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Manchester design students launch charitable venture

Design students  at the University of Manchester have formed a design company to produce and sell self-designed greetings cards in aid of Cancer Research UK. PiccoPrint is the result of a team seven creative minds meeting on the final-year design enterprise course, a module specifically tailored to encourage students to take their entrepreneurial baby steps within the creative sector.

The students have designed a set of four original Christmas cards to be sold in independent stores around Manchester with 100 percent of the profits being donated to Cancer Research UK.

Ami Sibbick, managing director of PiccoPrint  explained why  they decided to create greetings cards: “With greetings cards, once they have been designed, printed and distributed, we can take a step back and concentrate on our other university work.

“Our first idea was to create customized gift bags, but soon realised costs were a bigger factor and the profit margins were smaller…our main priority is to raise as much money for cancer research.”

By supporting Cancer Research UK, the charity’s logo will appear on the designs. The association has enabled PiccoPrint to secure free printing from a Manchester based printers therefore limiting each team-member’s financial investment into the business while expanding the profits available for the charity. Meanwhile, applying a credible brand to the cards will amplify their appeal to customers

PiccoPrint’s marketing team is now in the process of researching possible retailers to stock the cards in time to reach the festive custom. They aim to sell the cards in stores such as Cornerhouse, Magma, Shared Earth and Cancer Research charity shops. They believe the small independent stores are the most accessible retailers which represent their target market for greetings cards of ‘quirky’ design.

“We’re also creating a non-seasonal range for throughout the year, as well as seasonal ones such as Valentines Day and Christmas,” said design director Rebecca Williamson.

PiccoPrint represents an excellent example of students employing their skills learnt at university into business.

The cards will be on sale in Manchester soon. For more information on PiccoPrint log on to http://piccoprint.tumblr.comor follow their progress on twitter @PiccoPrint.

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