Digital Media student Shelly's designs for eco-friendly cleaning product company hit supermarket shelves

13 January 2022

CQU Digital Media student Shelly Baker's plans to run her own graphic design business are off to a solid start' after one of her designs was selected by an Australian eco-friendly cleaning products company for their packaging.

The Digital Media students were required to redesign the packaging for Derivan HealtheClean as part of their course.

Derivan CEO Steven Patterson said Shelly's design ticked all the boxes.

'I was keen to work with (teacher) Michelle Roberts and her students as I knew she has high expectations and is a great teacher'' he said.

'While we do have two full-time graphic designers on staff' we are also keen to have students involved.

'We think this is good for us as it gives fresh ideas and potentially a broader appeal' and of course we have as part of our ethos a desire to help the community at large and giving students a real-life brief is a good way to keep things interesting for them as well.

'It was a pretty tight brief' but the work submitted was fantastic - which we would expect from Michelle's students - and Shelly's work was the one that fitted the brief best and had what we believe to be the most aesthetic appeal.'

Shelly' who is studying Digital Media online from her home in Warners Bay' New South Wales' was excited that her first design job for an external client was successful.

'I was thrilled when my design was chosen by Derivan's CEO Steven Patterson to represent the range of products but walking into a store and seeing it on the shelves' well that was just the best'' Shelly said.

'Michelle Roberts' engaging teaching style was integral in my success. Because of this' I imagine everyone in the course did well. The unit was a lot of fun and Michelle made it feel like we were all part of a team.'

Shelly said she'd always considered herself a creative person.

'Although my regular employment is in education' I was able to find ways to integrate my passion with work. I began with designing print material and moved quickly into digital marketing'' she said.

'I am a big believer in always trying to improve yourself. Before moving to NSW' I was living in a country town with not a lot on offer' so I found myself looking for something of value to fill in time. I originally enrolled to become a teacher' but quickly realised that life is too short not to pursue what really makes you happy. CQU offered me the flexibility to do what I want in hours that suited me.'

The success with Derivan has given Shelly the confidence to follow her passion further.

'Just recently' a poster I designed as part of the Visual Communication Design unit was one of the ones chosen to promote studying Digital Media through CQU. It is such a great feeling to see your work printed and ready for display'' she said.

'I have since convinced my daughter to enrol in Digital Media through CQU and together we have plans to eventually have our own company focussing on graphic design and video content. While we work to complete our degrees' we have been taking on some small projects' gaining confidence' and building our knowledge along the way.'