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Design students take on the challenge of designing posters for National Stephen Lawrence Day




Designing a poster to promote the annual Stephen Lawrence Day is undoubtedly a big challenge for a student.

However, the pressure increased another notch for final year graphic design / illustration students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) when the task was set by Stephen’s brother, Stuart.

Stephen was murdered by racists in south London in an unprovoked attack on April 22, 1993, when he was just 18 years old.

It took his mother Baroness Doreen Lawrence – the former Chancellor of DMU -, his brother Stuart, the Lawrence family and lawyer Imran Khan QC, 18, to secure a conviction against two of Stephen’s murderers.

Since then, Baroness Lawrence has used Stephen’s legacy to encourage young people to be inspired by what they can accomplish in their own lives, to create the type of community they want to live in and to have a strong voice in the community. building a fairer and more inclusive society.

Part of that legacy exists thanks to the establishment of the Stephen Lawrence Research Center (SLRC) at DMU, ​​which overlooks the campus’s Hawthorn Square.

While Theresa May, when she was Prime Minister in 2018, announced that every April 22 would be a National Stephen Lawrence Day.

Baroness Lawrence launches first Stephen Lawrence Day at DMU

Since then, Stuart Lawrence, who heads the Stephen Lawrence Foundation, has met with graphic design students every year to ask them to come up with their ideas for a poster that can mark National Day of Remembrance.

This year’s students faced the challenge during the lockdown, but, thanks to their tutor Dr Emma Powell, they were able to access Leicester Print Workshop under COVID regulations to experiment with using a dedicated space to professional printers and artists and improve their skills.

To add to the challenge and experience the real-world pressures of working for a client, Stuart Lawrence set the task, then met with the students mid-term to receive a progress report and finally attended an end-of-year presentation. year to judge the results and provide instant feedback.


Schools pledge to be the change for Stephen Lawrence Day

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Dr Powell said: “Being able to enter the Leicester print shop was the first time some students were able to leave their usual spaces and enter a professional workplace.

“They really embraced him and it was an incredibly positive experience for all of them. This brought more variety to the work of the students and this combination of analog skills with engraving and technical design skills with the computer gave them a good combination of skills that will help them in their careers.

“Gaining this kind of knowledge and working on such an important and socially conscious issue certainly makes it more valuable to potential employers. “

Below are four poster designs produced by the students of the course. Along with their illustrations, final year students share how it has helped them develop personally and prepare them for their careers.

Millie Hoodie

Graphic design (Illustration) 3rd year

From Hertfordshire

It was really nice to work with Stuart Lawrence, his experience as a teacher was very helpful in understanding how our designs could be put into practice in the real world to influence change within schools and communities.

It gave us something tangible to work on, rather than just creating a hypothetical campaign for change. We learned from Stuart how our work can actually be used by the Foundation. The Leicester print shop was a welcome change of scenery after working in my bedroom for most of the year. Being able to physically print my work really uplifted my design and made it feel more professional.

It made me feel more comfortable working with clients and being able to present my ideas to them.

Mia clark

Graphic design illustration

From Kettering

It was such an honor to be able to work with Stuart Lawrence and the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation. Developing designs with the aim of spreading such powerful messages about diversity and inclusiveness is very important to me, and the LTC Foundation truly embodies that. I felt I had a real impact by connecting with what the University stands for.

In terms of real world experience, I couldn’t be more grateful to my tutors for this mod, Emma Powell and Sat Kalsi who organized our visits to Leicester Print Workshop. Having the opportunity to do practical work was a real treat after a year of working from home and designing purely online.

Completing this project helped me develop my interpersonal skills and ensure that I could articulate my design process in a clear and effective manner to meet a client’s needs, which is critical in my progression from there. university in employment

George coles

Graphic design (Illustration)

From Kettering

Personally, this was one of my favorites, if not one of my favorites throughout my college experience. One of the main contributing factors is that the project gave me the opportunity to be innovative, to set my imagination in motion and to proudly participate in an important social campaign.

At the start of the project, we had a first briefing from Stuart Lawrence. From the start, it was clear that his personal drive, passion and desire to create positive change was alone enough to prepare all students for an exciting project. Getting the chance to work in conjunction with Leicester Print Workshop was yet another fantastic opportunity and all thanks to our tutors who helped prepare for a safe and fun working environment.

This project has definitely helped me prepare for a career in graphic design. Having a strong ability to create a sense of positivity through design and in turn to raise awareness of important issues is something that is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. This is a key skill that I hope I have developed throughout this specific project and my time here at DMU.

Lauryn Blanche

Graphic design

By Milton Keynes

This project has been one of my favorites this year. I love to experiment with typography, but the focus on helping to make a positive change in the world is what initially attracted me to this memoir. The opportunity to work with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation has been an honor and it really inspired me to create something meaningful with the potential to educate others.

Being able to talk to clients at different stages of the project was very beneficial as it helped influence some design decisions and ensured that my ideas were aligned with their expectations. I felt that the opportunity to present our work at the end of the project allowed us to receive immediate feedback.

The visit to Leicester Print Workshop was a truly positive experience and the fact that we were able to attend sessions during the pandemic shows the dedication and hard work of everyone involved.

It has helped me improve my self-confidence and my ability to present my design work to other people. This is something that I have found quite difficult before, but it is an essential part of the design process for a client. The skills I have learned will almost certainly benefit my future career.

Posted on Friday, June 25, 2021

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