Burton and South Derbyshire College

Creative students at Burton and South Derbyshire College were recently given an insight into the sign industry when they assisted Hardy Signs with the installation of large-scale vinyl signs across the College. Hardy Signs worked alongside students, sharing knowledge and demonstrating the best techniques for installing the various printed substrates. Students were taken through the process of producing graphics, from material selection to ink usage and colour matching. The College’s Main Reception has now been transformed with the addition of printed wallpaper, vinyl wrap on the support pillars and an inspirational word-cloud that greets those arriving in the foyer. The signage promotes key messages for the College, from celebrating international awards to promoting the College’s Skills Promise. The work experience project is part of a wider partnership between Burton and South Derbyshire College and Hardy Signs after the College’s launch of its Sign and Print Academy in association with Hardy Signs last year.

2017 saw the successful growth of this joint venture, cementing an already long-established partnership. The Sign and Print Academy based at the College’s Lichfield Street Campus has been set up to develop specialist sign-making and printing skills, using the latest technology, previously unavailable in the area.

The Academy now boasts the latest wide-format print technology allowing the production of paper, banner, vinyl and wallpaper with a photo-quality finish. Further hardware now available to students includes dye-sublimation print on to fabrics, laser engraving and even 3D printing, all under the guidance of College tutors and supported by Hardy Signs.

Nik Hardy, Managing Director of Hardy Signs Ltd said: “We’re proud to work in partnership with the College, and the Sign and Print Academy is going from strength to strength. We’re giving students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the industry and this helps to develop the sign makers of the future.”

Sarah Collinson, Head of Marketing at Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “The Academy represents a significant investment for Burton and South Derbyshire College. This project is a clear example of its success and also highlights the value that industry partnerships have to offer across the curriculum. Giving students the opportunity to work with employers on live projects and gain industry skills is something we are passionate about, and is a vital element of the College’s Skills Promise.”

In addition to these works, further display signage throughout the college building has been installed allowing notices, events and information to be effectively conveyed to students, staff and visitors. Hardy Signs have also introduced a freestanding HD digital screen within the reception area offering a dynamic method of communicating and engaging students.

We recently met with Assistant Principal and Dean Chris Beech to discuss the thriving business relationship between Burton & South Derbyshire College and Hardy Signs.

Over the years, we have been vital college supporters by investing in machinery, technology, the Sign & Print Academy and providing a whole array of signage from the outside and throughout.

We recently teamed up with Gavin Price from Playtonic Games and the level 3 students to create colourful and dynamic wall graphics for the new Gaming Suite. The walls are full of gaming history and even career facts about job roles and average salaries to excite the students for their next journey.

The key thing the students wanted to achieve was to make people feel like they were in a video game as they walked to one of the most creative suites in the building. We think they smashed it.

We added more wall graphics while visiting the college, as well as the revamp for the gaming suite’s opening. BSDC are famous in the area for its skills promise. This is BSDC’s key concept and ethos that you will earn a qualification and develop the skills needed to make an impact in your future career. We designed the different abilities in a cartoon graphic and pasted them to the pillars in reception and on various walls throughout the college.

We hope to continue our long-standing relationship with the college, as many of our ethos’ align and we have a shared goal of educating and helping the next generation find their own success.

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