LGBT Badge Exhibition Success

On Thursday evening the First Year Advertising Design students at the University of Bedfordshire held an exhibition to celebrate a Live Brief project they have been working on this term with the LGBT History Month Organisation. Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month takes place every year in February. It celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. Each year a different theme and a hero is chosen, a badge is created to raise funds for the organisation.



The chosen theme for 2015 is History. The exhibition showcased the designs that our first years have proposed and guests were invited to preview all proposals before the winners were announced.


First prize and a generous £250 cheque was awarded to Maria Efremova with a design celebrating the British Museum. Maria stated: “The British Museum are big supporters and have hosted the history month event in the past. The Museum has also launched a same sex desire exhibition in support of telling the history of homosexuality without censorship. I was also inspired by the Greek revival architecture of the museum because ancient Greece was commonly known for its same sex relationships. I used the actual museum itself on the badge to symbolise all these things…I absolutely loved doing the LGBT live brief; this taught me so much about designing for clients and sticking to a brief. It meant I had to be organised and have my work prepared to present each week to the clients. This taught me that if I include the clients in on my whole journey they will understand my design better…I am really grateful that my badge design was the one LGBT picked to represent their history month, it has given me more confidence in my design work, encouraging me to push my limits for future projects…I have come away from this experience with the great opportunity of having my designs out in the real world and so much practical knowledge about being an advertising designer, as well as knowledge on a historical topic I was never really educated about.” 


Second Prize was awarded to Calum Lee Hee Shiong for a design which emulated broken Grecian pottery. He stated: “Doing the LGBT badge brief was an eye opener for me, I didn’t realise how little awareness there was of the LGBT community especially in schools and I really enjoyed working on this project as it was my first chance to get a feel of how it will be working for a client.”


Third Prize went to Emma Goodman for a proposal depicting an open book, to represent knowledge, education and a rewriting of the history books to include LGBT heros that perhaps were not given the credit they deserved in their lifetimes. Emma commented: “Designing for a live client gave me a sense of sticking to deadlines and design guidelines. It also aided my education as it allowed me to develop my practice, on software for example, and apply it to a real life situation to give it some context. As an added bonus, I now have another project to add to my portfolio and a collaboration with a charity to add to my CV!”

Tony Fenwick from LGBT stated: “This year the designs were better then ever and we were blown away at the research the students did, as well as the quality of the final designs. We learned for example that a gay baseball player called Glenn Burke invented the ‘High Five’.(Thanks to student Julia SafriginaNobody is too old to learn!”

The exhibition also showcased the design proposals and winning badges from previous years. 2014′s winning badge was designed by Chloe Saddler, the theme was Music and the hero of her design was Benjamin Britten. The winner of 2013′s badge design was Monika Ciapala, celebrating Science with Alan Turing as it’s hero.


The department have had the privilege of working on this project with LGBTHM for the last 3 years and it is something we wish to continue doing. Lecturer Rebecca Ford stated: “the badge project is such a great opportunity for our first years. It not only brings an element of professionalism to the curriculum, as students are meeting,taking a brief and presenting and pitching their work to a client. They are also having to work hard at communicating quite a lot of information into a tiny space in the most impactful way. We also really push students to consider the production of their design, looking into suppliers, materials and costs which really makes them think about the reality of their proposals”