V&A Graphic Gathering

Graphic Design Challenge for Secondary Students
May - Jun 2016

Art on the Underground provided the competition brief for Graphic Gathering, the V&A’s annual graphic design challenge for secondary school students. The brief looked for artwork that acknowledged the Tube’s vast public and unique spaces and infrastructure. Entrants were asked to design a poster which conveyed the ‘language of London’ as a dynamic capital city, focusing on typography skills and inspired by the V&A’s collection.

Head of Art on the Underground, Eleanor Pinfield, selected Tod Tewson from Waddesdon C of E School (Year 10) as winner of this years competition. Tewson’s winning poster, selected from 450 student designs from 17 schools, will be shown from today across every tube station in London for three weeks. Elizabeth Adelabu from Westminster Kingsway College was chosen as the competition runner up with her colourful poster design inspired by the V&A’s glass galleries.

Tod Tewson said: “I was delighted when my design was selected and I’m really excited that it’s going on display throughout the London Underground. I will definitely be taking down my family to see my designs and I hope the message of the poster gets across to people using the London Underground every day.” Teacher, Laura Lenander said: “We were really excited about the opportunity to work with the V&A on a live brief, especially with such a prestigious organisation such as Art on the Underground. The students were buzzing with ideas and developed a really interesting range of responses to the brief. At such a young age to have this opportunity is fantastic and the students all rose to the challenge of the brief. They hadn’t worked too much with typography based work before, most of the work had been image based so they had to rethink their approach to work with the brief which was very good design experience.”


Emmajane Avery, Director of Learning & Visitor Experience, V&A said: “The V&A was founded to inspire creativity and I am thrilled to have seen the work of so many talented young designers during the course of this project. Congratulations to Tod and Elizabeth for their winning designs.”

Participating schools in the V&A’s Graphic Gathering competition are invited to the museum to receive an industry briefing by a professional organisation or individual. Previous examples have included D&AD and the V&A shop’s buying and design team. Students are then limited to work on the brief, supported by their teachers, V&A resources and research visits to the V&A. The project is aimed at GCSE and AS & A Level students interested in graphic design and its facets, including illustration, advertising, digital design and photography. Graphic Gathering is designed to give students an insight into the world of professional practice and help prepare them for higher or further education or work in the creative industries.

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