Introducing our annual Student Awards
Centred on a collection of live creative briefs

A huge thank you to all those who came to this year's YCN Student Awards Ceremony at the lavishly decked out Marriott Grosvenor Square, and for making it so much fun.

A fantastic short film shot by Alexandra Oliver during the event, as well as a number of photographs courtesy of Owen Richards and Joseph Fox, can be seen below.

Above: The ceremony begins with an introduction from YCN Director Nick Defty

Above: The Makerie Studio present the Commendations for Bacardi, British Eurosport, Churchill, Douwe Egberts, Experian and Experian Animate 2013

Above: One Commendee receives their Lord Whitney-designed gold medal

Above: Guests admire the table centrepieces, also designed by Lord Whitney

Above: Pâté, presenter of the Commendations for Ella's Kitchen, Fedrigoni, Forestry Commission England, Goji and Lego

Above: Our Master of Ceremonies

Above: This year's Student of the Year Award, designed by Philip Oakley...

Above: ... and its lucky recipient, University of Leeds graduate Chloe Sharp.

Amy Lord and Rebekah Whitney are the YCN Super Members behind Leeds-based set design and prop styling studio Lord Whitney. YCN has recently commissioned the pair to dramatically enliven the venue for this year's YCN Student Awards ceremony at the Marriott Grosvenor Square on the 3rd of September.

A small taste of what's in store can be seen below, with broader evidence of their brilliant work visible to all in our Showcase section here.

We will shortly reveal the brand new London venue for this year's YCN Student Awards Ceremony. Pineapples on heads optional.

We received some fantastic physical work in response to last year's briefs.

The submissions are now available to collect from 72 Rivington Street. If you would like to do so, please notify us before Friday 28th June.

To arrange collection or delivery of your work, please send an email stating your full name and which brief you worked on to

We are delighted to announce the results for the 2012/13 YCN Student Awards. Over the past six weeks all of the entries have been carefully judged by the brands who set this year's fantastic programme of briefs.

The results are shown below in no particular order. All students listed have been officially Commended as their work has been recognised as being of outstanding quality. Commended students will be invited to the YCN Student Awards Ceremony in September 2013 and their work will be showcased in the upcoming YCN Student Awards Annual and on the YCN website.

Many thanks to all those who entered, and a huge congratulations to all those Commended for this year's programme.


Donna Hall - York College

Sam Lane - Leeds College of Art

Lawrence Miller - University of Huddersfield

Ben Johnson & Liz Tarrant & Gemma Dickens - Staffordshire University

Francesca Lidbury & Johnny Liley - Buckinghamshire New University


British Eurosport

Craig Healy - Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication

Stefan Davis - Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication

Gaby Kirwin & Alfie Daniell-Waldron - University of Lincoln



Rebecca Farmer - De Montfort University

Suzanne Moore - Leeds College of Art


Douwe Egberts

Heather Metcalfe & Laura-Marie Saul - University of Salford

Matthew Travis - Falmouth University

Kim Cowie - Edinburgh College of Art

Bryan Shuttleworth & Jennifer Conroy - Blackburn University Centre

James Willsher - Southampton Solent

Tom Barber - University of Salford


Ella's Kitchen

Elizabeth Francis - University of Central Lancashire

Julia Buck - University of Gloucestershire



Mateusz Napieralski & Axel Kacoutie - Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication

Roseanna Carss - Tresham College

Elan Tang - Edinburgh College

Suzanne Brady - University of Derby

Carmen Bermudez - Edinburgh College



Jade Coleman & Loty Ray - Buckinghamshire New University

Calum Hale - Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication

Fung Yee Wai - University of Huddersfield

Nathan Bolton - Leeds College of Art

Chelsea Herbert - Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD)


