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Broadstairs College students’ shirt designs hit vintage car show shelves

Four Broadstairs College students got to see their designs printed onto shirts and sold at a vintage car event this weekend.

Oh So Retro Classic Car Show teamed up with the Broadstairs College on a ‘design a shirt’ competition, offering the winner a prize of vouchers and free shirts with their creation on it.

Initially planned for last year’s event, organiser Lee Collier had to call it off due to Covid but continued his commitment to supporting students from the EKC Group College at the September 26 outing.

In addition to the competition, Oh So Retro offered 100 free tickets to learners – an opportunity seized upon by dozens of Motor Vehicle and Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair students.

Now in its eighth year, The Oh So Retro Classic Car Show attracted 1,500 cars and thousands of spectators to this year’s event in Margate.

Lee said: “I do try and engage teenagers and young people because I know how fortunate I’ve been in my life to have people who motivated and supported me, much like the College does for its students.

“It’s great to give them something to aim for and it was really interesting to see what they came up with.”

The overall winning design, submitted by Art and Design student Luke Lancaster, was picked from around 60 entries created by students from across the College’s courses.

Luke said: “My inspiration was from an obscure 80s racing car. I sketched the car then experimented with the shapes and perspective to give a feeling of speed. I wanted the image to have some life.

“I imported the image into illustrator - working digitally was a nightmare, because it was a new program for me and the clock was ticking! 

“I didn't expect to win, I went to the show with my family, I enjoyed the cars and made loads of sketches, my mum put on one of my t-shirts then and there and wore it because she was so proud.”

Despite the 21-year-old being crowned the winner, three other designs were so good that Lee announced them as runners-up and has also had their designs printed.

Lee notes: “I only work with a few designers normally, so to see such a variety of different styles and ways of thinking has been really eye-opening and beneficial.

“In the end I had to go with my instincts of what would sell and be commercially viable. While Luke’s use of colour and abstract design really caught my eye, in the end I couldn’t turn down any of the top four entries.”

All the printed designs will be available online and at future Oh So Retro events.

The students’ efforts have also been applauded by Matthew Bowen, Broadstairs College’s Programme Director for Creative Industries, who added: “The Oh So Retro t-shirt competition was an excellent opportunity for our Creative Industries students to work with a client to a live brief giving them real world insight to working as a creative professional.