Bumper nominations in student design awards

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Innovative designers at Staffordshire University are celebrating a bumper crop of nominations in a national competition.

13 final year Graphic Design and Illustration students are shortlisted for prizes at this year’s Brief Cases awards which recognise top design talent from universities across the country.

The competition challenges undergraduates to respond to a business design brief and is judged by industry experts. Through these applied projects, students gain valuable entrepreneurial and employability skills, as well as industry awareness.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Staci Yoxall, 22 from Crewe, has designed e-shop platform ‘Sensit’, a web-to-print service for people with visual impairments and their loved ones. It is designed to aid people in learning braille through gifts.

She said: “I am very happy to be nominated for this award, it's very rewarding for all the hard work and love I put into this project to be paying off. The topics I researched in this project have inspired my future work and have influenced the direction I want my career to go in.”

Lucy Clayton, studying BA (Hons) Illustration, responded to a brief to develop a customisable brand by creating ‘Pawfect Pets’ high-end personalised pet accessories.

The 22-year-old from Leicester explained: “People can access the website and upload their own pattern design to a plethora of different pet accessories, or use a pattern I have designed myself. They can use this function to match their home interior and even purchase matching friendship bracelets with their pets.

“I thoroughly enjoyed this project so it feels great to even be recognised.”

Other nominated projects include ‘TACTile’ by Illustration student Dani McMaster, a website where adults who struggle with sensory processing issues or neurological divergencies can create custom printed sensory items to help keep them calm in stressful situations. Graphic Design student James Gibson has also created ‘Florever’, an e-shop selling customisable and environmentally friendly paper, metal, ceramic and 3D printed flowers.

John Hudson, Course Director for Visual Communication, said: “To have so many students shortlisted is a fantastic achievement and reflects the high standard of work being produced here at Staffs.

“These nominations are testament to the students’ hard work and the excellent teaching and learning experience delivered by the Visual Communication team on Graphics and Illustration. We are extremely proud of them all.”

Winners will be announced in an online awards ceremony on 17 November. Discover more about studying at Staffordshire University at a Virtual Open Day – find more details and book a place here.

Amy Platts

Media Communications Officer

t: 01782 292702

m: 07799 341911


Staffordshire University is the Connected University; connected to the needs of students, academic partners, business and society. Our main city campus in Stoke-on-Trent features excellent learning and teaching facilities and good transport links. We have specialist Centres of Excellence in Healthcare Education at Stafford and Shrewsbury.  

We were recognised with a Gold award in the 2019 Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for students.  

We have been shortlisted for University of the Year at the THE Awards 2020 and were named ‘Midlands University of the Year’ at the Midlands Business Awards 2020. 
Staffordshire University has signed up to the Civic University Agreement, pledging to play a leading role in improving the regional economy and enhancing quality of life in local communities. We were recognised in the top 15 for social inclusion in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. We aim to be a leading university for digital technologies building on our proud computing heritage and in 2019 launched Staffordshire University London’s Digital Institute which is committed to preparing students for careers in new and emerging tech industries. 

We are a Top 250 Young University (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020) and are connected globally, with more than 11,000 people are studying Staffordshire University degrees overseas.