Gibsons, the family-owned jigsaw puzzle and board game company, recently collaborated with Reigate School of Art on an exciting project. Gibsons have worked with the Reigate School of Art on multiple projects over the last three years, giving the students valuable experience and contributing to their course content and providing Gibsons with new perspectives and fresh, innovative ideas. The collaboration has produced some excellent work, including wonderful illustrations that Gibsons have featured in the Piecing Together range of puzzles that were created for people with sight difficulties or those living with dementia.
This year Gibsons are working on an on-going project, their Green Game Plan, which works to explore new ways in which they can improve their current game collection in terms of design and sustainability. With this in mind, they decided to set the students the challenge of reimagining one of their existing games, with sustainability as the key focus. The students worked in teams and were allowed to choose which game they worked on; Pass the Bomb, Hare & Tortoise or Wembley.
Head of Product Development, Emily Charles, looks forward to the collaboration every year and wanted to try something new with this year’s project. “In previous years we have focussed on puzzles with the RSA students, so this year we wanted to shake things up and give them something very different to get their creativity flowing. The games we asked them to reimagine have been in our range for many years and it's exciting to get new ideas and perspectives on them” she says. “It was important that the students worked as a team to utilise each other’s strengths whilst also exploring their own style and interests as an artist.”
Working with a real company as part of their course provides a great insight into the type of job the students might want to go into after they graduate. The students were put into groups and tasked with reinventing the game together, which they did through research, idea development, and prototype creation. This provided a great opportunity for them to be imaginative and gain a real understanding for product development.
Emily says, “ Gibsons puts community at the heart of everything we do, so to be able to offer the students in our local area a valuable opportunity to work on these projects during their course and to receive industry feedback on their designs is a real privilege. We hope the experience will help them to work towards shaping their careers in the future.”
Each group of students presented their work to the Gibsons Product Development team when they visited their classroom for a special creative feedback session. Product Development Assistant, Demi, says “It was amazing to see each project come to life from the design stages to the finished product. We have been able to gain insight into what we could potentially improve on and how well our games appeal to a younger audience. All the students had created such thoughtful and unique designs, from a spray paint-inspired Pass the Bomb to a hand-drawn Hare & Tortoise with sewn playing pieces! The students did an excellent job presenting their ideas and went the extra mile with their prototype creation.”
Course Tutor Zoe Lodge says “Our Creative Practice course is new with the focus firmly on industry and sustainability, therefore the link up with Gibsons this year with their project brief has been a perfect fit. Year 2 students work within their own specialist pathway be that fine art, graphics, game design, 3D or fashion & textiles and this collaboration was an excellent opportunity to group learners together so they could each offer their own skillset and consolidate their ideas to present a cohesive overview to the Gibsons team. The Art School have really appreciated the collaboration, feedback and support offered from both Emily and Demi and we hope to be able to repeat this in the future.”
The students' creations have given the Gibsons team some exciting new ideas for future game development and are pushing ahead with their Green Game Plan. Gibsons will continue to support the RSA and look forward to hopefully working on another collaboration next year.