2nd-year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Catarina Mestre won the design competition for this year’s Graduate Show with her concept that celebrates students who work to break the boundaries.

My goal for the Graduate Show design was to value Portsmouth’s students and the city as a whole. The University is full of students who push themselves every day, who want to innovate and be the best version of themselves whilst doing what they love. I wanted to give us all a voice and show that we can shape new ways of thinking.

Visually, I went with the idea of “shaping” and designed squares that represented innovative students. This became the central aspect of the identity, which then allowed me to map the design onto the shape of Portsmouth.

When thinking about where to study, Portsmouth felt like the right place for me because of its vibrant atmosphere. It’s a dynamic place with the perfect balance between traditional and modern. The city offers a rich source of visual inspiration which has helped me better understand design and improved my creative thinking and problem-solving skills. The University combines excellent teaching and top-notch resources, and all these factors stood out and appealed to me.

The course has given me all the tools I need in order to be the best designer I can be, both professionally and personally. It has taught me important values and methodologies related not only to better design-practices but also for interpersonal skills. I’m currently researching different ways to be time-resourceful, in both my coursework and freelance opportunities, and I’m testing ways of approaching client work.

I can’t stress enough the quality of the teaching and the lecturers’ desire to see us succeed.  We have access to so many resources for research and can attend guest talks by renowned professionals on industry-informed design practice.

I see the degree as a milestone that will not only propel me into working life but also develop my personal intellect, social skills, and ethical choices. I hope this combination will help me stand out from the crowd after completing my final year.