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Design Bridge Student Awards 2013 – the results!

Another year and another fantastic collection of entries to our annual Student Awards, a.k.a. The Dog’s Bollocks – and what a competition it was. Year on year we are seeing the quality of work surpass our expectations making the judging incredibly tough. So, how could we pick a winner?

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Well, we were lucky enough to have a helping hand from our first ever guest judge Angus Montgomery, editor of Design Week. He joined our panel and together they spent an afternoon debating and deliberating until they agreed on a talented shortlist of winners and three runners up. The standard was so high this year that we awarded three top spots of gold, silver and bronze.

Thanks to everyone who entered this year, it was a pleasure and a privilege to see such great work – we look forward to seeing you at D&AD New Blood.

Click any image below to view larger size.


Gold: J2O by Morgan Swain, NUA

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“Judging the Design Bridge Student Awards wasn’t much different from judging professional work, both in terms of the quality of entries and the rigorous selection process. Almost every entry we saw had considerable merit, so the winner had to be something pretty special. And Morgan Swain’s J20 rebrand was just that – witty, clever and compelling, it is also a brilliantly executed piece of branding.”
Angus Montgomery, Editor, Design Week

“The solution for J2O completely changed our perceptions of the brand for the better. The design wittily references the alchemy-like feeling of the brand name whilst also elevating its natural credentials. The result is an idea that feels completely own-able and is executed beautifully – leaving the judges left wanting to try the product! We were also impressed by the way that the idea was carried through into ambient media and other intriguing applications.”
Asa Cook, Creative Director

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Silver: Aislinn Toye, Blu Tack, Falmouth University

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“Blu Tack was an inspired choice; this famous brand desperately in need of the makeover it deserves. I loved the single mindedness and humour in this design solution: where a simple, memorable and definitive brand identity sits appropriately on the back of the rich seam of imagery and nostalgia forever associated with the brand – unlocked via an insightful understanding of this brands unique behaviour and role in our lives.”
David Annetts, Partnership Creative Director

Bronze: Max Neilson, Millets, Nottingham Trent University


Millets for me has always had the whiff of disappointing camping trips in the ’70s… Shoddy nylon tents and skinny bendy tent pegs! As the UK’s largest outdoor retailer, it is incredible it still projects such a disappointingly bland identity, with no emotional engagement to the outdoor life! This entry challenges all the negative perceptions of this generic high street store, and finds inspiration in the true story of the brand’s roots, founded in 1893 (rather than 1973) by Mr J M Millet. Projecting a cooler heritage feel, the brand can now really connect to its music festival-going consumer (and probably its biggest source of summer income) and can now compete with imported American heritage clothing and rucksack brands with an authentic and desirable image. An insightful choice of brand and category, a thorough and rigorous understanding of the job at hand and attention to detail made this entry a definite finalist.” – Graham Shearsby, Executive Creative Director

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Runners Up:

Cholula by Morgan Swain, NUA


“I like how you just ‘get it’. It’s simple and leaves a smile on your face!”
Sapphire Wosko, Designer and previous runner up.

Cholula was loved by the entire studio, for its clear graphic thought and exceptional execution. The real hand-painted label and package communication made this concept sing. Amazingly, Morgan found the time to enter our competition twice. As we conduct blind judging she ended up being awarded both gold position and a runners up place.


Mikado by Sam Bristow-Bell, NUA


Our judges were drawn to Mikado because of the fun integration of product and branding, bringing to life the table top game of the same name (better known as pick-up-sticks). Different sticks earn more points and are coloured and named accordingly. The lone Mikado or ‘emperor’ is worth the most and other sticks are known as ‘guards’. This story is brought to life, among others, around the pack.


Ginsters by Charlie Davis, Falmouth University


Ginsters was another studio favourite. The ‘fun lorry’ hoarding, celebrating Cornish heritage in a quirky way, was a winning factor for us.


All the work was judged by the same criteria in which we judge our internal awards:

  • The brief: Our final interpretation of the challenge
  • Insight: The big idea or creative spark from consumer or brand truth or Eureka moment
  • Confidence: Sense of purpose, strong point of view Inspirational: The Wow! Factor
  • Craft skills: Typography, photography, illustration, attention to every detail
  • Breakthrough in category: Challenging the category rules

The Dog’s Bollocks Student Competition gives us the chance to showcase and recognise the fantastic new talent that is emerging from art colleges and universities today. With so many inspiring entries, judging is becoming tougher every year. Congratulations to our winners, who have won internships in our London studio, plus a cash prize, and (how could I forget) a trophy that really is the mutt’s nuts (we’ll share more about the making of this soon..).

Congratulations also to the runners up and thanks again to everyone who entered as without you this wouldn’t be possible. A special thanks is also due for Angus Montgomery, our guest judge.


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