Students Set Sustainable Brief by Natural Paints Company

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University of Worcester Graphic Design students working on sustainability have been set a prestigious ‘live’ eco packaging brief by a Herefordshire-based natural paints company.

The brief evolved in partnership with Edward Bulmer: Pots of Paint, who specialise in premium natural paints. The company also has links with the Bulmer Foundation in Hereford and several other local and national environmental charities.

The Graphic Design students will create working prototype eco packaging concepts to help further reduce the environmental impact of the company’s existing packaging systems. It is hoped that these can then be used alongside a new, soon to be launched range of premier quality natural paints.

Peter Lawley, Product Manager at Pots of Paint, explains: “We are delighted to work with the University of Worcester on this project. In the age of internet sales, the impact of packaging and transport is undoubtedly a very significant - yet hidden - burden on the environment, and one that we are desperate to reduce.”

With Corporate Social Responsibility Charters (CSRs) now bringing sustainable working practices to the fore for many large organisations, such considerations are becoming increasingly prominent. This has meant that many larger companies are now looking for providers of services such as design and packaging to work within their growing sustainability commitments.

The University of Worcester’s Graphic Design and Multimedia course has pioneered the teaching of sustainable design techniques for a number of years. As part of this, it has already collaborated with a number of large companies including Westons Organic Cider range and Heinz UK.

Third year Graphic Design student Martha Ives says: “Eco packaging is a new area of design for me and the project has brought with it its own set of demands and considerations, all of which are relevant to the way that the design industries are changing.

“I think it has become more and more necessary for graphic designers to be taught the importance of sustainable design and how we can contribute to helping the environment.”

She adds: “Although the Edward Bulmer: Pots of Paint brief is challenging, it encourages us to experiment with creative ideas and make the most of working on a live brief – essential experience that I will take forward after graduation.”

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design and Multimedia, Andrew Stevenson – who originated the course’s sustainable design teaching – hopes that his current students can replicate the success of previous Worcester students working on similar projects.

He adds: “These are wholly realistic design challenges and a growing phenomenon in the design world. I’m hoping the students will design some targeted, well researched and cutting edge sustainable packaging concepts for Edward Bulmer’.

The students’ working concepts will be completed by the end of January, at which stage they will be examined by the company with a view to incorporating the ideas developed into their future packaging solutions.