So, we’ve completed The Shelf Awards for another year. 12 very talented graduates spent a hectic evening, presenting, networking and generally impressing a very demanding audience of media experts. And these same experts also had the final say when it came to voting for the overall winners. As the founder of The Shelf Awards I’m pleased and proud to make a few observations on the 14th year of this unique programme.
Importantly The Shelf Awards still remains true to its original format, goals and values. It proves a vital platform to give 12 creative graduates three intense hours of advice, book crits, placement offers and general industry networking from leading creative directors, copywriters, art directors, recruiters and many other industry experts. All with the aim of supporting them as they kick off their future careers. And, as ever, The Shelf Awards remain totally free to enter for both the graduates and their universities.
Given the standard of the entries from all the universities this year the quality of work on show from the shortlisted graduates was incredibly high. And while the format has remained pretty much the same since the awards began 14 years ago, the innovation from the graduates continues to embrace new idea and areas. The Shelf Awards has always championed integrated thinking but the work this year showed that the thinking was stronger than ever. As one guest commented “the graduates are getting increasingly strategic, Sophie and Sophia in particular could actually become planners”. The work also embraced social media in a meaningful way such as the blood donation Facebook idea from Will and James.
As I always like to point out it’s vital to remember that all 12 graduates were already winners by making the shortlist. Moreover the voting on the night, uniquely by all the guests, was incredibly close with very few points separating the graduate creative teams.
The overall winners were Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady from Bucks New University. Second place went to Will Wright and James Lucking from the School of Communication Arts. Third place was secured by Tristan Lenczner and Simon Carr from University of Gloucestershire. Honourable mentions must also go to the other graduates on the shortlist. Harriet Ronn and John Ogunmuyiwa from Bucks New University. Lavan Jeyarupalingam and Kiefer McKenzie from the School of Communication Arts. And Chloe Bishop and Christina Worman from the University of Lincoln.
And once again I would like to thank the amazing supporters of The Shelf Awards. So thank you to 23 Red, Another Production, apple & ink, HUB Westminster, Know Digital, Partners Andrews Aldridge, Smoke and Mirrors Design and Sue Frost Recruitment. And special thanks to Sandrae Lawrence for taking the photos on the night.
When I founded The Shelf Awards in 2001 I never dreamt that 14 years later it would have supported over 160 graduates, helping them to get started in their creative careers. And support is exactly what The Shelf Awards is all about and is summed up with our line, “Supporting the creative talent of the future”.
We wish all of the graduates the very best in their future careers.
If you would like your university to take part in The Shelf Awards next year, you would like to become an official supporter by becoming a sponsor or you would simply like to find out more please drop me a line at The Shelf Awards.