Getting better by degree

CPL's Production designer Hazel Stabler reflects on last week's visit to the Cambridge School of Art Degree show

Anglia Ruskin University opened its doors to the public last week in celebration of its students’ art, creativity and hard work. The university’s Cambridge School of Art Degree Show showcases students’ end-of-year projects as well as their workbooks, which outline their progress throughout the year.

Every year, CPL does its bit to encourage that progress by presenting a special award for creativity. This year, the decision was made more difficult by the ever-increasing high standard of work on display. For example, one student chose the gargantuan job of creating a full and detailed brand guideline for a clothing brand, while another took a more personal approach, detailing the biography of their father’s upbringing in South Africa through illustration.

The CPL award goes to the student ‘whose creative endeavours represent significant risk-taking, informed by a process of speculative, adventurous and ambitious thinking’, and there was certainly a lot of risk-taking going on. Another piece of work on show was based solely on the intimacy of sex and relationships, tiptoeing over the line that separates the acceptable and the taboo. Others took risks in different ways, using materials that threatened to fall apart at any moment during the creative process.

Torla Janita Lyne's, 'An Addict’s Alphabet'

In the end, and after much deliberation, the CPL award was presented to Torla Janita Lyne for her piece, An Addict’s Alphabet. The project uses all 26 letters of the alphabet to illustrate a different kind of addiction. For example, the letter C was created with a line of cocaine which curved around in order to create the letter.

While the finished product itself was impressive, what really struck the CPL team was the work that had taken place behind the scenes. Torla’s workbook was filled with first, second and third drafts of each letter, showcasing experiments with colour, typography and style.

It was, in the end, the level of detail that struck a chord, as it reminded many of us of the kind of work we do here. From our membership magazines to our digital projects, CPL has always been an agency with an ethos of learning and evolution at its core. That same ethos was clearly at the heart of An Addict’s Alphabet and deserved recognition.

Hazel Stabler
is Production designer
at CPL

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