Introducing Alice Sisson

September 2014 marked the beginning of my degree at Loughborough University having completed A Levels in Art (A*), Textiles (A), and Law (B). Six weeks into my textile design course, I found myself transferring to a graphics based programme after discovering textile design was not for me. From a young age I have always been passionate about art, design and creativity but my experience in the field of graphics was somewhat limited.

Highly conscious of this, and insistent on obtaining a degree from Loughborough (ranked 2nd in the UK for Art & Design), I threw myself whole heartedly into every brief and learning opportunity to understand techniques many of my fellow students had grasped from preparatory foundation courses and so on – a welcomed challenge.

The industrial placement constitutes my third year of the BA Hons degree in Visual Communication and Illustration. The course offers highly stimulating project briefs, designed to equip a young designer with fundamental knowledge, skills and theories to perform within the industry. My first two years have been spent exploring typography, web design, photography, illustration and art theories just to name a few topics. An independent learning style allows masses of capacity where high quality and diverse outcomes are derived from the same brief – it is rather fascinating to observe individual peers develop their work so drastically differently from one another yet originate from the same starting point.

During my second year I found myself engrossed within the realm of packaging design. I was thrilled to secure a placement with FC Cartons as it is a brilliant opportunity to gain a highly valuable learning experience within a packaging environment. My role as a ‘packaging innovation’ intern will comprise largely of in-depth research into commercial business, ergonomic, technological and inventive concepts which could enhance the performance of a package, eventually deliverable by FC Cartons. Our Kongsberg CAD Table will enable me to produce bespoke pieces and test their suitability as an innovative product through meticulous examination, observation and on-going development.

Since starting at FC Cartons in July, I have begun a variety of projects which have provoked thoughts of additional pathways my career could take upon graduation, such as branding, marketing and business operations. FC Cartons largely supply clients in the food and beverage sector which has inspired my research into new packaging concepts and food identity in correspondence to ever changing consumer desires and requirements.

As the year progresses I am looking forward to venturing onto new projects, furthering my research and committing to FC Cartons with my creative input. Undoubtedly, my knowledge will benefit profoundly from working with industry experts within a family run business which I hope to utilise in the final year of my degree.