So, you're thinking of entering the Student Design Awards? 
To help you create a great entry, we've put together some useful hints and tips.


Giving you the lowdown on the competition, previous winners of the Student Design Award over the years offer advice on how to create an eye-catching entry with some great do's and don'ts.

Past winners include Bhavisha Chavda in 2018, Liam Newbon in 2017, Alice Power in 2016, Kate Fenton in 2015, and Josh Plimmer in 2014. You can also follow a previous winner's journey in the video across the page.

2018 Winner - Bhavisha Chavda

Q. What inspired your design and how did it meet the requirements of the brief?
A. I wanted to create something I was interested in and passionate about - hence choosing perfume and a brand I was really attracted to. My design was ultimately inspired by what Marc Jacobs – Decadence stands for: strong and empowering young women, and I tried to convey this through the use of colours and materials. In order to add the “WOW!” factor to my design, I incorporated a lot of interactive features, from floor projections to an interactive social media “magic mirror”, which allows users to connect with the product further.  

Q. How did you conduct the research for your design?
A. I began by visiting the fragrance section in various department stores from Debenhams to Selfridges – this gave me an insight into the sizes of POS units and the materials used.  I was also lucky enough to have a mentor which came from industry who provided me with a lot of useful information regarding sizing and user engagement which really helped further my design.

Q. What did you do to prepare for Dragons’ Den panel pitch?
A. I contacted many people in the POS industry, asking for further advice on how feasible my design was. I also visited many fragrance stores asking for quotes and figures on the Marc Jacobs fragrance sales, and was fortunate to gain a lot of information this way. During my last meeting with my Industry mentor, he mentioned the importance of price positioning and the different point of view levels (eye level, buy level) and many other factors. I made sure to mention all these import aspects within my pitch to the judges to show that I had taken all this information in and had gained a solid understanding on what goes into creating a realistic and practical design.

Q. In five words describe your experience of the POPAI Student Design Award.
A. Illuminating, enjoyable and fortunate opportunity!


2016 Winner - Alice Power

Q. What did you do to prepare for your Dragon's Den pitch?
A. I sent out a million emails! I asked for quotes and advice from various companies who made POS stands and so many of them were kind enough to tell me everything I needed to know.  I also went to different stores and asked the (very cheekily) for their Crayola sales figures and an estimate on how much the floor space would cost Crayola to display.  I pulled all of this further research together into a high spec booklet which I gave to the judges during my pitch.  

Q. In 5 words, describe your experience of the POPAI Student Design Award.  
A. Totally enlightening, unique, enviable opportunity.

Q. Since reaching the final, and coming 1st, what's next for you?
A. I want to channel the award into my personal confidence and use that to push the limits in my work as I finish my degree.  I have always had low self confidence, which is why I was so shocked to win the award, especially against other brilliant graphic designers.  

Q. Give 3 reasons why students should enter the POPAI Student Design Award.  

1.  It's a confidence builder

2. It provides a unique and interesting insight into the retail and advertising industry.  

3.  The dragon's den pitch is a fantastic experience that I would do again.  

See Award entry

2015 Winner - Kate Fenton

Q. How has entering the POPAI Student Design Awards helped with your prospective career?
A.POPAI Student Design Awards is a national competition, so to win such a prestigious award looks brilliant on my CV and offers opportunities that I wouldn't have attained without the award. 

Q. Give 3 reasons why students should enter the POPAI Student Design Awards?

1. Gets your work out there

2. Gives you confidence with your design ability

3. All round brilliant experience

Q. Since reaching the final of the POPAI Student Design awards and coming in 1st place, what's next?
A. Coming first brought me radio interviews, a feature in the local newspaper and I was offered a placement by the talented design company STORM DFX. Also, it was brilliant attending the POPAI Awards Ceremony because I was introduced to top people in the point of purchase industry so this was a perfect opportunity to network and make connections with business professionals. 

See Award entry