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Graphic Design student Aaliyah strikes GOLD at prestigious World Skills Competition!

Level 3 student Aaliyah was awarded the gold medal in her category of Graphic Design in the national finals of the World Skills UK competition, held in Manchester on 26 November 2021.

It was a brilliant result for Aaliyah, who fought off competition from eight other finalists in her category of Graphic Design. The competition is held by World Skills UK and is a chance for students studying on technical qualifications or apprenticeships to demonstrate their skills and talent in real-life scenarios and tasks. The tasks are scored by experts from each of the industries represented.

After taking part in an online qualifier and then getting through to the semi-finals, Aaliyah was selected for the national finals, along with Leah Quarrell, who is a former MidKent College Graphic Design student, now studying at the University of Brighton. They headed to Manchester’s Media City for the finals with their college lecturer Babs Jossi.

 Aaliyah told us;

“When the competition started, I was nervous because I did not know what to expect - it was a whole new experience. However, I was also excited because competing in the finals was a massive achievement in itself!

“The brief we were given for the competition included updating the branding for a famous clothing company. We had to make their brand appeal more towards a younger audience. This included creating a logo for their new eco-friendly range, creating key visuals (posters, leaflets, brochures), creating a point of sale (how something is displayed in a retail store), and creating social media promotion (this was using a social media platform of our choice). I created a set of posters, a logo, different social media posts, and a point of sale that includes a new scent collection with the smells of lemon and eucalyptus. I created each of these designs using a botanical style, this meant that I used organic shapes and leaves, which helped it to appeal to the target audience.”

An exciting virtual medal ceremony was held on Channel 4’s “Packed Lunch” Show, hosted by Steph McGovern, with Aaliyah’s win being broadcast live on the show!

Aaliyah was initially amazed by her gold medal - “I couldn't believe it at first! It has been a real reassurance of my skills, and I have couldn't be happier.” She continued, “College has prepared me for a competition like this because I have been able to develop and learn new skills. I have been able to access various pieces of equipment, which has helped me to improve my design skills, and due to feedback on my project designs, I have been able to understand what looks good in a design and what doesn't work.”

Their College tutor Babs said:

"I'm so proud of their achievements; they have both worked so incredibly hard just to get to the finals, which is fantastic, but then to also win Gold is an excellent outcome. It's been such an exciting experience for the students to take part in this competition and they have learnt so much from the whole process. They have made new friends, developed their communication, employability and design skills and been able to showcase their talents. Being able to work to a live brief and be judged by industry specialists has also been invaluable to them."

Aaliyah is currently in her second year of the Level 3 Graphic Design Diploma, with only two more projects left to complete next year.  She is hoping to go straight into work, or a higher apprenticeship in Design. Leah is currently in her first year of a Graphic Design degree at the University of Brighton after completing her Level 3 Diploma here at our Medway Campus earlier this year.

Congratulations Leah and Aaliyah!

Find out more about our Graphic Design study programmes here.