10th March 2022
Second year Level 3 Graphic Design students from Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) have teamed up with University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) to provide artwork to support the local #KeepStokeSmiling campaign.
Over the past month, a series of billboards have been utilised across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme as part of UHNMs public awareness initiative to reduce tooth decay amongst young people, with artwork from students Abi Greenwood and Ross Burlington from NSCG Stafford College selected to front the campaign.
The growing problem of tooth decay in younger people within the local area is an ongoing concern, with statistics showing that Stoke-on-Trent has four times the number of hospital admissions for decayed teeth than the rest of the UK. Tackling this problem through a variety of ways, including education, will hopefully go a long way towards encouraging better oral hygiene amongst young people, and ultimately more healthy smiles in Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas.
Karen Juggins, Consultant Orthodontist from UHNM who is the driving force behind #KeepStokeSmiling, said: “It's fabulous that #KeepStokeSmiling has been able to team up with NSCG for a second time to raise awareness of the issue of tooth decay amongst teenagers and young people locally. Graphic Design Lecturer Dave Holcroft is truly fabulous to work with - he's keen to see his students get hands-on experience and this live brief project has allowed them to take the project on a journey from the initial briefing, through to concept preparation and presentation, and ultimately seeing the chosen designs appear on a prominent 48-sheet billboard! It's an opportunity I think most students would relish.”
Continued Karen: “From my perspective, it has been great to be able to meet with students, many of whom make up our target audience, and talk to them about what we're trying to achieve. By engaging with them, we can produce work that has the best chance of promoting behaviour change or at the very least, provide the information that allows teenagers and young adults the information they need to make informed choices. This collaboration is the perfect example of healthcare and education working together locally.”
The two NSCG students, Abi Greenwood and Ross Burlington, aged 17 from Stafford, who are studying a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Graphic Design, have created campaigns which are on display on billboards around the city in an attempt to aid the UHNM and #KeepStokeSmiling address this issue. Both pieces of artwork are bold and distinctive with impactful images and slogans which are targeted towards making the audience think about the consequences of consuming sugary products.
Commenting on the experience, Abi said: “I was really excited to work with #KeepStokeSmiling as it was important to teach others and get the message across. I was shocked when Karen taught us about what happened when you don't keep your teeth healthy, and when I spoke to others about tooth decay they were also shocked. Knowing this, I knew the best approach would be to hit the audience with hard facts about tooth decay. When I found out that my designs would be up on a billboard, I was really proud as my work is educating others and making a difference in their lives.”
Summarising the project, David Holcroft, Curriculum Leader in Graphic Design at NSCG, added: “We have worked successfully with Keep Stoke Smiling in the past so we were keen to collaborate again and continue to help spread important messages about oral hygiene to our local community. Projects like this are amazing to work on as our students get real world experience of working on live briefs and all the issues that arise as a result. I’m massively proud of the work that the students pitched to the client and thrilled that it went down so well. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot of the adverts on social media and on more billboards near us soon. A massive thank you to Karen Juggins from University Hospitals of North Midlands for involving us once more.”
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