Portsmouth design student to compete at US global final

A University of Portsmouth student is heading to the US next month for the global final of a professional design competition – after beating thousands of other students in three rounds of the UK competition.

The winning design for the Childhood Eye Cancer TrustGraphic design student Thomas Shave will represent the UK and Ireland at the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship at Disneyland, California in July.

He won the UK championship finals at the Design Museum, London, after competing in a real-world design challenge.

Thomas had to produce a flyer for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. He said:

“It felt amazing and very shocking to win; I don’t think it sunk in until I woke up the next day. The spokesperson from the charity said my design connected with her on a personal level and brought tears to her eyes. To get such lovely comments about my work made winning mean so much more to me.”

The competitors were all given a design brief, a collection of images, branding guidelines, the company logo, typefaces and colours. They had three hours to complete the challenge.

Thomas said: “I felt the charity wanted something that reflected its sense of family and community. I looked through the photos in the file and loved the sense of happiness that came across, despite the difficult lives they faced. I decided to create a collage using the photos and came up with the slogan ‘we are stronger together’ as I felt this represented the charity well.

“I am buzzing about going to California next month and can’t wait to get out there. I’ve never been before and am looking forward to doing myself proud and giving it my all in the final.”

Thomas was competing against thousands in the first stage of the competition and will now be up against 64 other nations taking part in the global final.

“My course has been brilliant at preparing me for the world of work,” he said. “The types of units we do are really well designed to make us work well with real-world design challenges.”

Graphic design course leader Sarah Houghton said: “We are thrilled that Thomas has won this competition. He is an excellent student who thoroughly deserves the recognition and we wish him all the best for the final.”

Thomas wasn’t the only Portsmouth student competing at the UK final – he was joined by Illustration student Rainatu Habib who also studies in the University’s School of Art and Design.