a big Bear Hug for Jen Hall

When you come down to Smiggle today, you’re sure for a big surprise! We’ve got some new fuzzy friends joining us in stores with the release of our new range, Bear Hugs!

There’s something extra special about these bears too. They were designed by Jen Hall, an RMIT student who entered and won the 2011 graphic design collaboration between Smiggle and RMIT!

But rather than have us tell you about this collaboration, read on to see what winning designer Jen has to say about it all.

Hey Jen, so what were you doing at RMIT when this collaboration came about?

I entered the Smiggle collaboration at the beginning of second year, halfway through a Diploma of Graphic Design at RMIT in Illustration class. The brief was presented by the guys from Smiggle and we all set to work trying to think of a new theme and style for the next big range. I was very surprised to be picked for the top group of designs when we presented our work at Smiggle HQ. I was even more surprised to be selected as the final winner.

What was your inspiration behind Bear Hugs?

I really wanted to keep it simple and decided on a papercut stencil style. I started by sketching a panda and the bear theme grew from there, after lots of internet searching and learning all about different bear species and classifications! I think animals are always appealing and bears can be either cute and cuddly or fierce and cranky so they appeal to everyone.

What’s your favourite Smiggle product?

I actually love the cardboard bears that sit on your desk and keep you company.

What do you think of the program?

As part of the collaboration prize I got 2 days work experience with the graphic design team at Smiggle. It was great to talk with them about the way they work and to work out how the bear hugs range would roll out across the full product range. I think the program is great, definitely mutually beneficial and a great experience for any graphic design student.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to be working as a graphic designer in Melbourne, taking on even more interesting projects, collaborations and wild cards.

The 2012 graphic design collaboration with Smiggle is about to begin all over again., Have you got any hot tips for this year’s batch of RMIT students?

Go nuts! Don’t think too much about what will appeal to absolutely everyone, just go with something quirky that you are really excited about. It can be a really simple idea but executed with a really interesting illustration style. Plan how your design will work across all 5 colours from the very beginning too.

Support Jen and her range of designs by checking out Bear Hugs IN STORE NOW!

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