Forestry Commission England

Chris Shuttleworth - Leeds College of Art

Stuart O'Flynn - University of Lincoln

George Dunkley & Megan Jones & Rachel O'Sullivan - University of Salford

Jack Denyer & Barney Spiro - Falmouth University

Ruby Norman-Curran & Jessica Weeks - Falmouth University



Luke Milne & William Ford - Edinburgh College

Ross Francis - Leeds College of Art

Craig Buxton - University of Derby

Emils Blums - Edinburgh College

Danielle Complin - University of Huddersfield



Adam Copeland - Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

Josh Turner - Falmouth University

Will Bennett - Falmouth University

Mihai Martisca & Corina Grigore & Calin Sisman - VIA University College, Denmark

Amber Treadwell - Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication

Jennifer Grenside & Sophie Cairns - University of Salford



Charlotte Alcock - Staffordshire University

Hannah Doig - Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

Katrina Dixon & George Henderson - Bedford College

Sebastian Needler - Leeds College of Art



Marie Foster & Harriet Wiltshire - University of Lincoln

Lewis Brown - Cardiff Metropolitan University

Adam Rogers - University of Derby

Karima Guidobaldi - Gloucester University


Plan UK

Laura Curtis & Doug Higman - University of Salford

Craig Ellinor & Christina Worman - University of Lincoln

Zach Sheppard & Sam Peel & Benjamin Walker & Susan Brigham - University of Lincoln

Zoe Kelland - Loughborough University

Jessica Weeks & Jo Taylor - Falmouth University


Reading & Leeds Festivals

Rachel Dixon - Gray's School of Art

Alex Tomlinson - Kingston University

Richard Whiting - University of the Arts London: London College of Communication


Royal Court Theatre

Helena Jakoube - Prague College

Max Machen - Cambridge School of Art (Anglia Ruskin)

Ksenia Stepanova - British Higher School of Art and Design, Moscow


The Feel Good Drinks Co.

Stephanie Pickard - Leeds College of Art

David Mant - Richmond upon Thames College

Jese Siu - University of the Arts London: London College of Communication

Imogen-Mary Hoefkens - Leeds College of Art

Rhys Morgan - University of Glamorgan

Ryan Graf - RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)



Kaitlin Pilcher & Danielle Jackson - Leeds College of Art

Ailsa Ogden & Rosa Nussbaum - Edinburgh College of Art

Tom Garland - Cardiff Metropolitan University

Jessica Brooks & Kate Hammond & Lara James & Darryl King - Staffordshire University

Siau San Chew - Middlesex University


UK Greetings

Samantha Neville - Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD)

Donna Hall - York College

Michael Lieu - Falmouth University

Milly Wood - Edinburgh College of Art

Daniel Richardson - Stockport College

Eoin O’Kane - Blackpool & The Fylde College of Arts



Chloe Sharp - University of Leeds

Elizabeth Tyrer - Leeds College of Art

Natcha Charoenrath - Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD)



Graham Morriss & Josh Turner - Falmouth University

Jourdanne Thompson-Francis - Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication



Thomas Squire - Leeds College of Art

Lauren Bowers - University of Portsmouth


Experian Animate 2013 (Graduate Brief)

First place - Katy Beveridge

Second place - Ajan Navaratnasingam

We were delighted to have received such an amazing array of work in response to the 2012/13 YCN Student Awards.

Along with an exclusive print from Jack Molyneux, the submissions have now been sent out to all of our sponsors. Once the judging process is over, we will be publishing the names of the commended students on the YCN website. Check back to see if your name is on the list in May.


In two interviews originally published in the 12/13 Student Annual, partners from Google and Marks & Spencer discuss their involvement with the YCN Student Awards, and the subsequent benefits for their brands.

Tom Uglow is Creative Director for Asia Pacific at Google Creative Lab. Tom has supported the YCN Student Awards with diverse briefs in past programmes, leading the judging process internally alongside colleagues across different continents. Here, he shares his perspectives on the process and value of such a partnership.

YCN: What was it that made you decide to return to the YCN Student Awards to set a new brief following your creative challenge from 2010?

Tom Uglow: Our first brief provided a massive learning process about how much you can expect from a non-directed, open-ended challenge. We wanted to follow this with something that sought a clearer outcome. For me, the process works better with a clear output, something for students to firmly get their teeth into. This time I found out I shouldn't make suggestions. I wrote "If Google came in a box..." and we got SO many boxes. Most of those we Commended went way beyond the core scope of the project, and really got into the idea of how you might present Google "physically".

How important is championing creative talent to Google?

I think it should be important to everyone. We get buried under the commercial needs of the organisation, or presenting briefs that have a very practical goal. Firing up emerging creatives to explore and play with your brand should be a page in every Chief Marketing Officer's playbook.

How beneficial is it for Google to seek a new perspective on its product from the next generation of designers?

