For a number of years now Toucan have been sponsoring an award for graduating graphic designers at Plymouth University. The award is given to the student who demonstrates creativity, flair and innovation in the use, design and/or application of typography within their work. Each year I have the privilege of judging the work of third year undergrad students who are just about to complete their degree in Graphic Communication with Typography. This year I was joined by Stuart, our senior creative designer, and we spent an enjoyable 2 hours or so rummaging through sketchbooks, notebooks and portfolios.
The work is always diverse, sometimes challenging, but certainly never dull. This year it was great to see so much work that evidenced the individual's social conscience with subjects around sustainabilty, the environment and corporate greed all being showcased.
It was a very difficult decision - it always is! - but ultimately we chose a piece by Bradley Freeman, whose major project focussed on the work of the British Beekeeping Association. Stuart and I both agreed that his booklet entitled 'The Bee All and End All' - which explored the growth and sucess of urban beekeeping - demonstrated a real control and understanding of the use of typography. His work also featured some deceptively simple and humorous icons of bees (one was drawn wearing a pair of glasses, another a hat!) and we also liked his sympathetic use of natural materials and tactile papers.