News / 16 Nov 2023

Graphic Design student designs LEEDS 2023 tote bags

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Fizah Afzal, a final year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student has won a commission to design tote bags for Leeds 2023 year of culture.

Students at Leeds Arts University were asked to design an image for the bags based on the tag line ‘Letting Culture Loose’ and either centred around or involving the LEEDS 2023 logo. Fizah was awarded £200, along with seeing her winning design printed on tote bags to be sold as official LEEDS 2023 merchandise.

The team at LEEDS 2023 were keen to work with the University on the brief, after recognising the creativity and talent of the students.

“Across the year, we have had fantastic engagement from Leeds Arts University students through numerous student industry insight opportunities. Knowing the level of skill and talent that exists amongst students, we wanted to offer an opportunity that allowed them to utilise their artistic talents, whilst also respond to a professional creative brief, boosting experience and early engagement in the industry.”

Niamh Byrne, LEEDS 2023 Head of Placements and Student Opportunity

Fizah’s design is a celebration of Leeds landmarks, inspired by her daily commute into the city, working within the brand guidelines but in her own creative style.

“I found out about the brief through the University and couldn’t wait to start as I use tote bags on a regular basis and is something that I always wanted to design. When I learned that I was accepted to the commission I was ecstatic and felt very humbled knowing how many talented people I was up against. I have enjoyed working with LEEDS 2023 and feel like I have learnt about communication with the client and how to be professional when working collaboratively.”

Fizah Afzal, BA (Hons) Graphic Design student

Fizah’s winning design was selected by a judging panel of Neil Armstrong (LEEDS 2023 Creative Designer), Alex Monk (LEEDS 2023 Branding and Campaigns Manager), and Niamh Byrne (LEEDS 2023 Head of Placements and Student Opportunity).

“We are delighted to commission Fizah’s design for the final LEEDS 2023 tote bag! Collectively, the team loved the brightness of Fizah’s design, its great use of the LEEDS 2023 branding colours and playful interaction from the illustrated ribbon. We liked the architectural value and significance of each Leeds landmark featured, making it a unique design amongst other LEEDS 2023 merchandise designs. Through featuring the Kirkgate Market clock, Fizah’s design also links well to the design of our current LEEDS 2023 season brochure.”

Niamh Byrne, LEEDS 2023 Head of Placements and Student Opportunity

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