70 years in an emoji: Palace wants Platinum Jubilee emblem ‘for the smartphone generation’

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File photo dated 29/05/19 of Queen Elizabeth II meeting guests during a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London. The Queen is set to enter the milestone 70th year of her reign, as she prepares to mark the anniversary of her accession away from Sandringham for the first time in more than 30 years. Issue date: Friday February 5, 2021. PA Photo. Elizabeth II - the nation's longest reigning monarch - will reach 69 years on the throne on February 6, meaning she is just one year away from her Platinum Jubilee. - Yui Mok/PA
File photo dated 29/05/19 of Queen Elizabeth II meeting guests during a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London. The Queen is set to enter the milestone 70th year of her reign, as she prepares to mark the anniversary of her accession away from Sandringham for the first time in more than 30 years. Issue date: Friday February 5, 2021. PA Photo. Elizabeth II - the nation's longest reigning monarch - will reach 69 years on the throne on February 6, meaning she is just one year away from her Platinum Jubilee. - Yui Mok/PA

Buckingham Palace has launched a competition for aspiring young artists to design the official emblem for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The winning design will be used prominently throughout next year’s festivities and on all official merchandise.

It will "capture the spirit" of the occasion and symbolise the historic milestone, marking Her Majesty’s seven decades on the throne, “for the smartphone generation”.

Open to entrants aged between 13 and 25, the competition, run in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), closes on July 16 and the winner will be announced in the summer.

The entries will be judged by a panel of graphic designers and experts chaired by V&A director Tristram Hunt, who described it as a “phenomenal” opportunity for an aspiring artist or illustrator.

Mr Hunt said: “This is this incredible moment to help define the monarchy emblem for the smartphone generation.

“Because in a way, which is different to the Diamond Jubilee and Golden and Silver, this icon, brand, logo, emblem whatever you want to call it, will be a kind of digital product as well, and so I think that's a really exciting design challenge.

“And then you're also designing the emblem for the first Platinum Jubilee in British history, so I think that's an exciting summer challenge for young creatives.”

On the anniversary of her accession in February, the Queen, 95, will become the first British monarch to reign for 70 years, triggering a year of celebrations throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.

The Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with a four-day bank holiday weekend, beginning on Thursday, June 2, 2022, and will include a concert of stars, a pageant and street parties.

The winning emblem will feature on all Jubilee merchandising and global communication and will be used throughout the festivities across digital and social media.

Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926) in her Coronation robes, with crown, sceptre & orb, with studio backdrop of Westminster Abbey; by Sir Cecil Beaton (1904 - 80) English; 1953. C-Type colour print. - PA
Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926) in her Coronation robes, with crown, sceptre & orb, with studio backdrop of Westminster Abbey; by Sir Cecil Beaton (1904 - 80) English; 1953. C-Type colour print. - PA

The successful designer will also be included in the celebrations and will receive an invitation to the Platinum Party at the Palace, the BBC concert held at Buckingham Palace.

Nine runners up will also be included in the celebrations and their designs – along with the winner’s – will be displayed at the V&A next June.

The judging panel includes Margaret Calvert, a road sign designer who in 2016 was awarded an OBE for services to typography and road safety, British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori, recently awarded an MBE, and Gabriella Marcella, founder of Glasgow print studio Risotto.

They will be joined by experts from the V&A, Royal College of Art and the Design Museum, as well as a representative from the Royal Household.

File photo dated 02/06/53 of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the coronation at Westminster Abbey. The Queen will have reigned as monarch for 69 years on Saturday. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday February 5, 2021. The PA news agency takes a look at her reign through the decades, as she prepares to reach the 69th anniversary of her accession on February 6 - one year away from her Platinum Jubilee. See PA story ROYAL Queen Pictures. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire - PA Wire
File photo dated 02/06/53 of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the coronation at Westminster Abbey. The Queen will have reigned as monarch for 69 years on Saturday. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday February 5, 2021. The PA news agency takes a look at her reign through the decades, as she prepares to reach the 69th anniversary of her accession on February 6 - one year away from her Platinum Jubilee. See PA story ROYAL Queen Pictures. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire - PA Wire

Mr Hunt added: “Yinka Ilori’s work is so joyful and bright and engaging and speaking to modern Britain. At the same time we've obviously got Margaret Calvert, whose design aesthetic has helped subconsciously for us to understand Britain through the road signage.

“Hopefully that mix of judges will be really helpful for how they can then take a decision, because in a sense it's a story of the monarchy but it's a representation of Britain.

“Monarchy is a global institution in many ways – so it’s Britain in the world and the world in Britain – a multi-faceted challenge.”

Asked about the relatively short time period entrants have to design an emblem he said: “Hopefully thinking about this time next year when all of our freedoms will be returned and we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee will be a source of optimistic inspiration for them.

“You want to work to a deadline, designers need a good deadline, so this is doable.”

Ms Marcella suggested that entrants "start with the basics", noting that the first ideas often create the most “emotive and impactful graphics.”

She said she was inspired by old board games and their packaging, which had “super punchy” graphics and vivid colours.

“Follow your instincts and have fun with it,” she advised. “It is a celebration after all, and the energy that has gone into making it always shines through for me.”

Katherine Dewar design was chosen from over 35,000 entries in a nationwide competition - PA
Katherine Dewar design was chosen from over 35,000 entries in a nationwide competition - PA

In 2010, CBBC programme Blue Peter launched a national competition for children aged between 6 and 14 to design the official emblem for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

It was won by 10-year-old Katherine Dewar, from Chester, who was chosen from 35,000 entries.

Her design, featuring a crown above the Union Jack alongside columns of diamonds, appeared on everything from posters to commemorative tea cups and flags, during the celebration in 2012.

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