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Inverness College UHI students get in top gear with designs

By Andrew Dixon

Prickly Thistle owner Clare Campbell with HND visual communication students.
Prickly Thistle owner Clare Campbell with HND visual communication students.

STUDENTS have risen to the challenge of designing new merchandise for the University of the Highlands and Islands.

HND visual communication students at Inverness College UHI were tasked with creating new design concepts which showcased the region and the student experience in the Highlands and Islands.

The students were supported by the marketing and graphic design team at the university to ensure the new merchandise complemented the existing brand.

A small sample was then manufactured with support from a Rebel Fund, donated by Prickly Thistle owner Clare Campbell.

The students came up with a range of concepts, from the traditional image of the region and its geography to ones that represent the scientific and technological advances in local industry and the opportunities that exist for young people.

The university hopes it is the starting point for a bigger project, which could see students selling their own products and services via an online university shop.

Ms Campbell, who visited the college to meet students and see their work, said: “I am delighted that the Prickly Thistle Rebel Fund has allowed the students to make that final step from the design stage to having their products produced.

“Our company ethos is design and manufacture locally and this project has allowed students to do just that.”

She is a regular donor to the university, one of a growing number of local businesses contributing to scholarship and student development funds, which provide financial support to students who need help to continue their studies or to take advantage of development opportunities.

She also worked with BSc (Hons) architectural technology students last year, setting them the challenge of designing plans for her new Black House Mill, on the Black Isle, which she hopes to have completed by next summer.

Alison Woodside, programme leader for HND visual communication, said: “We work with real clients to generate the types of briefs students can expect to work on when they complete their studies.

“This one was particularly exciting as they were designing potential products for their peers.

“The students took on feedback and came up with a whole range of concepts, which, thanks to Clare and her Rebel Fund, they’ve actually been able to see come to fruition.”

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