Recipient of FUTURE FWD Scholarship announced

Zak Group is proud to announce Aaron Reid as the recipient of the 2021 FUTURE FWD Scholarship.

Created in partnership with the globally renowned art and design institution Central Saint Martins, this £30,000 scholarship provides full maintenance and support to a BA Graphic Communication Design student from an underrepresented community.

“Aaron has the passion, perseverance and drive to become an excellent graphic designer. His maturity, coupled with passion and the determination to pursue a future in graphic design immediately stood out. I have no doubt that he will make a great contribution to the discourse of design,” says Zak Kyes, Creative Director of Zak Group.

Aaron discovered graphic design through his previous experience in visual merchandising. During the pandemic he took the initiative to retrain, teaching himself the foundations of graphic design, with the goal of applying to Central Saint Martins.

“Graphic design is a discipline I have always been interested in. So, when an opportunity to join the UAL Insights programme arose, I took it and this helped me to further develop the skill set I needed to apply for the BA Graphic Communication Design course. Ultimately, my goal is to start my own agency, but I’m excited to explore all avenues and really enjoy the degree to its fullest!” he says.

The scholarship, starting in September 2021, provides Aaron with full maintenance and support for the three years of his degree.

The Design Council’s The Design Economy 2018 report states that only 13% of jobs in the design industry are held by people from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds. This lack of diversity in the industry is reflected in arts and design university courses.

Zak Group recognises that the first step towards making a positive change in the industry is to create a level playing field within design education.

“The FUTURE FWD scholarship represents a life changing opportunity for a highly talented BA Graphic Communication Design student to benefit from a world class education and develop leadership potential, free from the pressures of financial anxiety. We are proud of our association with Zak Group and share their commitment to amplify diverse voices and create a more inclusive graphic design community,” says Rebecca Ross, Programme Director of Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins.

Asel Tambay, Art Director at Zak Group and Central Saint Martins alumnus believes that education is central to creating a more inclusive design industry.

“Providing an equal start for students is critical for creating change, especially in light of the UK government’s announcement to cut funding to art courses in higher education. This will only create further barriers for the next generation of design talents,” says Asel.

Zak Group hopes to expand the scholarship in partnership with other design studios. “If you run a studio, and you support our agenda, contact us.” says Zak Kyes.

Applications will open later in the year for 2024/25.