The secret is out for students

Two students can finally share their secret after winning a prestigious worldwide design competition that included work from Sir Paul Smith.


Tim Wilcox and Tom Horbury, who study Graphic Design, individually submitted design work to SECRET 7, an annual event that combines music and art to raise funds for charity.

Tom Horbury and Tim Wilcox

The Graphic Design students entered the competition having created designs for their Visual Communication brief. The process required them to choose a song from a list of 7 and analyse the lyrics, then come up with an original, seven-inch vinyl sleeve design.

The 7 tracks were picked from 7 of some of the best-known musicians and bands around and then pressed 100 times to 7″ vinyl. Secret 7 then invited creatives from around the world to interpret the tracks in their own style, resulting in a one of a kind sleeve for every 7” vinyl EP. The creatives were made up of famous names including Sir Anish Kapoor and Sir Paul Smith, together with established artists and designers, as well as students and trainees, which they selected through artwork submitted to their website. All selected designs were displayed in an exhibition in London.

All tracks were for sale but the paying public didn’t know who created the sleeve, or even which song it was for until they parted with their cash. Tom, who choose Etta James – At Last, and Tim, who choose Churches – Clearest Blue, couldn’t reveal which sleeves were theirs until all the tracks had been sold.

Tim said, “We didn’t believe our designs were picked at first, it was shocking as it’s quite a big thing in the design world, so it was really exciting. I thought I’d been sent the wrong email!”Tim Wilcox Churches Clearest blueTom Horbury Etta James At Last

Karen Rough, Director of Learning and Quality at Mid Cheshire College said “To have one student chosen would have been an honour for us, but two accepted entries are testimony to the strength of the curriculum offer open to our students in the Creative Arts. I would like to commend these students for their excellent work and for beating stiff competition, not just from the UK but worldwide.  Anyone lucky enough to have purchased their sleeve will I am sureappreciate the amount of work they put into their entries.”“It’s great to be able to share with everyone now which sleeves were ours.”