Gilesgate Story Challenge design students 1000pxThis year, New College Durham supported the Gilesgate Story Challenge – a charity fundraiser, started in 2019 by Simon Berry, an Optometrist based in Durham, aimed at raising awareness of current world matters.

Local primary schools receive a different topic and are asked to write short stories linked to the theme. The theme this year was ‘wildlife’ and all profits from the book sales will be donated to The Wildlife Trust.

Our FdA Visual Arts, Level 3 Art & Design and Level 3 Graphic Design were given the live brief to develop and design illustrations for the stories. In a very short timeframe, the group used their creative freedom to produce some fantastic results using a range of different techniques, from ink work to digital illustrations.

Gilesgate Story Challenge design students PoppyAll of the submitted illustrations were chosen and have been published. The students involved were invited to the book launch at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve to meet the client and some of the authors. The book is now available to buy in Elvet and Bailey Gift Shop in Durham – the first run has already sold out - and it will be available in Waterstones from January.

Simon Berry said:

“It was really great to receive support from NCD this year. We’ve always been keen to include as much illustration as we can in each project, it’s such an important part of a book. It has been wonderful to see our authors faces when they read their words and see it brought to life on the page. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was so impressed by the quality of the illustrations received – their imagination captured the stories perfectly!”

Clare Dickenson, Lecturer at NCD, commented:

“This has been such a fantastic opportunity for our students, they were positively buzzing about the whole experience. It was lovely to see! We hope to get involved in the cross-collaborative project with local primary schools again in future years.”

You can see more extracts from the book here -  pdf Gilesgate Story Challenge 2022 Illustration Extracts (1.34 MB)