Emeli Sandé and Ben Howard may have stolen the show at the Brit awards this week but it was also a very special night for one Norwich student.

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Matthew Callaby spent the evening rubbing shoulders with the likes of Simon Cowell, Harry Styles, Paloma Faith and Justin Timberlake after winning a design challenge for Sony Music.

The project, run by Norwich University of the Arts, saw the 21-year-old, from Thorpe St Andrew, charged with designing the “visual identity” for the label for this year’s awards, including the invitations and envelopes for its aftershow party and a limited edition print for the goody bags.

Matthew said: “I got to go to the Brits and the party to see how the design went down, and I’ve got a great piece for my portfolio,” he said. “It was an amazing experience being introduced to the directors of Sony and having them really genuinely happy with my work. I met music video directors and marketing directors and had a great chat with Justin Timberlake.”

The challenge began when London-based creative agency Foam asked NUA students to pitch ideas for the project.

Shortlisted candidates then got the chance to sell their designs to a panel of experts including Foam creative directors Phil Clandillon and Steve Milbourne, and Emma Pike of Sony Music.

Matthew, who is in his final year of a degree in graphic design, was chosen as the winner.

He spent two weeks at Sony’s London offices finalising his designs.

Mr Milbourne said: “Running the competition with NUA has been great from start to finish. The work entered was of a high calibre and it was particularly close between the three finalists. They all produced extremely high-end and professional work.

“In the end we chose Matthew’s because it was bold, adventurous and you could see the sheer effort he’d put into creating a stand-out piece of work. It completely nails the desired effect of branding the Sony Music party as the fun, exciting and contemporary event that it is.”

NUA course leader Andrew Campbell said: “The Sony Music challenge is just the type of brief that gets the students going – big event, big client, big expectations. We are really pleased with the level of work achieved and the insightful feedback the students have received from Steve and Phil throughout the process.

“We are so pleased for Matt and know that he has enjoyed producing the work, and the pressure of working to industry standards and industry deadlines. It’s a cracking piece of work by a very talented individual.”

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