her award from Union's Creative Director Sheryl Thompson (right) and host Danni Menzies.

To round off a bumper year, the course is celebrating another win at the Marketing Society Scotland Star Awards, with HND student Niamh Curran picking up Star Creative Student accolade for her work on the STV brief, sponsored by the Union.

This project is unique on the course because the initial response is a written submission, and the shortlisted candidates then pitch their developed idea to the judging panel. Niamh held off competition from talented creative students at Robert Gordon's and DJCAD, and our students have now won this award in no less than six times in the last seven years.

An extra bonus this year was that 2017 graduate Christina Giannakou, now a designer at AlwaysBeContent, was shortlisted in the Rising Creative Star category, a great achievement so early in her career.

Now in its fourteenth year, the Star Awards brings together the largest gathering of the marketing and advertising community outside of London.  This year, some 500 practitioners, clients and creatives celebrated at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh.  The full list of winners can be found here.

Samples from Niamh's submission -









Four Commendations

20 June 2018

YCN have announced the commendations for their annual student awards, with our HND Graphics course picking up no less than four of them. This is the most commendations we've had in a single year (the course chalked up three commendations in both 2011 and 2015). This year Iain Waugh, Kit Lawson and Kryz Wajand produced winning entries for Dogs Trust, Art Fund and British Gymnastics.

YCN had a late announcement for the Action on Hearing Loss brief, with Natasha Ryan achieving a commendation for her submission.  Our sister course HND Interactive Design also secured a commendation for this brief for Sophie McKinlay, meaning that five students for the HN Visual Communication area will be travelling to London in September to the YCN Awards.

Samples from the Commendations -

Iain Waugh - Dogs Trust




Natasha Ryan - Dogs Trust








Krys Wajand - British Gymnastics






Kit Lawson - Art Fund



More : Full list of 2018 Commendations


Showing Off At Show 2018

6 June 2018

Great short film of our recent Industry Night & Show at the Dovecot in central Edinburgh.




Good Work : BIMA100

13 May 2018

Great news earlier this month for Graphic Design lecturer Helena Good who was named in the annual BIMA 100.  Helena was listed in the Talent Champion category for her pioneering work on the Engaging Schools project 'Daydream Believers'.

Helena attended the BIMA ceremony in London, and also bumped into one of our mentors, Gregor Matheson, who made the list in the Rising Stars category for his work as Design Director at Tayburn.
BIMA - the British Interactive Media Association - is a not-for-profit industry body representing the digital industry across the UK. The BIMA 100 list celebrates the people who are shaping the British digital industry.

Check the full list of BIMA 100 2018 and rad this BIMA blogpost about Daydream Believers.


Real Life


Andy telling it as it is in Design Lab A111 at Granton Campus.

We had a recent visit from designer and mentor Andy Jamieson, who talked to the HNC and HND classes about his career. Andy has five years' experience both in-house and agency, and described how he came into Graphic Design through the HND route and described securing a junior position at Teviot.  Andy showed some examples of his work on various projects and for a wide range of clients, then talked about his recent redundancy from award-winning Glasgow agency Front Page and how he has since tackled moving into freelance.

Andy also recently collaborated with two of our other mentors, Kirsten Murray and Kat Summers, on their new magazine 'Aye', and contributed some great photos for the first issue of former HND graduates Liam Philp and Catriona Munro, who feature in the magazine. Check out some of Andy's work here - http://andyjamieson.co.uk and his work for Aye.

Along the way Andy had some great pieces of advice on self-belief, making contacts and developing skills.  Inspirational stuff.