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 Liam Newbon in 2017, Alice Power in 2016, Kate Fenton in 2015 and check out Josh Plimmer's journey so far after winning the Award in 2014 in the video across the page.

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



2010 Winner - Rhys Langdon

Q. Why did you enter the awards?
A. After learning about the competition, I was excited at the opportunity to have one of my own designs judged and maybe even recognised by some of the top representatives in this business.

Q. What was the best thing about entering?
A. The fact that my CV can now say I am an award winner will be a huge advantage when I go looking for a job. It's something which really helps my applications stand out from the pack. On top of that, I had only recently graduated from university and so having the chance to meet and socialise with people within this industry at the Awards Night was a great opportunity to promote myself even further.

Q. What advice would you give to students entering this year?
A. Don't be afraid of keeping your ideas simple. A complicated design can sometimes be a disadvantage especially within this industry. Read the brief carefully and more than once throughout the length of the project to make sure you always remain on track.

Q. Any major no-no's?
A. Don't forget about the environment in which your product will be located. Remember that it's the aesthetics that will draw the shopper in but once you've got their attention your product needs to work well and fit in its location.