Product Design students receive Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award

Whiteley and Humphreys met when they began their BSc degree in Product Design at the University of Huddersfield. They quickly realised that they had a lot of ideas in common and – inspired by the animation module that was built into their course – they formed EG Visuals, soon to be based at the University’s3M Buckley Innovation Centre.

The company creates high quality 3D animations for a wide range of uses – including presentations, promotions, product demonstrations and training.

An early client is the major engineering company David Brown Gears, for which EG Visuals has produced an eight-minute training film that illustrates the complex meshing that takes place in gearboxes. Elliott and Gareth have also produced animations as part of the course, including a design for afoldable toilet, based on a brief provided by the Royal Society of Arts. Their website includes samples of their work.

The Duke of York Entrepreneur Awards

The early success of EG Visuals meant that it was one of the roster of student start-ups from throughout the region that received The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards, handed out at the 3M BIC by His Royal Highness in person.

The partners say that the hallmark of EG Visuals is sheer clarity.

“We explain things and show how they work,” said Elliott, from Soyland, near Halifax, whose father is an automotive engineer, meaning he has always had a fascination for the inner workings of machines.

Humphreys, who is from Doncaster, said that the massive increase in online marketing meant that the need for explanatory animation was growing.

“You can’t pick something up and play about with it online, so you must have an animation that shows you what a product does and how it works,” he added.

The duo are soon to graduate from their Product Design course, which has been invaluable, they say.

“Overall, the course is about design. But we also get into manufacturing processes and that teaches us about detail, about how products are created, and about why they are created,” said Gareth.

The partners will now locate EG Visuals at the 3M BIC, making use of its facilities and the back-up and mentoring available from the University’s Enterprise Team.

They will carry on as a two-man operation for the time being, but at some point there could be a new recruit to the team, someone to add an artistic dimension to their technical rigour.