Alumna celebrates major design win

A BCU Alumna has had her design selected to refresh the interior décor for Epson’s demonstration facility at its UK headquarters.

Keely Russell, who graduated in Textiles Design, Print and Embroidery in 2021, now works as a Surface Designer at CMYUK.

After completing in the company’s Creatives in Residency Live (CIRL) programme, she competed to refresh the interior décor for Epson’s facility in Hemel Hempstead.

Epson briefed those taking part to design wallcoverings, T-shirts and baseball caps for demonstrators and customers. Those involved had to produce several designs to suit a Japanese theme, reflecting Epson’s corporate roots.

After careful consideration, Epson chose Keely’s wallcovering design depicting an aquatic scene, featuring pictorial elements with tonal surface effects. Artwork was created using painterly drawing skills and then digitised. Following which, the design was recoloured, customised and printed.

In addition, garment designs from all three competing, including Keely, were selected to be made into demonstrator workwear and customer merchandise.

On learning that her designs had been picked for the Epson’s HQ Demonstration Centre, Keely said: “It was such a surprise to learn that my design was picked, and I can’t wait to see it installed.”  

Debbie McKeegan, official partner and education lead for the CIRL project, said: “The Epson Design brief presented a live commercial opportunity for the graduates.

"Working with industry professionals on a short timeline presented some creative challenges all of which the graduates have overcome.”

The win isn’t the first time Keely has succeeded on a client’s brief.

The graduate won the New Designers 2021 award last year, after winning the Silentnight Sleep Design Award. Keely’s brief called for new fabric designs that would revitalise the traditional divan bed and headboard for a more style-conscious consumer.

Thanks to her success, she received a £1000 prize to support her design career, along with the opportunity to collaborate with the Silentnight development team to produce her designs for sale through the company’s website and its Manchester ‘Sleep Hub’ Showroom.