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SWDDS awards

The South West Design + Digital Student Awards

Showing what the South West is made of

Powered by P+S, the SWDDS Awards were launched as part of our ongoing campaign to tackle the way institutions approach design education.

We were also frustrated by the lack of culture and creativity funding anywhere west of London, meaning students in our region weren't getting the same leg up into the industry as their peers in the capital. And so, we launched the SWDDS Awards to celebrate local talent and encourage key creative commercial thinking.

Each year, we invite final year university students to submit their best work in one of three awarding categories, and battle it out for up to £3,000 and a paid internship with us at P+S.

a group of people sitting in an awards ceremony

Three categories. Three winners. And no brief.

To make the competition accessible to time-pressured final year students, they have the option of submitting work they've already created – as long as it fits into one of our three categories.

Graphic Design

In other words, offline design projects. Think 2D, 3D and print.

Digital Design

Online design projects if you like. Think websites and digital ad campaigns.

Motion and AR

In other words, offline design projects. Think 2D, 3D and print.

As for the brief? There isn't one. But we expect every project to have purpose, commercial value, and market, cultural, or social demand.

The three best entries will be awarded £1,000, with one of our victors chosen as our 'Ultimate Creative Champion', receiving an additional £3,000. Any of our 10 finalists are also in with a chance of winning the 3-month paid internship at P+S.

Our 2023 Awards ceremony

2023 was another in-person year for the South West Design + Digital Student Awards, we saw students travel from all across the South West of England to showcase their talents. This year it was all about designing different, so we were looking for work inspired by unique visions of the future.

There was no brief per se. But we wanted to see ideas that flowed from the students’ creative dreamscape. Ideas that would celebrate self-expression, positivity and making a difference. Ideas that painted a picture of what could be. Check out some of the incredible entries.


A big, bold bash

In 2022 we asked students to have fun, let loose, design outside the lines – and we weren’t disappointed. From a fabulous film festival we only wish was real, to a powerful awareness campaign for sexual harassment, the over 140 projects submitted ran the creative gamut. Some of the work from our finalists included a sustainable coffee brand, an editorial exploration of disinformation, an impactful animation of OCD – all executed with care and lots of talent.

To celebrate the finalists, our winners, and all their hard work, we were finally able to host an in-person event for the first time in three years!


The creative throwdown

From saving the bees to protecting our oceans. From ending period stigma to raising awareness of cervical cancer and Aphasia. From celebrating poetry to promoting Welsh history and culture. And from stunning social commentary to flying high with nature’s aeroplanes.

2021’s talented finalists blew us away with the variety, energy, and commercial class of their projects. It’s why they were our top picks of the 165 strong entries we received from 19 different universities. And it’s why an extra special commendation award was added to the mix.


Creativity in quarantine

Even a global pandemic couldn’t stop the South West’s creativity, with almost 200 entries for 2020’s SWDDS Awards – and it didn’t stop us from celebrating local talent, either.

We followed the exact same judgement process as in previous years, but kept things exclusively online. Our judges whittled down the entrants to just 10 finalists, before hosting their face-to-face final interviews over video chat instead of at P+S headquarters.

When it came to announcing the champions, our Winners’ Ceremony may have been virtual, but there was no shortage of excitement. We all came together via video chat once again, to congratulate our finalists’ outstanding work and celebrate our overall winners.

Don’t worry if you missed out – check out our 2020 video here, including the amazing work we received from all our finalists, and announcing this year's champions!


Design takes the stage

This year’s design awards brought in talent from 21 universities across the South West of England and Wales. And our finalists gave it their all with work that was bold, refined and well-executed. From a creative exploration of ‘losing it’, to some fantastic branding and packaging projects, and even an app to reduce food waste. Every year we think we’ve seen the best of the best, and every year we’re impressed by the level of talent and professionalism brought to the table.

We hosted our awards ceremony at our HQ in Easton, Bristol where our finalists were invited to rub shoulders with industry professionals with plenty of food, drinks, music and laughs.

Think you've got what it takes?

Find out more about entering the SWDDS Awards.