It's essential. We don't have a choice. Personally I would like to see more digitally driven creative and less straight print and video from this emerging generation. We are encouraged to think visually from an early age - but a data perspective
is what I really want to see designers being taught and presenting creatively. Stuff that utilises the incredible potential of the phone/tablet/PC trio that people use daily. That stuff can still really blow your socks off.

Firing up emerging creatives to explore and play with your brand should be a page in every Chief Marketing Officer's playbook.

Your brief generated a fantastic response. With such a large amount of entries, could you tell us a bit about how you approached the judging process?

We just looked at everything, every page. That seemed the only fair approach. Then a number of us argued about the longlist. Finally we shared our favourite 12 entries on the internal version of Google Plus and let people vote. Conveniently "the crowd" shared our opinion. It took a long time and a lot of argument and went right down to the wire. I wish I could write to all the entries and tell them how much I appreciated the time and effort that went in. So, if you're reading, thank you.

Charlotte Raphael is the Head of Packaging Design at Marks & Spencer. Here Charlotte explains her experience of engaging young minds through the YCN Student Awards, the dazzling work received in response to her brief and what it was like meeting all those that she Commended.

YCN: Did you have a particular challenge in mind when you came to write your YCN Student Awards brief?

Charlotte Raphael: As I oversee the packaging design department, I wanted to set a specific packaging brief. I seem to see less and less students focusing on packaging, so I was interested to see what they could do.

What would you say the ideal outcome from setting a brief would have been?

I was just looking to see what designers could create when there were no commercial restrictions. I wanted to see them let their creativity loose, and they certainly did that! All of the commendees’ work could have had applications as an actual product, and we are discussing the possibility of using some of them with the food development team.

What was it about the commended students' work that particularly appealed to you?

They were all very different and really stood out from the rest. All of them were highly creative solutions - some had a great idea, some were about great styling, some were a good use of illustration – but ultimately they all had something clever about them which made me smile.

Working with students and graduates helps us keep abreast of new trends and understand how our younger customers think.

How important is supporting new talent to Marks & Spencer?

Working directly with universities and also through YCN is a brilliant way to get in touch with the next generation of designers. I tend to approach it from the angle of what can I do to help encourage them and give them a bit of insight into working as a designer, but in return what I get from the students is huge inspiration from their fantastic enthusiasm for design.

How does the work of the next generation of designers inform the way you look at your own brand?

Students and graduates always bring a fresh perspective to design which is very exciting. They help us keep abreast of new trends and understand how our younger customers think. Our job is to train them to understand the practicalities of print and production, working with photography and illustration and help them work at the speed required in industry.

What was it like meeting the commended students?

It was great to meet them and find out how they came up with their concepts. We also got to see their portfolios so it was good to see other aspects of their work and understand them better as people. They were all a huge credit to their colleges and if they are representative of the calibre of students coming into the industry then it is very encouraging indeed!

This year saw a record for number of entries, so we would like to thank everyone who responded to this year's briefs, and look forward to meeting those that are commended at the Student Awards Ceremony in September.

If you encountered any problems when uploading your work, please email and we will be able to help.

Please keep checking back for more information about the YCN Student Awards.

Our tour of colleges and universities rolled on with trips to Cambridge, Staffordshire and Lincoln.

Our first visit of February was to the Cambridge School of Art on Friday 8th. Here we met with students from the Illustration course, providing them with an introduction to this year's briefs and an insight into some of the broader work YCN does.

On Tuesday 12th, we were joined by the team from Experian on a trip to Newcastle-under-Lyme College in Staffordshire. We spoke with students from the Graphics and Digital Design & Digital Media Production courses about the YCN Student Awards, with Lauren and Joanne providing an extra insight into this year's Experian brief.

The team from Experian accompanied us once again the next day, when we paid a visit to students from the Graphic Design, Illustration and Advertising courses at the Universiy of Lincoln. We would like to thank student Natasha Nuttall for taking these great photographs throughout the talk.

On Wednesday 20th February, a group all the way from Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm came to see us in the YCN Shop & Library.

On Wednesday 27th February, second year students from the Illustration course at the University of Brighton stopped by to hear about the YCN Student Awards and take a look at some YCN Talent Agency portfolios.

A huge thank you to everyone who attended these talks, and to the tutors and students who helped to organise them.

On Wednesday 30th January, we enjoyed an excursion to Forestry Commission's Thames Chase site in Upminster.

