Voice Lessons at Plymouth College of Art

Nick Dellanno takes a trip down memory lane to give the next generation a taste of life in the creative industry, with a series of one hour challenges.

EDGraphicsWS-3642Longer ago than he probably cares to remember, our Creative Director, Nick Dellanno, left Plymouth College of Art – or PCAD, as it was then – to find fame and fortune in the world of advertising. After a successful stint in the City, he returned home to Cornwall and a year or so later, co-founded Voice. Over the past few months, wanting to encourage another generation of South Westerners to make the big leap into the industry, he’s been able to team up with the College, who wanted to provide valuable links between education and business – something that, as a local agency, Voice are only too happy to provide.

The outcome was a series of workshops at his alma mater – the first of which took place last Thursday, 26th February. Within groups of between five and eight, Nick met volunteer students from the second year of the Extended Diploma in Graphic Design and Illustration course, and very quickly set them about their work. The tasks in question were a series of one hour branding challenges, designed to give them a taste of the pressure they’d likely find themselves under, should they decide pursue their subjects at degree or career level. Some of the briefs were real, some were imagined, but all were current, local and relevant, and all were restricted to simply a brand or product name. Having already reached a great design course, the guys were all accomplished artists in one form or another. But equipped with only a single piece of paper and a pencil, the real challenge for the students was to try and think laterally rather than to rely on visuals. Although basic, the plan was to highlight the single most important aspect of any piece of creative work – the idea. And with their Final Major Projects just around the corner, good ideas could make all the difference over the next few months – let alone in the coming years.


As for the results, they were diverse to say the least. Mission accomplished, in that sense. All the briefs were unique – collaboration is not only commonplace in agency life, it’s vital to producing fresh, surprising, unpredictable work. Besides, the students were already competing against themselves, and against the clock, and with Nick’s guidance they managed to produce a very encouraging array of work, despite being outside their comfort zones. So well done to all involved.



nick-PA-selfieAnd as a final message from Nick – he’d just like to wish all the guys he met the best of luck in their forthcoming FMP. He very much enjoyed the experience, and with any luck, will be seeing Plymouth College of Art again sometime soon.