1st October 2019

The Java Café saw the celebration of 18 year old Olly Gisborne’s competition winning logo design for the new café in the Hi Tech & Digital Centre. The award that Olly won was an appropriately Hi-Tech Oculus Go Virtual Reality Headset. Olly was presented his award for winning the competition by Principal and CEO of South Devon College, Laurence Frewin, in the presence of the Hi Tech & Digital Team, Steve Caunter, Gareth Day, Adrian Bevin, Charlotte Bounsall, and Head of Commercial Services, Matt Green.

Following the official presentation of the award, we sat with Olly to get an insight into the process he went through creating this logo and what it was like to work directly with the College in getting this design up on the walls of the Hi Tech & Digital Centre.


What are you studying?

“I am studying the Level 3 Digital Media: Games and Interactive Media course.”


What made you take on the challenge of designing the Java Café logo?

“I’ve been looking to get into graphic design so it was a good chance to practice logo design and the prize was also very enticing. I’m really into VR and investigating its possibilities but had usually been out of reach for me. So overall, a chance to develop my practice and a chance to get into something new.”


What gave you the idea for this design?

“There were two main inspirations. There was the element of technology being in the Hi Tech & Digital Centre and then the name ‘Java’ is to with the island rather than my original thought being to do with the software. But the island is where a lot of coffee beans come from and that’s where the mountains in the logo came from in the green section of the logo. In the purple area, I used a circuit board style design to emphasise the element of technology as it is easily recognisable. It’s also easy to use in a bunch of different places. For example, it’s already been used on the new reusable loyalty coffee cups you can get here at the College so it acts as a significant part of the brand.

“The colour scheme was originally entirely purple but then one of my tutors said that it would be nice to add in the green as well because it ties in with the colour codes of the level of the new Centre with the ground floor being purple themed and the first floor being green. This also has the connection of the colours from both South Devon College’s and University Centre South Devon’s branding that symbolises that a wider range of courses and students are together in this building.”


How was it working with the College on this project?

“It was very smooth. I submitted my first draft for my competition entry and after finding out my design had been chosen out of the shortlisted submissions, the Marketing department at the College invited me up to have a chat and work through some tweaks for branding purposes which involved taking my theme and drawing up some basic sketches of other options to lay out my design. The font was also changed to increase its legibility and now my logo is up on the wall. So, the logo you see now has had a bit of evolvement from the original design but still includes everything my design was based on.”


Where does your logo or graphic design background come from?

“In all honesty, I don’t have a background in it. I’ve got a background in art and illustration but logo design specifically in programmes such as Adobe Illustrator is not something I have had much experience with. I’ve always had an interest in it though as branding is a crucial part of any business. Also, the more skills you have the more hirable you are as an employee so it was a good opportunity to take my initial interest, put it into practice, and now I have some real work experience out of this competition as well if I wanted to pursue a more graphic design focused career. The skills from this work really well with my course as one of our tasks recently was to produce a logo design for a fictional games company.”


How does it feel to see the logo up on the wall?

“It’s been an honour design it and an honour to see it now being used.”

The College are incredibly proud of Olly for supporting with a logo design for the new Java Café in the Hi Tech & Digital Centre. His professionalism throughout the entire process once winning the competition was of a level you’d expect from a fully qualified practitioner. From working with him, you would have never known there wasn’t a lot of graphic design experience under his belt but that just goes to show what promising futures lie ahead for Olly.

Congratulations Olly on leaving your mark and legacy here at the College and winning the main prize from the competition. We hope that the Oculus Go gives you even more opportunity to learn new skills and techniques and highlight even more paths you have the option of taking in the world of Hi Tech & Digital.

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