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Published on 19 July 2017

Italian immigrant Alberto Speziali, now aged 51, was searching for a new home for his family and the happy chance of seeing a Love Bedford banner on a bus at Milton Keynes led him to learn more about the county town. 

Here he found a thriving Italian community who helped his wife find a job, which was not available in their home country. And Alberto signed up to a HND Graphic Design course at Bedford College.

More than that he as won a YCN Award for his entry to an international competition set by the Fedrigoni company to design: a highly covered Christmas gift using paper from the Constellation range of paper.  His design was a unique Lyra Music Box (inspired by the Lyra constellation) containing 38 hole-punched strips printed on the special paper. When fed into a music box mechanism, they play music. 

“My 13-year-old daughter helped to punch the holes to match the pattern of notes. It plays a variety of music,” said Alberto who went on to explain how more structured the British approach to design was compared to the Italian “free form”. He believes the British method better enables the designer to take the client “with them” through the creative process to a place where a imagery is suitable for a multi-cultural audience. “In Italy a client will come with a fixed idea and want you to recreate it on computer, here in the UK,  I am learning how very different the process can be.”

Advanced Practioner Jeffrey Tribe explained: “To become a professional graphic designer, a creative individual needs to be able to take a client on a journey to the unveiling and explain how that image will be perceived by the audience. It is a collaboration and a skill which we strive to teach.”

Alberto will go to the Barbican in London in September to receive his prize and see his work published in the YCN’s Design Annual.

This is the eighth year running that students from Bedford College have won awards at the YCN beating competition from art colleges and universities.

Students can now complete a full Graphic Design BA (Hons) at the South Bank Arts Centre at Bedford College (verified by the University of Northamptonshire) without leaving the county town. 

“The point is that our students beat designers from the best universities across the UK, work closely with leading employers and have the opportunity to showcase their talents in national competitions before going on to great careers,” said Jeffrey Tribe, Advanced Practitioner.

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