Graphic Design BA (Hons) Student Creates Work for Museum

Student, Vladyslava Zabielina, 20 from Ukraine, came over to Southend two years ago when the war In Ukraine began. She is currently studying Graphic Design BA (Hons) at the University Centre South Essex, and will be graduating next year.

Recently, Vlada was recommended by her tutor, Maria, for her fantastic work placement opportunity at Ford Forge Museum, in Scotland, which opens on May 25 2024. She was given the opportunity to design a logo for the museum, an icon for the children's area/points of interest, reworking the Till Valley Archaeology Society (TillVAS) association's existing logo, design a house style for the wall-mounted interpretation boards and also informational boards.

Jane, Curator of Collections at (TillVAS) said: “Vlada is an exceptionally talented and lovely young person who I believe and hope is destined for huge success. I have worked with a number of professional graphic designers over the years (including when I was managing partner of a city law firm) and she is head and shoulders above many of those I worked with in terms of her excellent design skills and also her approach.

She really listened to the brief and to me. She managed to get inside our community project and fully understand what we are trying to achieve. She tailored her designs perfectly to reflect the rustic feel and nature of the museum and researched its remote rural location, incorporating some of the area's physical features into her designs.”

Vlada told us that she is loving her studies and that as class sizes are smaller, she gets  more support and guidance. She said: “All my tutors have been brilliant, Steve, John and Maria have been really supportive and always help me when I need it. I wouldn’t be as confident in my work if it wasn’t for them.”

Jane added: “All of her work was completed within the time allotted to this project and to a high standard. My colleagues and I are beyond delighted. A big plus for me was that we developed a great creative working relationship bouncing ideas off each other and inspiring new ones. 

“Vlada's communication skills in person and in writing are excellent. She was clear, poised and very professional during our meetings and always on time and cheerful. She also took the time to explain things to me and make sure I was properly understanding the more technical side, for example, giving me guidance for instructing printers, advice on sizing so as not to blur images etc and explaining the best ways to edit. It was a pleasure to have her on board, I wish her all the best for the future.”

After she graduates, Vlada wants to get into the industry and eventually open her own company. She said: “Graphic designers are competitive and it’s a tough industry. If you work hard and stick at it, your dreams will come true and it will all be worth it.”

Success stories

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Wade

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Wade

Course studied

Graphic Design & Illustration BA (Hons)

The university centre has given me plenty of opportunities to speak with the tutors and seek feedback and support on a one-to-one basis and there is a real community feeling

Sophie Wade, from Stanford-le-Hope, is in her second year of the Graphic Design BA (Hons) course at University Centre South Essex.

She was nominated for the award for her professional manner and her proactive attitude to work. 

Sophie has many notable achievements at the university centre so far such as securing a web design work placement based in London, working at a Leigh-On-Sea based marketing agency and collaborating with the RSPB on her final second year project.

Her tutor said: “Sophie has approached her work placement unit in a professional manner since day one and her proactive manner has meant that she secured many work placement opportunities, including working with the RSPB on her own self-directed project. 

Sophie has been a really great peer mentor throughout the academic year and all her interactions with employers have helped prepare her for the professional world when she completes the course next year.”

Sophie returned to education after three years of working in local authority administration roles to embark on a new creative career path and was very nervous about starting her degree studies in 2020, but said the staff at the university could not have been more accommodating and helpful.

She said: “I feel privileged to have been selected to receive this award and I am extremely grateful to the staff across the UAL creative portfolio who have selected me as the winner.

The university centre has given me plenty of opportunities to speak with the tutors and seek feedback and support on a one-to-one basis and there is a real community feeling. I could not think of a better way to conclude my second year of study here at the university centre.”

Sophie’s ambition for the future is to embark on a career where she can combine her love for graphic design and digital technology and create solutions which make a positive difference to people's lives.