Our very own Joseph Brooks has won the WorldSkills UK Graphic Design Gold Medal!

What an achievement.

More than 400 young students and apprentices took part in the WorldSkills UK National Finals, where over 80 competitions played out in November at 21 venues across the UK.

Competitors underwent a seven-month process of regional heats and intensive training before stepping up to pit their skills against the best of the best.

Learning the news:

The winners learned of their victory during a special live programme from Channel 4’s Packed Lunch studios, presented by Steph McGovern.

The reaction:

Steph McGovern is quoted as saying:
“This is just brilliant. Everyone should be jumping for joy, what an early Christmas present that is. They must have put in some graft to smash it like that.”

Ben Blackledge, Deputy CEO of WorldSkills UK, said:
“These young people are a real inspiration. They are an example to us all and should be celebrated. To have excelled after such a difficult year shows that their dedication and skills are truly excellent.
“Skills are the lifeblood of every economy, creating high quality jobs, rewarding careers, and our competitions are proof that there is amazing talent in every part of the UK.”

The journey begins…

Joe joined Rhino in August 2021; he joined the team at Rhino as a Graphic Design Apprentice through Oldham College. Joe has been involved in Rhino’s development and recovery and growth since the pandemic.

Throughout Joe’s apprenticeship, he has been mentored and guided by our senior creatives, Steve Philips, and Lee Morris, who have shared their industry knowledge and provided intrinsic support at every part of his apprenticeship.

On 29th November 2022 Joe completed his apprenticeship end-point assessment which resulted in a pass, with anaccolade from his Oldham College Tutor Amanda Walker.

The WorldSkills Brief:

Following in the footsteps of our Junior Creative and previous Apprentice Ben Catherall, Joe was guided towards the WorldSkills competition by Oldham College and his colleagues at Rhino. After Ben’s previous success (and silver medal) we all believed it would be a great experience for Joe to be challenged and possibly get Gold!

Joe applied for the 2022 WorldSkills Graphic Design competition and with the support of Rhino and Oldham College, he was successfully accepted through the qualifying stage. Joe and around 80 others moved forward to the semi-finals (Stage 2). During the semi-finals, Joe was tasked to do a full rebrand for Original Source. The brief was set by Flow Creative, and competitors were tasked to do a full rebrand for the labels and packaging which Original Source use for their range of shower gel products.

On the 7th of July 2022, 8 contestants were informed that they had made it through to the Final (Including Joe!). The Final was set for the 15th of November 2022 and competitors were informed it would be a whole new challenge ahead of them. For the final contestants would be monitored and time bound for the last challenge, not only were the rules stricter but many of them were away from home. The final took place in Middlesbrough at Middlesbrough College. Here contestants were given a brief set by Densu, to create alternate packaging for a new Heinz product called ‘Plant Proteinz’.

The support and guidance that Joe had received up to this point along with the wise words ‘always refer back to the brief’ – combined with his exceptional creativity secured Joe’s winning place.

For Joe’s final designs he focused on what he had been taught, most importantly to always refer to the brief. Joe understood that the Heinz brand already had an iconic and recognisable style, so keeping within brand guidelines and familiarity was important. But adding his own bit of extra flare is what really won the Judges over. Joe was able to create a new label for 2 new flavours. He also produced a 3D render of a new ‘on the go’ tin, which was hinted at in the original brief, the idea allowed Joe to create a product which would connect further with the target audience. Joe was even able to create a short animation for the promotional product and again show off his large range of skills and abilities.

The results were live streamed on the 25th of November and the Medal Ceremony is to be held in early 2023.
Watch our live office reaction here:

Once again a massive well done to Joe!