Back to School for Pellacraft designer!

Pellacraft designer brings design competition to Shirebrook Academy

As a former pupil of Shirebrook Academy, Pellacraft designer Laura Parsons, was invited back to school to help with a one-day, year 9, group exercise. Feeling inspired by her experience, Laura returned the office wondering how she could develop a design competition into a more longer-term exercise with additional learning outcomes.

Discussions with colleagues led to the idea that students could be asked to design more than 'just a logo,' and the opportunity to learn more about the process of design and how it can be applied. Laura approached the art department at Shirebrook Academy with the idea, and they loved it!

The competition was organised for Year 9 students as part of their final term project which involved studying people or places. Laura developed a brief where students had to 'Promote your favourite place' by creating and developing a brand that could go on promotional gifts supplied by Pellacraft.

Laura created a presentation which was given to 160 year 9 students and with support from colleague Leigh Murcott, who is also a former pupil, they talked about a number of promotional products to help inspire the students to come up with their own unique creative concepts.


This is the brief given to the participating students:

Everyone has a favourite place that is special to them. It may hold special memories or it might simply be a place that makes you happy. We would like you to promote this place by creating a brand and choose promotional products that you think best promotes this brand.

We would like you to produce designs for at least three promotional items.

Don’t be afraid to be creative and use a variety of techniques. Sketch, take photos, use digital technology and have fun!

You must show evidence of:

  1. Target Audience
  2. Research and Inspiration
  3. Timelines and time management


Since the Brief...

Motivated by the fact that the winner and three runners up would see their design applied to a series of promotional products, including a t-shirt and a certificate, the students really got engaged working on their ideas.

And ..there’s been no stopping the students!

The competition launched at the end of May and Pellacraft has received regular updates and photos documenting what’s been happening - it’s been exciting to see the students interpret the brief, and seeing their ideas come through and develop.

Shirebrook Students at workThe competition closed at the end of June, and Laura and Pellacraft Director Sam Pella visited the Academy to review all submissions and pick the winning designer, and three runners-ups.

Competition Judging

Here's the winning designs - we think you'll agree - they are fab!

Winner: Abbie Fulleylove, Favourite Place: Egypt

Abbi's winning designs featured on a range of products. Abbie's winning designs on a range of promotional products.

Judges' comments:
“Abbie’s designs really stood out for us. She has paid a great deal of attention to detail throughout the design process. She has created a brand which, by name, colour, shape and style are sensitive to her destination but also stand out and catch your attention. You know in an instant where her favourite place is. Abbie has put in an incredible amount of effort and this has shone in her development throughout the project and her final designs. You can clearly see how her ideas have progressed and the experiments she has undertaken with different media has led to some vibrant and creative promotional items.

Applying her designs to an actual product shows the extent of her effort but also showcases her designs in a ‘real life’ way and gives you a great impression of how her brand would be applied.  These items would definitely stand out in a crowd! It looks as though Abbie has enjoyed the brief and has achieved a creative and professional body of work."

We were so impressed by Abbie's work, we have offered her a work experience placement in our Artwork department. 

Runner Up: Chloe Millband, Favourite Place: Tunisia

Runner up designs by Chloe Millband Designs by, Runner up,  Chloe Millband

Judges' comments:
"When you first see Chloe’s designs you know straight away where her favourite place is! The brand that she has carefully created reflects her chosen place well. Her choice of colour and complimentary colours of the promotional items work together beautifully and together give a very striking and professional appeal. Chloe has applied her brand to the promotional items in a great way, carefully considering position and placement on each item. In particular we loved her choices of colour and her experiments in blending colours. Her designs are both sensitive to her destination and creative in application. Great Work Chloe!"

Runner Up: Ilona Esanu, Favourite Place: Northern Lights (Norway)

Runner up designs by Ilona Esanu Designs by, Runner up, Ilona Esanu

Judges' comments:
"Ilona’s ‘Norway - Northern Lights’ designs reflect the beautiful colours and swirling blends that the lights create. The brand that she has created is unmistakable in what it represents. Ilona has taken careful consideration to the colours used and is sympathetic to the destination. Ilona has chosen a great range of products, she has carefully thought and selected useful practical items and applied her designs in a creative eye-catching way.  Well done Ilana!"

Runner Up: Sophie Buckingham, Favourite Place: Spain

Runner up designs by Sophie Buckingham Designs by, Runner up, Sophie Buckingham

Judges' comments:
When we first saw Sophie’s work we were impressed with the vibrancy and life that her items had. They reflect the culture and energy of Spain. It is refreshing to see how she has considered type in her logo and experimented with introducing colour and movement. She has applied this brand to promotional items in a creative way, using pattern as a complimentary element of her brand. Again, Sophie has chosen practical items and has carefully thought about items which would be on display often. A great piece of work!

The competition winner and runner ups, were announced in a recent assembly, with Laura and Pellacraft Director, Nicola Pella handing out the prizes.

L-R: Teacher Nick Freer, Pellacraft Designer Laura, Chloe Millband, Sophie Buckingham, competition winner - Abbie Fulleylove, Ilona Esanu and Pellacraft Director, Nicola Pella.

Congratulations to all involved! It has been a pleasure working with the school and seeing such a positive response and hard work from the students. We’re certainly not short of talent in Mansfield!