D&AD Student Awards


Written by James Read
05 Monday 05th December 2011

They have just announced the 2012 briefs, so it seemed like an appropriate time to speak with one of last year's winners about what they've been up to. Since Shaun Baldwin won a Commendation he has attended the D&AD Graduate Academy, through which he got a placement at Uniform in Liverpool.

Shaun's book typographically illustrating the ‘Surf Scene’ from the Vietnam war movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Typographic styles and layout express characteristics of the actors, the dialogue, pace, sounds and setting.

What did you get up to at the D&AD Graduate Academy?

At the D&AD Academy, I prepared myself for one week’s intensive training which focused primarily on education and development. We kicked off with team building exercises which promptly dismissed any first day nerves. We were lucky enough to attend presentations where leading industry experts talked us through their design processes from initial ideas to the finalised piece. For me, tackling short briefs set by external designers that were aimed at helping us generate a slew of ideas in a relatively short space of time, gave me the most realistic insight into how a company is ran. Though the situation was ‘set up’ to be pressurised, you really felt the tension at times and got a real sense of what it takes to be creative on the spot.

On the third day we were split into groups (of various creative disciplines) and given a brief to discover and demonstrate the quality which made our group unique. We quickly came to the conclusion that humour was our specialty and we got to work brainstorming ideas to present to the heads of industry for the final day. What we had learnt from the spring project and industry talks helped greatly when we came to presenting out work.

The week was planned out in such a way that we had very little clue as to what would be on the agenda from one day to the next. Witnessing the entire thing come together at the end was very impressive and I would struggle to find fault with the week. It gave graduates a strong belief in themselves and a genuine insight into the industry and the pearls of wisdom we received from leading experts will certainly not be going to waste.

A typographical celebration of gardening and typography. Taking the idea 'follies' the piece links the two practices by the creation of a folly using fleurons and type to create an ornamental organic response.

What have you been working on at Uniform? And what is your favourite creation of theirs?

A brand workshop for a local Hospital, a brand pitch for a leading cosmetics brand and generating ideas for a local university’s campaign. But my favourite piece would have to be an online, self-promotional video piece that defines the studio’s outlook and approach to creating brands. While working at Uniform it is clear to see this philosophy is applied on a daily basis; it drives their creative juices and influences their overall output of work.

And what are you working on today?

An ‘internet of things’ research idea: which centres on how networked devices can work closer together, by creating a physical app to bring online data into a tangible environment. We are currently constructing a cuckoo clock that dispenses a sweet which travels down a large paper rollercoaster whenever the studio gains a follower on Twitter.

What's the most valuable thing you've learnt throughout your education?

A good placement can go a long way! Getting a foot in the door gives you a glimpse into the working world of a creative. Getting a taste of what it’s like to create, develop and implement your own ideas in an established design company boosts your confidence and feeds your hunger for more. Go all out and secure a good placement during the summer break. Your creative skills will improve tenfold and you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in different disciplines.

Tell us about your Body Shop project.

The packaging rebrand takes The Body Shop back to its roots and focuses on the provenance of the product with a ticket-like design, highlighting its five, core brand values.

What advice would you give to first year students now?

Once you get out of University and into a working company, you often have tight budgets to work to which call for a short turn around for finalised pieces. Try getting used to working at a quick pace. In my opinion, strong ideas and good typographical skills are fundamental if you want to become an outstanding creative.

Find out more about D&AD and read the student briefs at dandad.org/awards/student/2012

See more of Shaun's work at his D&AD profile here, and keep up with him on Twitter.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.