Working on live projects for a real company is an excellent way to introduce to students what it is like to work in the real world outside of the classroom. The university system should encourage live learning and apply the practicality of real projects into their curriculum. Namely in the areas of design and media, students should be exposed to working on real projects and apply their skills in practise while still pursuing studies.
Prague College, a British University in Prague, encourages such involvement from students of the BA (Hons) Graphic Design and HND Interactive Media and Graphic Design programmes. The participation of students on live projects is strongly supported by the school’s administration, which views live projects as an integral part of the curriculum.
An interesting live project emerged last fall at the School of Art & Design at Prague College. Aerofilms, a Czech film distribution company that extends the activities of the three largest art-house cinemas in Prague, Bio Oko, Aero and Svetozor, approached Prague College regarding a corporate re-design of its visual identity. The company was looking for an interesting idea that would be introduced as a new corporate design promoting its various programmes and activities.
The project was assigned to students from the HND and BA (Hons) Graphic Design programmes. “The project was implemented as a competition for best design and became part of student’s school work,” explains Event Coordinator, Marketa Musilova. “Only the best designs would be selected by Aerofilms. Aerofilms critically evaluated all the work presented by students and offered constructive feedback on an on-going basis to make sure that the design is in line with the company’s expectations. At the same time students had freedom to come up with an interesting graphic design identity to promote Aerofilms,” she adds.
Aerofilms is also involved in various projects promoting the film industry such as Aertek, a Children Film Summer Camp, which provides children with basic skills to understand the movie industry such as: introduction to short film, film language, sound and projection, or La Pelicula, a festival of Spanish films which will be taking place at cinema Svetozor on February 14-19 in Prague.
The outcome of the students’ work was not only a pre-agreed design of complete promotional material for the children summer camp Aertek and a design of a poster campaign for La Pelicula promoting the Spanish film festival nationally, but it increased to include additional design work after Aerofils saw exceptional work performed by the students. The project thus also incorporated a complete change of the design of all cinema tickets sold at Bio Oko, Aero and Svetozor, as well as the design of an advertisement promoting the sponsorship of seats at these cinemas.
The participants of the live project worked hard to deliver the expected results, and only the best design work was selected by Aerofilms to become the visual identity of the promotional campaign of Aertek and La Pelicula.
The work of talented students Klara Marsickova (La Pelicula poster), Martin Hrabko (Aertek promotional metrial), Helena Jakoube (movie ticket design) and Antea Jindrova (advertisement to sponsor seats at cinema) was chosen by Aerofilms as unique and innovative designs that best represent the company’s interests and image.
Based on project’s success, Aerofilms decided to organise an exhibition for all of the students who participated in the live project at Kino Oko during the first week of February where all of the students could display their design work.
Activities like this make the learning experience both relevant and practical to students. To take an idea or concept that students acquire and develop throughout studies and apply it in the real world is a goal of any higher education institution. Prague College continues to provide interactive projects for students of all programmes with a vision to introduce new innovative ideas in society. The aim of the education is to make the graduate contribute directly to the workforce upon graduation. This system of education promotes independent and critical thinking, innovation, team spirit and managerial skills, which can be demonstrated by more than 15% of the graduates who establish their own businesses upon completing their studies at Prague College.
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