We were joined by 50 students from the BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design course at the London College of Communication, who came along to hear more about the Forestry Commission and their YCN Student Awards brief.

Ranger Denise Bird kindly took us on a tour of the Thames Chase Community Forest, explaining the story behind the new site and it's aim to increase awareness of the Forestry Commission amongst a new, younger audience.

We would like to say thank you to Denise for her time, and tutor Sarah Temple for organising the event. We would also like to thank Joseph Fox for joining us and taking these photos throughout the visit.

We kicked off the New Year with a trip to Ravensbourne on Friday 11th January.

We were invited by tutor Liz Friedman to discuss this year's programme, as well as the broader work YCN does, with third year students from the Motion Graphics course. Joining us was Taro Russell, Senior Promo Producer for British Eurosport. Taro discussed their brief in more detail, whilst sharing some of the recent film and animation projects he has helped produce for the sports channel.

On Monday 14th January, Zoë met with the Graphic Design & Communication course at the University of Glamorgan, whilst Kezia was joined by students from Sussex Downs College in the YCN Shop & Library.

The following evening, we visited the London College of Communication to talk about our work with the YCN Student Awards to MA students from the PR course as part of the university's Meet The Industry sessions.

To round off January, we enjoyed a visit to Southampton Solent University on Tuesday 29th, where we met with students from the Graphic Design course.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all the students who attended these talks, and to the tutors that helped arrange them.

Our tour continued with visits to universities both in the UK and further afield.

On Thursday November 22nd, we travelled to the University of Salford Manchester to meet with second and third year students from the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course. We were kindly invited by tutors Jo Greenlagh and Natasha Wilcocks to give the students an introduction to the YCN Student Awards and this year's briefs. Following the presentation, we stopped by the third year studio to meet the students and field any additional questions about the programme.

The following week, we enjoyed a visit to the University of the Creative Arts, Epsom. We were delighted to bring back some souvenirs from this trip in the form of these two books, kindly given to us by students from the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course after our presentation. We would like to thank the students for the gifts and to tutor Ally Waller for organising the talk.

On December 10th, YCN's Project Director for Education Kezia Clark travelled to Italy to speak at the Communication on Design conference.

The event, hosted at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, concentrated on networks in design education and design practice. Kezia spoke about YCN's past, present and future - discussing the YCN Student Awards, our other education projects, in addition to the broader work of YCN Studio and YCN Talent Agency.

Other speakers included designer Ben Van Dyke, Flo Gaertner of MAGMA Brand Design, architect and educator Francesco E. Guida, D&AD Board of Trustees member Steven Johnson, lecturer and ISTD member John McMillan and one/one communication's Florian Pfeffer.

To round off the year, we were visited by students from Richmond upon Thames College and tutor Catherine Donaldson. We enjoyed speaking to the group, which comprised of students from the FDA Graphic Communications and HNC/HND Graphics courses about this year's briefs and other YCN projects.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all the students who attended these talks, and to the tutors that helped arrange them. 

Last autumn, YCN embarked on a nationwide tour of colleges and universities to introduce the 2012/13 Student Awards in person.

We also welcomed a number of groups to the YCN Shop & Library on 72 Rivington Street to learn more about this year's programme, as well as some of the broader projects that both YCN Studio and YCN Talent Agency have recently worked on.

First, we were visited by students from the BA (Hons) Illustration course at Arts University College Bournemouth who, alongside their tutor Joel Lardner, stopped by to hear about the recently launched briefs in more detail on Monday 5th November.

We also enjoyed meeting first year students on the BA (Hons) Advertising course at University College Falmouth and their tutors Jono Wardle and Darren Whittington when they paid us a visit the same week.

On November 15th, we enjoyed a visit from second and third year students from the Visual Communications course at Edinburgh College and their tutors Alex Gunn and Chris Hughes. 

We concluded our first run of talks with a trip to Nottingham Trent University. Joining us in our presentation to third year students from the BA (Hons) Multimedia course were Lauren Darby and Joanne Newman-Veale, Head of Brand and Communications and Marketing Communications Manager at Experian. Lauren and Joanne gave a fantastic introduction into their brief, providing the students with an invaluable insight into the creative challenge. Thank you to tutor Julias Ayodeji for inviting us along.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all the students who attended these talks, and to the tutors that helped arrange them.