Music as medicine makes for a winning design

Student artists at Birmingham Metropolitan College had just over an hour to get their creative juices flowing in order to respond to a design brief set for them by a local marketing agency.

Central Birmingham-based Dapper Fox Media assigned 40 Level 1 and 2 Art and Design students the challenge of coming up with the name and logo for a new independent music record label, as well as the artwork for an album cover.

The agency’s Creative Director, Matt Rogers, commented: “I was invited by the college to set the students a challenging brief that would give them a real insight into the fast-paced world of creative design.  They were encouraged to work to an incredibly tight deadline, had lots to do and totally smashed it out of the park.  

“There were some amazing ideas.  The assignment itself has hopefully shown what students can achieve when they put their mind to it.  I’d love to come back again to set them something a little tougher, so that they continue to push themselves.”

The winning brief came from Deja Brown, who came up with the company name, First Aid Sound and a logo featuring the shape of a guitar emblazoned with a first aid sign.  Her album artwork for a fictional band, The Dapper Foxes featured a plaster over an aqua blue backdrop.  She was awarded a £20 gift voucher as part of her prize.

“I was completely shocked when Matt announced that mine was the winning brief,” said the 16-year-old.  ““People sometimes say music is their medicine or their escape from reality, which gave me the idea of using first aid within my work. Winning this brief has given me lots of confidence going forward.  

“The whole brief was fun to do.  I’d done album cover designs during my GCSE in media studies, but had never gone through the process of brainstorming ideas and planning something out step-by-step as well as this.

Matt Rogers continued: “Deja impressed me from the word go because she was so fully prepared.  She’d researched the agency and created a storyboard outlining how she would put her concept together.  Her idea itself was simple and original.  The clarity of her image really stood out for us.   

“It’s great to recognise aspiring talent in this way and encourage them to think about the future careers in art and design they might like to pursue.”

BMet lecturer, Tracy Jones added: “We’re really grateful to Matt for spending the morning with our students, giving them a real insight into the client and agency working relationship and the skills they need to produce work of the highest quality.

“As well as meeting the set deadline, the students also had to present their work to a judging panel and explain their creative vision, something which they all managed to do effectively.  This was a hugely enjoyable and successful morning all round.”