WHEN the 2012 Adobe Design Achievement Award (ADAA) launched, there were 4,979 submissions from over 70 countries.
In the shortlist are 41 entries from 18 countries. London College of Communication student James Coltman, just about to enter the final year of BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design, is pitched along with his three team mates Dan Jones, Benio Ubramovich, and Josh Blanchett, against Korean and Italian outfits.
The competition is fierce, but already widespread celebration of their innovative project suggests they have a very strong chance of taking home a coveted award.
Creative Review, a leading online design journal, has already reported on the project – and many of its readers left enthusiastic comments on the publication’s message board.
The ADAAs, judged by Adobe bosses and representatives from a number of international design institutions, are some of the most prestigious in the media and design calendar.
James and his colleagues designed an interactive shop front to launch their new design studio, The Butcher’s Hook, in London’s Portobello High Street. The space, as the name suggests, was once a butcher’s, and in its reincarnation will double-up as a gallery and workshop area.
The window display, based on a digital whiteboard and controlled by a Wii remote, attracted 150 people to draw a picture through the window using infra-red pens, which was then printed and presented to its creator through the shop’s letterbox.
A priority for The Butcher’s Hook, which found expression in this inaugural publicity drive, is to devote 10pc of time to community creativity.
On November 9 in Toronto, James will know whether his team’s creation has won the Installation Design category, one of 14 in the competition. The announcement will be made at the 2012 Design Thinkers convention.
“They’re only paying all expenses for one person – but all four of us want to go. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to network, even if we don’t win,” James says.
If they do emerge victorious, each member of the team will win cash, a party-bag full of Adobe software, and a year’s mentorship by Icograda, the International Council of Communication Design Associations.
James is aware that starting a business straight out of university is a tall order – but he’s lucky to have some impressive work experience behind him already. Over a year in industry, he has worked for The New Statesman and The Telegraph, among other illustrious publications.
Dan, Josh and Benio have expertise in other areas, and are wining competitions and commissions in their own right. Collectively, they’ll be able to cover any design discipline.