A talented graduate who saw her work brought to life as part of a Teesside University development is now making a name for herself as a graphic designer and spoke of her pride after finally getting to graduate.
Emma Woodward, 23, was one of over 3,000 graduates who celebrated their academic achievements in Teesside University’s first graduation ceremonies since the pandemic.
She completed the BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration course in 2020 at MIMA School of Art & Design, which has since been renamed the School of Arts & Creative Industries.
“I thoroughly enjoyed attending the graduation. It was so lovely to catch up with course friends and to share the day with my family,” Emma said of returning to campus for the ceremony.
During her studies, Emma had the opportunity to gain valuable experience working on a live project when she created striking artwork to be featured in the interior of one of Teesside University’s facilities.
The designs adorn the stairwells of the £21.4m award-winning Cornell Quarter student accommodation, one of the latest developments in the University’s campus masterplan, which has seen an investment of £275m to date.
Emma, who looked to maps of the region and commuting as well as her own photography for inspiration, aimed to motivate students through her work.
She said: “All the students on the Graphic Design and Illustration course had the opportunity to work on the live brief given to us by the University – to produce environmental graphics and illustrations for the stairwells of the Cornell Quarter student accommodation.
“This showed us all what projects outside of university could be like and, in the end, all six of my designs were chosen for the project.
“Images of viewpoints looking up reminded students to keep their heads up and to think positively while photos of solid structures also had connotations of strength and support – which students need when at university.
“This was a fantastic addition to my portfolio and CV and one of the best bits from graduation was being able to show this artwork to my family in the student accommodation.”
Emma has pursued her passion and joined Durham Box Company shortly after completing her course, progressing to the role of Graphic Designer.
She added: “I get to be creative every day in my role. I enjoy how relaxed the office environment is and the amazing people I work with.
“I hope to continue to learn, improve my skills and gain new ones in all aspects of design.
“Even though the pandemic disrupted my last year at university, it actually encouraged me to try new things when it came to my work, and I think this helped me when looking for roles.
“My three years at Teesside was a great experience; I loved the variety of projects and I’m now considering postgraduate study to further my skills.”
Study Graphic Design and Illustration at Teesside University
Emma’s Cornell Quarter design