Admissions Blog Posts


Last updated February 6, 2024

By Sarah Carroll

Hello, my name is Gracie Carroll, and I am a junior Communication Studies major and Visual Strategy Minor here at Furman University. This weekend I competed in The Furman Department of Art and Master of Arts in Strategic Design (MAS-D)’s annual 24-hour “Sleep When You’re Dead” student design challenge!


At 3pm on Friday, me and the other Furman undergraduates and MAS-D students met in the Roe Art Building. When we arrived, we were briefed on the competition’s expectations and split into 8 groups of 3-4 students. We were told that we had to choose one of five categories and re-imagine the customer experience for our chosen products to increase awareness, excitement, and demand for the product in a new, unique way.  This imagined customer experience included a name, logo, color palette, lockup, typography, packaging, UI/UX web page, promotional video advertisement, social media component, mockup advertisements, and a unique opportunity for customer engagement. This sounds like a lot of work for just a small group of people, but luckily we had 24 hours to complete these tasks and create a presentation to show the judges and our peers our work!


Every year, there are different product categories that participants get to choose from to brand. This year, we could decide between:

  1. Canned Meat
  2. Cat Litter
  3. Hygiene Products
  4. Shoelaces
  5. Non-alcoholic Beverages

These categories are chosen based on rising trends and opportunity for sustainability practices.

My group consisted of Alex Downey, a junior Studio Art major, and Matthew Duncan, a MAS-D student. After a few hours of brainstorming and advice, we settled on cat litter!



Because we chose cat litter which has a pretty straightforward market, we knew that we wanted to have some sort of gimmick that would make our brand stand out from the rest. So, Purrfume was born! Purrfume is an aromatherapy cat litter that smalls good but also has health benefits for humans and cats. Once we figured out this idea, we had to hit the ground running with our assignments.

We created a logo, picked our colors and fonts, and chose our packaging- a milk carton, and began to layout the carton’s design. We ended up styling Purrfume around France’s Art Nouveau style, specifically pulling inspiration from Le Chat Noir. We chose our cat and human healthy scents and named them after Disney’s Aristocats (one of our favorite movies). It was a long night! We didn’t finalize our design until around 1am.

Once we created the packaging and assembled our cartons, we were able to begin mocking up advertisements, making a website, and creating our commercial and social media components.

We worked through the night and through the morning, finally finishing all our tasks at about 1pm, with just enough time for us to run back to our apartments and change clothes before final presentations, judging, and awards at 3pm.


After spending such a long time (the full 24 hours!) working hard with my group, it was so fun watching the other groups present their amazing brand designs! There were non-alcoholic ciders, high-end sardines, another cat litter that turned into fertilizer, elastic shoelaces, and more! It was so impressive and encouraging to see how much we could all accomplish in just 24 hours!

Though it was a competition, there was so much comradery and bonding between the participants you would’ve never guessed. I met so many amazing people who I will continue to keep up with and hopefully collaborate with in the future!


My team ended up winning second place, which is such an honor considering the outstanding talent that was in the room. Though the prize money is definitely a bonus, just having this experience is something I am so grateful for. Not only is this a great addition to my portfolio, but it also taught me so much about myself as a leader,
teammate, and designer. The world of brand design was kind of foreign to me before I entered this competition, and now I am much more comfortable in that setting.

I already can’t wait for next year’s competition, but for now I need a nap!