Buckle up with Bulletpoint Design

Buckle up with Bulletpoint Design

‘Seat Belt On’ poster competition.



Young winners of a poster competition will have their warnings about wearing seat belts displayed at schools across Bradford. Designs by three pupils were selected from more than 100 entries produced by 11 to 15-year-olds.

‘The shortlist was decided by a public vote on the Telegraph & Argus website. More than 750 readers cast their votes to give the judging panel the most popular images, out of which they chose their top three. The winners will work with professional artists to mass produce their posters.’ begins Ben Barnett, writing for the Telegraph & Argus, 24th November 2009, and this is where Bulletpoint Design takes up the story.

Chris Roberts, Bulletpoint’s design manager, was invited to act on the judging panel by Davina Hartley of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board who had organised the competition. Chris remarks, “the freshness and sophistication of the ideas behind the winning designs really struck me – very impressive considering the ages of all three winners.”

The three winning designers

1st – Zainab Daya (11) of Dixons Allerton Academy.

2nd – Mohammed Ali (11) of Nab Wood School.

3rd – Thusneem Rahman (12) of Nab Wood School.

“I have always being a big fan of young people coming up with super creative ideas. And this project has delivered,” remarks Bulletpoint’s creative director, Paul (The Bulletman) Kerfoot (43), looking at the winning entries.

A different designer is briefed and allocated to work on each of the three designs, developing and refining the stylistic approach each requires.

“One interesting thing about this project was that for Thusneem’s poster we had to source and edit superhero cartoon characters from a photo library web site called ‘istockphoto’. This was done to help bring the project in under budget – as commissioning original professional illustrations would have been prohibitively expensive. As explained to the winning pupils, in the real world of design we have to remain flexible, resourceful and commercially viable. Of course anyone can download these type of images yet it’s what you do with them that counts,” comments Paul, “I think this was an important production process for the young people to see and take away with them.”

Accompanied by their teachers, Maxine Crowther of Dixons Allerton Academy and Amanda Leggett of Nab Wood School, the three winning pupils were invited to visit the design studio at Bulletpoint’s offices to review how their ideas have been developed and to gain a real taste of the world of work.

“Well done on winning the ‘Seat Belt On’ poster competition,” says Paul as he introduces each of the young people to their assigned designer. “What a super set of ideas. Now buckle up and strap yourselves in for a fabulous work experience journey!”


From concept to completion


Chris Roberts (34) worked with Mohammed Ali’s graphic ticks and crosses design, Dan Madden (22) helped develop Zainab Daya’s graffiti poster and Gareth Stubbs (28) adapted Thusneem Rahman’s superhero cartoon strip.

Each designer presents a ‘Blue Peter style’ walkthrough of the stages from concept to completion, from creative idea to print production. This includes:

•            development and production of the original idea

•            digital artwork execution (on Apple Macs)

•            styling and production technique demo.

Please click here to download a document showing the process outlined above (Adobe Acrobat PDF file).

At then end of each presentation the work is discussed and everyone has an opportunity to comment on how the original ideas have been adapted.

“To see my work professionally finished makes me feel very proud,” comments Zainab Daya.

“Fantastic! I love my improved poster!” enthuses Thusneem Rahman. “The cartoon characters are great!”

While Mohammed Ali exclaims, “Wow! My new poster looks so different yet still the same!”

Before and after transformation



Each of the pupils is given a digital (PDF) copy of the presentation for their poster as a permanent record of a super project and so that they can report back to their class or year and give a presentation of their own.

As Paul comments, “To be a great designer you need to be passionate. It also helps if you are comfortable with presenting and sharing your ideas with an audience.”

Clients – not just young people

With all Bulletpoint projects we ask all clients to approve and sign off finished artwork before anything is printed. In this case the young people themselves are our clients and we ask for their signatures as approval.

Bulletpoint’s creative director Paul Kerfoot remarks, “This sign-off stage gave me an idea. It’s always better to go beyond the brief and exceed expectations. It’s not enough to just do the artwork and print for the final posters so they can be displayed in schools across the region. There’s something missing, something obvious when you really think about it. WHO really designed them? There needed to be a story, an explanation to complete the bigger picture and celebrate the competition winners…”

It’s not about us it’s about them

The simple addition of the original idea in miniature, beside the designer’s signature, and their details (bottom left on each poster) finishes off what turns out to be a great job and a super little story.

Please click here to download the three finished posters (Adobe Acrobat PDF file).

“After all it’s not about us it’s about them,” says Paul. “Here Bulletpoint Design became the artwork executioners; well trained and briefed ‘Mac robots’, facilitators and part-time mentors. For this job Bulletpoint were not the ‘creative’ designers. I hope other design companies can follow suit and give young people work experience visits they’ll never forget. If delivered properly the experience can be potentially life changing.”

“The work experience visit for the young people was an excellent idea,” remarks Davina Hartley (Bradford Safeguarding Children Board), “and gave the actual designers of the original posters the opportunity to see how their ideas have been transformed! I am sure the young people will go on to pass their shared experience with others as their own enthusiasm was inspired. The three designs are absolutely fabulous and I am really pleased with how the whole project has worked out.”

FREE printed copies of the finished A3 posters are available from Davina at BSCB – contact details below.

Maxine Crowther agrees, “I found this project empowering for students. To receive someone’s belief in their work raises confidence, and through self-belief it raises their aspirations and achievement.”

“What a great afternoon! Thoroughly enjoyable and a pleasure!” enthuses Amanda Leggett. “The designers took the original poster and made them even better. The end product was professional and well thought out with the original ideas still visible. Thank you for the experience!”

For further information:


Davina Hartley

Accident Prevention Coordinator

BSCB – Bradford Safeguarding Children Board

Tel : 01274 437979   Email: davina.hartley@bradford.gov.uk

The three winning designs. Please click here to download the three finished posters (Adobe Acrobat PDF file).

From concept to completion – work experience visit. Please click here to download a document showing Bulletpoint Design’s walkthrough presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF file).