Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Exhibition Review: D&AD New Blood 2012

Hot off the press from our day out at the D&AD New Blood Exhibition 2012 we bring to you our top picks and highlights from the graduate show. The exhibition of this years finest design graduates has taken a new twist with the relocation to London's trendy Spitalfields Market, an awesome space surrounded by quirky shops, market stalls and eateries fit for the throng of hungry young creative's and providing some interesting eye candy for the suited locals more familiar to the territory. Installed within a capsule inside the market place, the exhibition provides an intense visual experience with plenty to inspire. We took a group of students who enjoyed chatting to eager graduates and collecting business cards by the handful. D&AD had also organised school tours with leaders from specific industry backgrounds to provide a more informative approach to the event (which was very well received) whilst we browsed and drank tea soaking up the atmosphere and reliving memories of our own graduate shows! 

We were particularly impressed by the standard, range and presentation of work in the Staffordshire University Ba (Hons) Graphic Design and Ba (Hons) Illustration show space and unanimously voted it  our 'best of show'. Having not previously had Staffordshire on the radar for it's creative courses we were suitably impressed by the range of printed products they had on show from ceramics and table cloths to beautifully presented books. Andy Taylor's '10% Human 90% Bacteria' graphics project involving actual bacteria was also a particular highlight! We were also won over by Melanie Milne's table cloth and place setting designs, and the delicate drawn ceramic designs of an un-named graduate (below right). 

We also picked out two illustration graduates from Norwich University Nicola Jones (below left) and Grace J (bottom)  for their skilled use of media / processes and the maturity of their work.

Another university that burst forth onto our radar was the American InterContinental University. We had a lovely chat with one of the lecturer's who explained that although they are really an American University they actually have a London division. They were also exhibiting a delightful wealth of interesting work in particular that of Adrienne BonDurant who graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Graphic Design (above right).

Finally we stumbled across the work of Visual Communication graduate Catherine Auld of Ulster University (above). Her pretty picnic packaging and surface design project called 'Picniq Onglay' made us think of long summer afternoons lazing in the park with lashings of ginger beer! Beautifully designed and expertly mocked-up. 

Overall the show was particularly successful for a number of reasons. It was neat and compact without that visual overload of some of the larger shows. The new location made the experience all the more enjoyable so you could extend the day, have a nice lunch and do some shopping whilst getting a great inspiration fix. It was very student / school friendly with lecturer's on hand to answer questions and the addition of specific tours for subject specialisms. And finally, it put some otherwise relatively unknown University's on our UCAS map! All in all a great day out, here's to next year!

What are you waiting for? The show is only on for one more day so why not treat yourself to a visit to see some awesome graduate work now

- Jess 

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