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Forty Eight Point One x NTU Part 2

A live student brief branding a grab-and-go food offering

So as you may know, we set some live briefs with a group of second-year design students at NTU. If you didn’t – have a read of Part 1.

University was quite the event for me. I skipped the foundation year at college and consequently started university at the ripe young age of 18. I was young, I was confused, I lacked direction and I had a lot of growing up to do. On the way up, one of the only things I was entirely sure about was design. It’s been a constant in my life. I’ve grown attached to it, as well all the lovely people I have met along the way.

This is why when Jess invited us to write a live brief for the students I had no reservations. University, the tutors and the individuals who gave their time to offer me the same opportunities have helped to shape me. So I was honoured to have the chance to be a part of somebody else’s journey.

Strip club

Not that kind of strip club.

We set the students the challenge of branding a grab-and-go food outlet, soon to be launching in Boxpark Shoreditch. A simple offering of 6, 8, or 12 deep-fried strips of chicken, halloumi, or Beyond Meat, served with a choice of dips – from creamy garlic mayo to spicy Nduja.

The offering was for Shorditchians on their lunch break, or a group of friends congregating in one of the many surrounding bars. It’s not for Pam and Dave down from Milton Keynes, rambling past after getting on and off the wrong bus from their midweek coach trip to The London Eye….for the second time this year. Because the first time was so – fun.

It’s also not Chicken Cottage. Sure it’s not healthy, but it’s good quality, well prepared, and presented in the same way you would expect a doughnut from Crosstown or a pie from Pieminister.

We were very impressed with the projects that were produced. Equally impressed that no one fell into the cliché trap of seedy neon signs and calling cards which would have struggled to strike the correct balance in order to get the ‘client’s’ approval.

Everyone approached the brief maturely and professionally. Something that was incredibly refreshing to see. Not to mention they were also working through the ‘new normal’.

The winner of our 2020 Grab & Go Brief is Cain Blissett.

We really appreciated how Cain approached the project. It was fun, playful and most importantly would not feel out of place at Boxpark. It feels grab-and-go urgent. The language, illustrations and tone really struck a chord with us and made us smile. And we unanimously agreed that we would be the first to join the queue.

His mature approach to the copy was refreshing. He touched on the cliché through the use of language, without overstepping the mark. And we loved the phrase ‘Guilt-free lunch’. What a wonderful way to connect societal shame and food together with such a common household phrase. We know that this is not a lunch for the health-conscious. So let’s play on that. Fantastic! What a tease.

A classic designer – type, illustration, copy and composition. Nothing seemed to phase Cain and we welcomed his roll-up-your-sleeves attitude and confidence to try something outside of a ‘modern’ designer’s comfort zone. His ability to bring a number of different skillsets together fundamentally won him this brief. We look forward to working with him – and designers like him – in the future.

Cain will be spending more time with us throughout his third year by joining our mentorship program. We are looking forward to hanging out and talking about his work as he progresses through his final year.

Honourable Mention

There was one winner. But so many great ideas and lovely bits of execution across all the entrants. And we couldn’t end without one honourable mention.

Charlotte Rich

For us Charlotte deserves a big shout out. She brought Strip Club to life with a truly energetic approach to the brand identity. She used type, colour, and illustration beautifully. But she went an extra step – producing a fast paced, attention-grabbing video to showcase the menu for the in-store screens.

So hats off to Charlotte. Smashed it! Seeing second-year design students that can animate to this level is extremely exiting to see. And we have no doubt that 12 months from now, Charlotte will be snapped up. Quickly.

In summary

We had fun. We should do it again sometime. As always we thoroughly enjoyed meeting the designers, working with them and talking about their projects. We were incredibly impressed with their approach to the brief and, quite honestly at times, forgot they were only two years into their degree.

To all the designers who took part, thank you. We hope to see you next year. Good luck.

To the Tutors at NTU, thank you for having us and hats off for pivoting to online teaching so successfully in these unprecedented times. If anyone needs any tips on how best to keep hundreds of student’s education on track, whilst entering a global pandemic, we shall point them to Rob Newton and Jess Harris. Congratulations.

Till we meet again

Joe x

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