There was an encouraging buzz about the first of this year’s graduation shows – the ‘Departures’ exhibition of third-year work from the students at Swindon College of Art & Design.

Laura Rowland, whose degree course progress has been reported in past issues of Talking Shop, had interesting pack designs on show aimed respectively at the youth market, with a range of easy open closures for cosmetics products, and a refillable picnic container and pre-packed inserts for summer picnics. Both the case and the plastics trays are designed from a potato starch Cellulose material, which will biodegrade within seven weeks on the compost heap.

Also catching the eye was work from honours graduate Karine Sears, who earlier in the year picked up her second successive Student Starpack award in the Pro Carton sponsored category – this time for an innovative treatment for Toblerone chocolates.

Karine is booked for work experience at Field Packaging next month, and a day with M Y Cartons – after which she’ll be hoping to bring enthusiasm and creative energy to a full-time occupation within the industry.

With talk at the show of declining course numbers coupled with much of the packaging industry’s propensity to habitually squander the annual crop of bright new talent, we can only hope that their work continues to be acknowledged over the coming years.