Three New Zealand school students have created winning designs for exercise books that will be donated to students at low decile schools throughout the country.
The national Art for Books competition, run by Warehouse Stationery, invited primary, intermediate and secondary school students to design a new cover for Impact 1B5 books with iconic New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell judging the 500-plus entries.
Thousands of limited edition books bearing the three winning designs will be printed by Warehouse Stationery, and a total of 120,000 creatively covered books will be distributed to low decile schools in early February to coincide with pupils returning to school.
Phil Toomer, principal of Glenavon School in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, says the donated books will be greatly appreciated by staff and students at his decile one school. “We struggle to get well over half of our students set up with stationery at the start of the year,” he explains. “At a cost of $30 to $40 per child, and with some families having four or five children, the bills can really add up.”
“Added to that, many families struggle to afford to replace items quickly if they get lost or damaged during the year, so sometimes the school has to provide stationery while the children wait a few days to buy a new book,” Toomer adds. “Donated resources like these books mean the students have what they need logistics-wise, so we as staff can focus on the important job of teaching.”
The winning cover designs were decided by Frizzell, who found plenty to praise. “I was impressed by the standard of many of the entries – there was a lot of enthusiastic doodling, and some really creative responses,” says Frizzell of the overall competition standard. “A real love of schooling is alive and well, if these designs are anything to go by.”
Lilah Bowers, from Springlands Primary School, Blenheim took out the top prize for the primary school level with a colourful depiction of children painting a school-themed mural. “Lilah’s design is original, clearly stated and remarkably well envisaged,” says Frizzell. “It all came together and really stood out from other entries.”
Rangeview Intermediate student Alyssa Morgan, from Te Atatu, West Auckland, won the intermediate school category with a graphic pencil illustration that Frizzell says stood out for its originality and contemporary treatment of an age-old school tool. “It’s a great school metaphor, and she’s done it in a way that is consistent, clear and graphic. I also liked that it referenced the relationship between pencils and exercise books.”
Angel Chen, from Whangaparaoa College, Auckland, impressed the judge with her conceptual thinking regarding the subject of school in her lightbulb-themed artwork. “Angel has rendered the design with great care and attention,” says Frizzell. “It definitely shows that something is going on - a lightbulb moment even!”
Each of the three winning students will receive an iPad and a $250 Warehouse Stationery voucher, and their schools will also receive a $1000 Warehouse Stationery voucher each.
Two highly commended illustrations were also given credit by Frizzell, who said they showed considerable skill and promise from the young artists. These were Isabella Janssen of St Martins School in Christchurch, and Terri Morrison of Havelock North Intermediate school in the Hawke’s Bay.
Warehouse Stationery CEO Pejman Okhovat says the campaign should instil pride in the young artists who have designed the book covers. “The Art for Books competition was an exciting opportunity for students to show us their creativity, and see their artwork come alive on an exercise book that will be available exclusively at Warehouse Stationery stores nationwide and used by students all over the country,” he says.
“We really hope the fun designs by students will encourage others to get creative in the classroom themselves and will inspire kids to participate in next year’s Art for Books competition.”
Impact 1B5 books are the biggest selling school exercise books in New Zealand retail; they also display the S Mark for quality which shows they comply with all of the required quality standards as set out by the New Zealand Government.