Scotland’s creative sector use music to inspire students at Gray’s School of Art


DESIGNERS from Scotland’s top creative agencies recently mentored students from Gray’s School of Art as part of an innovative industry project.

During a five-week project, over thirty third year Communication Design students from Gray’s School of Art, received bespoke support from designers at some of Scotland’s top creative agencies including Glasgow based Form Digital, Warriors Studio, and FourTwentySeven, and The Touch Agency in Edinburgh, and FortyTwo in Aberdeen.

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After an initial workshop, the students researched, developed their concepts, and shot and edited a film inspired by a track by the musician Tobacco called ‘Gods in Heat’.

Each of the six groups edited a mini film accompanied by a section of the music from the soundtrack. These were then edited these together to make a film called ‘Design Relay’, that is available to view on RGU’s YouTube channel.

Reflecting on the project, Madeleine Gray, a Stage 3 Communication Design student said: “The project was a great opportunity for 3rd year students like me to test themselves out and to develop our abilities to work within teams, allowing each other to understand our peer’s working processes and in turn learning from one another, while being guided by industry mentors.”

Lewis Whibley, a Graphic Designer at Touch Agency who is an Alumni from Gray’s said: “It’s has been great reconnecting with Gray’s through mentoring, and working with emerging creatives as they took on a challenging group project. The students responded well to the brief and worked professionally towards a final film that they can all definitely be proud of!”

Creative Director, Sam Longmire, at FortyTwo studio said “Supporting the next generation of design talent is something we are really passionate about – and we are proud to have supported Gray’s and the Communication Design team for a number of years now, with mentoring, guest talks and Degree Show Awards. It was a privilege to be invited by them to mentor this year’s Industry project, as it’s such a valuable chance for undergraduates to get real world feedback and guidance on their creative practice and for us, it’s truly inspiring to see the level of talent and dedication on display.

“This year’s project was a real challenge, combining group work with mixed media, video, animation and sound design. The level of professionalism shown by the students was fantastic, from their inter-group communication, their teamwork, critical discussion right through to time management and final delivery – we were blown away by the talents on show.”

Cameron Fraser, Design Director at Form Digital said: “Mentoring students on an industry graphic design project has been an immensely rewarding experience. Witnessing the growth and enthusiasm of the team as they collaborated and delved into the project was truly inspiring. From brainstorming sessions to executing intricate design elements, the cohesion and dedication displayed were remarkable.”

Nicola Watson, Lecturer and Stage 3 Coordinator for Communication Design, said; “Our students learned so much from the experience; working as a team, communicating with the design industry, and meeting tight deadlines – it highlighted not only the technical skills and attention to detail required when working in a professional capacity, but the soft skills too. It was a great way to round off the term, and we would particularly like to thank all the agencies involved for their time, guidance, and feedback.”

“Gray’s is committed to engaging industry so that we can give our students the best possible experience and prepare them for their creative careers ahead”.

As part of the project, the students were given the opportunity to ‘hire’ a Stage 4 Communication Design student as a consultant.

Stage 4 Communication Design student Liam Green explains more: “I found the industry brief to be a fantastic experience. As a Stage 4 Consultant, my role was to offer advice and generate communication between the team of Stage 3 students. Across the project it was great to see the team’s ability to collaborate and grow in confidence as they developed their skills and in presenting to industry professionals. The project created some new industry connections, and built upon our sense of community between students, which will in turn develop potential for further collaboration.”

View the final film on YouTube:

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