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Art & Design

Win for Rainham illustrator Esther Johnson

Love Medway Team

5 Oct 2023

Rainham illustrator Esther Johnson has had her design chosen as one of the five winners for this year’s Prince’s Trust and Nescafé Azera by Design Competition 2023.

Esther set up her illustration business ‘Designed by Esther’ with the support of The Prince’s Trust Charity in 2017, and she has worked with museums and heritage sites to create bespoke illustrations for their gift shops. Esther has since worked with over 50 companies including The Natural History Museum, House of Commons and Canterbury Cathedral.

For the last three years the Prince’s Trust and Nescafé Azera have offered a design competition to create new limited edition tins for their coffee.

Esther is one of this year’s winners with her design ‘Sunshine’. The brief was to ‘Make a Difference’, and Esther’s interpretation was make a difference to someone’s day, illustrating sunflowers and roses to create a bright and cheery design that people would like. Esther says that the Prince’s Trust, design and coffee are three things that are very close to her heart!

After leaving University because of developing depression and anxiety, Esther found a part time job in a fabric shop, where she was introduced to the Enterprise Programme at The Prince’s Trust.

With no design degree and her last qualification being a Grade D in Art, Esther felt it unlikely she would get work in the design industry, saying, “Joining The Prince’s Trust and partnering with my mentor Peter Wright, was crucial to building back the confidence I had lost.”

Her first design job was three new collections for the Historic Dockyard, Chatham back in November 2017. She has gone on to work with local schools, businesses, and Heritage sites. 2023 has seen new ranges for Canterbury Cathedral, a Suffragette range for the House of Commons and a bespoke London range for the Natural History Museum.

She has worked with the Prince’s Trust as an Ambassador, taking part in events and speaking on the Enterprise Course Programme.

To win one of the places in this competition has been an incredible opportunity, which she hopes may further her design career. She says, “Becoming a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust feels like a full circle moment. Being able to share my story and help other young people has been a valuable part of my journey.”

The Prince’s Trust Charity has partnered with Nescafé Azera for the last three years, offering five young people supported by the Trust the opportunity to design a limited edition tin for their Azera Coffee.

Winners received £1000, 2 concert tickets and their design printed on tins sold nationwide.

The tins are now on sale, for a limited time, in supermarkets nationwide.

Photographs by Esther Johnson

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