Student’s winning envelope design gets professional treatment

A folded picture of the envelope
Silhouette image in blue

Article by: David Millett

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BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Nhelete Dos Santos’s beautiful interlocking envelope design has been brought to life with the help of industry printers and suppliers, after she won our university-wide competition.

This year marks the fifth consecutive year of the ‘Im-print! Im-press!’ competition, a collaborative project between our Graphic Design department and three companies, GF Smith, Foilco and Baddeley Brothers.

An unfurled image of the winning envelope

Students are tasked with creating a product that uses paper and foil. Their plans must also consider costing and stick to a commercial budget. The winner gets to see their project become reality using paper provided by GF Smith and foil from Foilco, using the production capabilities of Baddeley Brothers.

Nhelete’s winning design caught the judges’ eyes for its intricate interlocking folding design. It uses clever cuts and folds to stay closed, without the use of glue. Each flap opens to reveal a thought-provoking message or piece of inspirational text.

The competition’s theme this year was sustainability. The envelope is made using Extract paper, created using recycled coffee cups, and is embossed with ‘Zero Foil 2 Landfill’. More than 30 second-year students from our BA (Hons) Graphic Design, BA (Hons) Product Design and BA (Hons) Fashion courses entered the competition.

Nhelete said: “Sometimes you look at a piece of paper and think all you can do is write on it, maybe cut it up into a few shapes. What inspired me was the versatility of paper and that was really interesting.

“I was inspired by the word ‘cycle’ and its relationship with the production of the Extract paper. I wanted to create something that would bring the paper back into our community. My final design reflects how we are all interconnected and part of life’s cycle.”

“Baddeley Brothers were really helpful and informative. I learned more about the printing process than I ever thought I would. It really opened my eyes to the beauty of paper and all the things you can do with it.

“It’s such a long process and it's really hard work. I feel really lucky that I was able to do it. I didn’t realise how nice the final commercial result was going to be, it was really beautiful actually.”