Inaugural award winner inspired by Glasgow’s Art Deco style

Katie Smith

The first Collins Debden Graduate Award has been awarded to communication design student Katie Smith.

Katie’s work was inspired by the iconic Glasgow Art Deco restaurant Rogano and her family tradition of Christmas Eve visits there for lobster and champagne. In the work she imagines her sister and herself through the ages, each decade beautifully depicted in a separate course.  

Diary and stationery supplier Collins Debden has collaborated with Communication Design at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) for this new award – a prestigious design award that will see a communication design student’s designs featured in Collins’ diary and stationery collection. 

Katie (pictured) was presented with the first annual Collins Debden Graduate Award at the School’s Degree Show this month, and will go on to work with the Collins’ design team to apply her designs to diaries, notebooks and other stationery products. 

In a show of appreciation for the rich history and prestigious legacy of both institutions, the winning design will highlight the unique cultural significance of Glasgow, where both Collins and GSA were founded in the early 19th Century. 

Richard Sloan, Collins’ marketing manager, commented: “Just as William Collins was given an opportunity in Glasgow 200 years ago, Collins is now giving opportunities to young people in the city to make their mark by having their designs featured in Collins’ famous collection.” 

“For several years, Collins has been championing young designers in Glasgow, but this feels like the culmination of that. To formally work with such an historic and prestigious institution as The Glasgow School of Art really feels like a great fit for Collins, and it will be so exciting to see Katie’s designs come to life in our 2025 Collection next year.”

Undergraduate programme leader of communication design at The Glasgow School of Art, Steve Rigley, said “We are absolutely thrilled for Katie. Her winning submission is informed by extensive research into the history of the Rogano, a Glasgow institution, and by the elegance of 1930s era fashions. Her final book has been bound by another communication design graduate, Glasgow bookbinder Gillian Stewart, and so the whole award-winning project offers a testament to the excellence and innovative spirit of our students and graduates.”

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