Kirklees College student scoops prestigious D&AD ‘Wood Pencil’ award

A  degree student from Kirklees College has won a prestigious design award for her film promoting autism awareness.

Lydia Haigh, 21, from Hanging Heaton in Batley, has received a coveted Wood Pencil at the D&AD (Design and Art Direction) New Blood Awards 2017.

Lydia, who has just completed a BA (Hons) in Fine Art for Design at Batley School of Art, created a series of short films for the National Autistic Society titled ‘Too Much Information’.

Competition entrants were asked to create a project for an industry standard brief from a series of global brands including Amazon, Hasbro, Crowne Plaza, John Lewis, BBC and Royal Army.

Lydia chose to tackle the National Autistic Society’s brief to create a film challenging the stereotypes and stigmas of autism and show the real people behind the label.

Her submission was one of only 12 winners selected internationally for the brief to win a pencil award.

Commenting on the project, Lydia said: “I’d done a bit of film previously within my course but I wanted to challenge myself, so the fact it was a film only brief appealed to me.”

“The subject matter was also something that I was interested to learn more about.

“I did a lot of research with people with autism and friends and family to see what kind of things they wanted to see in a campaign.

“Many had found previous campaigns to be a bit dismal and miserable, so I wanted to make sure mine was informative and fun.

“I wanted to explain how people with autism get a sensory overload in certain situations, and use inanimate objects to translate that message.

“The films are trying to make viewers who don’t understand, or do not have a connection to autism, better understand the condition and that people living with autism need more time as they process too much information.”

Lydia’s films are available to watch here: