We’ve just launched a new Student Retail Design & Careers Competition


We’ve launched a new ‘Student Retail Design & Careers Competition’ to help equip students with the skills and experience they need to kick-start their career and to drive interest in the retail design, visual merchandising, and print industry.

Teaming up with the Art & Design department at Hertford Regional College, we’re offering students the opportunity to experience working on a live campaign brief, creating window display concepts and display activations for some of the world’s biggest brands. This year, students will be working on a live creative brief for sports brand, Nike and their ‘Women in Sport’ campaign.

The competition takes students on a complete journey, from developing initial creative window display concepts through to manufacturing physical graphics and displays from their designs.

The competition encompasses 7 key stages, which all independently form an important educational roadmap into how retail design concepts are created and realized in a store environment. Students have embarked on a 6-month program and after an introduction to the company and campaign brief presentation, will take part in scheduled design and production insight days hosted by KGK Genix. Insight days are an integral part of the competition, providing students with the opportunity to work alongside the design, studio and production teams and ask for advice and guidance to enhance their entry.

The final stage of the competition will see the students activate their retail design ideas using the physical graphics and visual merchandising displays they have produced into a retail window mock shop at the KGK Genix production site in Harlow. They will then present their concepts and activations to a panel of judges, explaining where they sought their inspiration, how they developed their designs, whether they are aligned to any current retail trends and how sustainable their activations are.

The judging panel is made up of six industry and business professionals, including members of Nike’s own marketing team, senior leaders and experienced retail designers at KGK Genix and the CEO of the Herts Chamber of Commerce.

Entries will be judged on the overall concept and activation, whilst taking into consideration contributing factors such as project management of the campaign and sustainability of their design.

Three lucky competition winners will win a six-week work placement at KGK Genix, where they will work on live retail campaigns for leading brands and retailers.

The competition was developed by Matt Walsh, Operations Director at KGK Genix in Harlow, he said “As a creative agency, it’s really important that we encourage a new generation of designers with fresh ideas into our industry. The competition provides a platform to showcase just how exciting a career in retail design and print can be.”

Sara Saunders, Curriculum Area Manager – Art and Design at Hertford Regional College said “Hertford Regional College are very excited about the opportunity to work with KGK Genix on this competition. The opportunity to take on a live brief will give our Graphic Design and Visual Merchandising students amazing insight into the industry, making their learning relevant, and for the winners the opportunity of paid internships. Work experience is so important to students studying creative vocational courses as it raises awareness of the career opportunities open to them after their studies, or one of our university level courses. A bonus is to be working on a Nike Brief!”

Graham Pitts, Group Managing Director said about the competition “This competition not only provides students with the opportunity to take a huge step forward in starting a career in creative print and retail design, but also actively encourages new, creative talent into our industry. By teaming up with Herts Regional College we’re able to provide an exciting window into our industry and the opportunity for a step on the career ladder too. We hope we can develop this competition to include more students from other schools, colleges, and universities in the future.”

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