Throughout their time at London College of Communication (LCC), our students are given a range of opportunities to connect with industry. Many explore real-world contexts through live briefs, take part in programmes and events to build their creative networks, and channel their skills into initiatives such as Talent Works or our Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS).
Working with partners ranging from global brands to start-ups, local businesses and charities, they not only develop their expertise and experience, but begin to consider future career paths across and beyond the traditional scope of the creative industries.
While some opportunities are extracurricular, others are embedded in the structure of our courses. Many undergraduate degrees in our Design School feature a Professional Practices unit, where Year 2 students form effective, multidisciplinary teams to work with industry clients.
A recent Professional Practices project introduced students to Bloody Good Period (BGP), a charity dedicated to fighting for menstrual equity and the rights of people who bleed. In addition to distributing period products to those who are unable to buy them, the BGP team raise awareness of period poverty, run education sessions for asylum seekers and refugees, and act as a convenor of the government’s Period Poverty Taskforce. They also run their Bloody Good Employers programme, which encourages partner organisations to create ‘huge, long-term positive change to normalise menstruation in […] workplaces and support everyone who menstruates at work’.
To mark the launch of Bloody Good Employers, LCC students worked with Bloody Good Period to develop concepts for 2 creative strategies alongside related events and promotional ideas. Elements stretched across designs, branding and visual identities for promotional posters, digital graphics and period resource boxes, all of which aimed to support the aim of improving knowledge, understanding and empathy for employees.
We caught up with a member of the project team, BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction student Olha Kurenda, about her creative practice, highlights from the collaboration, and her experience of LCC so far.
Why did you apply to BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction at LCC?
Growing up in a family with 2 generations of engineers and mathematicians, I wasn’t really encouraged to pursue a design degree - especially in a country where creativity is narrowed down to ‘drawing’. However, when it came to choosing my course, I was able to come up with some creative ways to convince my parents to let me move to London and study design.
I had a background in fashion and didn’t want to focus on just 1 creative industry, but instead have multiple options. So, after around 18 months in fashion, I decided to switch my course. Being an active idea-generator and wanting to try a range of activities, BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction fully suited my creative needs and allowed me to build a diverse portfolio of work.
Do you specialise in any particular theme or approach as part of your creative practice?
I’m all about storytelling and thorough research, which I believe makes every project more personal and relatable to bigger audiences. In my second year, I've become especially interested in the advertising industry, and plan to pursue a work placement at an advertising agency in my upcoming year on the Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS).
I believe that no matter of the route I take for DPS, the experience will really make my portfolio more sophisticated and professional, and will help me to become a much more experienced creative.
Why were you interested in working with Bloody Good Period?
The topic of the project was quite unusual and new to me, and the BGP team gave us a range of tasks to complete. Without hesitation, me and my team wanted to go for the biggest challenge!
What was your project brief, and what did you aim to achieve?
Our brief was about raising awareness and alleviating period poverty in UK workplaces, with a particular focus on encouraging UK organisations to provide free period products to their employees.
I believe everyone is aware of the lack of women in position of power who, in many cases, face the problem of period poverty in the workplace. Therefore, we focused on visually tapping into the mind of an average CEO: a white, cisgender male in his 50s.
Tell us about your creative process – how did you reach your goal?
The core of every project is good research and a good understanding of your brief, and I was lucky enough to be in a team of likeminded people. We all made sure that everyone’s potential contributions were discussed and visualised in an appropriate way, so I had a chance to come up with a multitude of ideas, as well as try a range of different roles.
We tested a range of ideas – the majority of which were discarded. It was a lot of experimentation, testing and ‘cleaning up’, but the more bad ideas you might have, the bigger the chance of your ‘eureka’ moment happening.
What were your highlights of the project?
Working on a live brief as a part of my course was definitely a big highlight, especially when we were able to get our first batch of feedback from the client and release our nervous anticipation!
I'd also like to acknowledge the fact that I belonged to a team of great people who I might even collaborate on other projects in the future.
What were the best things about working with Bloody Good Period?
It’s definitely great to see an organisation shining light on such common issue that isn’t discussed and well-known even in the most progressive environments.
What have you most enjoyed about studying at LCC so far?
The facilities are great, and I wish I’d had more time to use them before the pandemic. Compared to other educational environments that I’ve been in, both LCC’s university spirit and its people are much friendlier and welcoming as well.
I also really feel like it’s given me the chance to learn more about a variety of jobs and disciplines available in the creative sector.
"Proactive, compassionate, inclusive"
"Our work at Bloody Good Period drives forward the menstrual equity conversation across the UK. We are driven by activism, and by what we know is right, so when the chance to work with LCC students on the creative direction of our new employers’ initiative came about, it was a no brainer,” he said.
“It's so important that this work is seen and heard by young people everywhere so that they know what their future employers should look like: proactive, compassionate, inclusive. For students to work with industry directly through schemes like this is something we wholeheartedly support, and we hope we get to do it again.
"Even for us to get to come and talk to so many creative young minds about Bloody Good Employers was a real privilege - one we're really grateful for.”
Friday 28 May 2021 is Menstrual Hygiene Day, which aims to highlight the importance of menstrual care, challenge social taboos and raise awareness about the issues faced by people across the world who don't have access to adequate sanitary products.