Down Skinner

Two final year students from Plymouth University have been awarded membership of a prestigious international body in recognition of the outstanding quality of their work.

Matt Down and Thom Skinner, both studying BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography, have become members of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) following a rigorous annual student assessment scheme.

To qualify for the honour, the students had to respond to a design brief by creating a body of work consisting of a written rationale, research and development work, final designs and a detailed type specification.

Matt and Thom both chose to answer a brief set by the Design Museum in London, which asked them to create a new typographic identity for the museum that included print, screen and environmental applications.

Their work was then reviewed by a panel of experts to determine whether it met the required standard, with only a small number of student memberships being awarded each year.

Thom said:

“To be able to include this on my CV alongside my degree qualification will hopefully show employers that I am particularly proficient in what I do, and open up new opportunities for me. Being involved with this project has enhanced my understanding of graphic design, but it is also very useful to receive constructive and positive feedback from external sources as well as my tutors.”

Matt added:

“To qualify for membership of the ISTD involved around nine weeks of hard work, as we initially responded to a brief and then spent a lot of time finessing it. But it is brilliant to have my skills rewarded in this way, and to achieve this level of industry recognition on top of my degree.”

Recognised as the authoritative body for typography worldwide, and working closely with education and industry, ISTD establishes, maintains and promotes typographic standards through the forum of debate and design practice.

Membership is awarded to practising designers, educators and graduating students who demonstrate, through the quality of their work, their commitment to achieving the highest possible standard of visual communication.

James Brocklehurst, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography, said:

“The ISTD is an internationally renowned and prestigious professional organisation, and achieving recognition in this way at undergraduate level is a huge achievement. It is certainly not easy to be awarded an MISTD and it is a great credit to the students involved, and for the programme and the University as a whole.”

Further to their success, Matt and Thom will be exhibiting at HOT’15 – the annual art and design degree show at Plymouth University in June – as well as the D&AD New Blood exhibition in London in July.