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We are pleased to share the two winning designs of our festive gift wrap competition 2023. The competition was open to students across UAL and asked them to submit a festive design that would be made into gift wrap and sold in not just a shop during the festive period.

And the winners are… Renata Altenfelder Dias and Anoushka Patel. We spoke with both winners to find out more about their design and how they approached their competition entry.

What was the inspiration behind your design?

Renata: “I enjoy working with symmetry and geometric structures. Among geometric shapes, I find the cube and its perfection the most fascinating. My inspiration often comes from architecture, building facades and other urban elements. I was also intrigued by the Boxing Day holiday, which is not celebrated where I grew up. For this particular design, I decided to explore a different interpretation of its name.”

Anoushka: “During the design phase, I delved into my early memories of the holiday season, using my personal experience to incorporate a nostalgic touch. To bring this out further, I added colourful illustrations to help enhance the sentimental feeling.”

Do you have any advice for aspiring wrapping paper designers?

Renata: “Start by researching how other people work with it and what is already out there. Working with patterns can be tricky at first. Take your time to explore and find a method that you feel comfortable with. Once you get the hang of it, feel free to experiment a lot. Take the opportunity to challenge yourself and create your own unique design.”

Anoushka: “When crafting wrapping paper designs, it’s crucial to be mindful of scale, especially when incorporating patterns. The balance between intricate details and how they translate on a larger canvas is key. Ensuring patterns scale seamlessly is crucial for a harmonious flow.”

What is your favourite thing about the holiday season? 

Renata: “When you live in another country, it’s hard to see your family. I take the opportunity to travel home and spend time with them at this time of year. I also like to go for walks to see the Christmas decorations. It is nice to see how the cities change during the holiday season.”

Anoushka: “My favourite part of the holiday season is returning home to India and being with my family and friends again. The joy of being close and connected with loved ones makes it truly special. The shared moments and the sense of togetherness make the season so warm.”

What is your favourite gift you’ve ever received? 

Renata: “I remember when I got my first bicycle. It was wrapped in coloured paper in my grandmother’s living room. That bicycle brought me many experiences that are now happy memories. My family teaching me how to ride, my first falls and long rides. I still love cycling to this day.”

Anoushka: “I don’t have a specific favourite gift because each holds sentimental value. I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind every present. It’s the effort and consideration that matter most and I am grateful for the thought behind each thing that I receive.”