Students have designs on helping charities

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Design students at Edinburgh Napier don’t just keep their ideas to themselves – their innovative projects have been used to provide support to a number of local charities.
By collaborating with organisations such as SANDS Lothians and Bridgend Inspiring Growth, students have taken their designs out of the University and into the community, where they have been able to contribute to worthy causes.

A group of graphic design students worked with SANDS Lothians to design a suite of bereavement cards providing comfort and support to families who have been affected by child loss and baby bereavement.

After identifying a lack of cards available that provide the right support and comfort to families affected by child loss, the project saw 29 students design a range of cards which feature a selection of carefully selected words and imagery that broach the delicate subject.

The first designs are now on sale through the SANDS Lothians website and within its shop on the city’s South Clerk Street. The cards will be on sale all year round, with 100% of the work donated to the charity by the graphic design students.


The team behind the project...

Nicola Welsh, chief executive of SANDS Lothians, said: “We are so grateful to the Edinburgh Napier students for the time taken and the thought put into this project. The level of research and input they have provided is really touching and I can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”

Peter Buwert, lecturer in Graphic Design at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Designing an empathy card that provides comfort and support to those affected by child loss is a challenging and delicate brief which requires careful selection of words and imagery. Although holding similarities in their end goal, each of the cards our students developed were unique in their own way and we’re delighted that the first designs are now on sale.

“Partnering with a charity such as SANDS Lothians is a rewarding way for our students to gain valuable work experience and to develop their portfolio alongside helping a very worthwhile cause.”


We are so grateful to the Edinburgh Napier students for the time taken and the thought put into this project.

Nicola Welsh

Chief Executive of SANDS Lothians

SANDS Lothians isn’t the only charity to benefit from the work of Edinburgh Napier students – community-owned Bridgend Inspiring Growth (BIG) saw Masters students come together to illuminate a renovated farmhouse for the charity’s launch.

Lighting Design and Motion Graphics students were brought on board to help showcase the renovation of Bridgend Farmhouse to create a centre for learning, eating and exercise. The project was part of their Light Art and Projection module and they teamed up with fellow students from the music department who created a special soundscape for the projection.

“Being at the launch and seeing our work projected on the wonderful canvas of the renovated farmhouse was an amazing experience,” said Chloe Salvi, one of the students involved. “Bridgend is such a great platform for engaging the community and the work the volunteers have been doing to bring it all to life is incredible. There was a wonderful atmosphere on the night – people really enjoyed the evening, music and projections and we felt grateful that we were able to contribute to the celebrations with our designs.”


Light it up...

The charity’s goal is to help people live more healthily and happily, address social inequalities and isolation, strengthen community involvement and contribute to local health, learning and green space strategies. The students wanted to take the history of the farmhouse into consideration and spoke to the volunteers who renovated it to understand what message and concepts were important to incorporate in the projection.

Donna McArdle, development manager at Bridgend Inspiring Growth, said: “The light show was a truly magical experience with the projections onto the Farmhouse and the live music to accompany it, being so beautifully blending together.

“Everybody was spellbound and couldn't stop talking about it.”