Degree Shows 2012 Chelsea graphic design
Chelsea College of Art's graphic design communication show again makes good use of the campus' Triangle Space, this year filling it with bright colours, supergraphics, film projects, and even neon lights...
The weather perhaps contributed to what seemed like a very positive show at Chelsea this year. A smaller number of students were showing work compared with 2011's group, but there were some great projects to be seen. Here are just a few of the highlights from my visit.
The neon piece, shown above, relates to one of graduate Joel Baker's portfolio pieces (his final degree show project is shown in more detail below). Baker had the physical neon type made to complement his Amen typeface which was created for a Ministry of Sound brief. The work recently won him a D&AD Student Award. More images are at dandad.org/awards/student.
Image from D&AD's Student Awards page
The Amen face is great and no doubt took an age to perfect each and every combination of potential linking letterforms. His main project, however, was an interactive type piece called Colloquy.
Colloquy is a script which evaluates the content of writing generated in real time – the form of the words depends upon the particular word being typed and the context it's used in. You can try it out at colloquy-type.com. Displayed on a big screen and a monitor at the Chelsea show, the system is designed to create "more expressive communication," says Baker. joelbaker.net.
Natalie Doto's box of 65 edge-notched cards is essentially an analogue archive of graphic design history, searchable via a braddle-like tool. Users place a green 'index' card in front of the deck, then select a style, date, medium or design movement by inserting the needle through the relevant hole. When the cards are hooked out, the ones left in the box are the 'results' of the desired search.
A nice visual touch was that the proportions of colours used within each work are displayed as inforgraphic pie-charts. A lengthy process, but Doto's project goes some way to illustrate how we depend upon (and are used to) the research speeds now enabled by the web. More of her work at nataliedoto.com.
Isabel Gibson's Africar charity campaign for See Africa Differently blended traditional African tribal patterns with contemporary graphics to make some eye-catching car designs. Gibson's portfolio is isabelgibson.com.
And Jack Haslehurst's semaphore-inspired posters added bold colour to the space, and elements from his project were used as the exhibition graphics and floor supergraphics. "Whilst initially looking at the way codes can be visualised graphically, the project blossomed into an ideographic form of communication for the contemporary designer," writes Haslehurst on his website. "Bringing together elements of surprise, beauty and optimism; shapes and symbols combine with a specified colour palette to create original meaning." jackhaslehurst.com.
I enjoyed Matt Flynn's minimalist visual language system that condenses news stories down to a series of pictograms. For The Smaller Picture he created a series of symbols, a website at thesmallerpicture.net and, with Newspaper Club, a tabloid newspaper with each story conveyed via three symbols.
He also made a wall graphic at the Chelsea show:
Graduate Daniel Cooper recorded his travels around Europe as he interned at several design studios and agencies. It was, he says on the Chelsea graphics site, "A month long nomadic design journey, traversing Europe and exchanging my practice for professional mentoring." Not only did his travelling become an integral part of his final project, it also gave him a great deal of real word experience on live briefs. daniel-cooper.com.
I also liked Sophie Heath's An A to Z of Advertising the Mundane project, in which she came up with 26 photographic concepts for advertising a range of ordinary products and services; 'I' was for 'instant pudding', for example, while 'T' for 'tractor repairs'. sophieheath.com.
And Sophia Ray's campaign for Rough Trade, based on the 'battle' between The Digitals and The Vinyls, was nicely put together via posters and a short film trailer. cargocollective.com/sophiaray.
Another good set of promotional films came from Veronica Law and her I've Got Brains series for Rude's Thunderbirds-inspired menswear collection. You can see the film at the Chelsea show website here (go to Veronica's page). Some elements from the print campaign are also posted below. cargocollective.com/veronicalaw.
One of the stand out films of the 13 on the Chelsea showreel, however, was Joshua Stocker's music video for Gem Club, I Heard the Party. Filmed in super slow motion, it glided along brilliantly with the ethereal track. joshuastocker.com.
Chelsea's BA graphic design communication show is on until June 23 at Chelsea College of Art and Design, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU. The work is also at chelseagraphics2012.com.
I went, it was a vacuous ensemble of fluff.
Fantastic production and no concept. that is to say "All mouth, no trousers"
I don't agree with the above post, i went along on Tuesday when it was nice
and quiet. The standard of the work at times is beyond that of fully fledged design agencies, and that the content was really contemporary compared to the other UAL shows.
I'd highly reccomend a visit.
recession hasnt hit chelsea yet
I actually went along for the opening night and was really impressed.
Seriously high quality of work - basically industry standard and if you look a bit deeper I found there was some great concepts behind most of the projects. The iPads in the middle are a great feature to look deeper into all the projects and people portfolios.
Completely disagree with you Alex. I think you didn't actually spend time looking at any of the pieces.
If you had you would of realised that a strong concept was at the heart of every strong production.
The production always comes second to the concept here, and I was vey impressed with the work this year.
Particularly Simon French, Joel Baker, and Joshua Stocker. Strong ideas met with Great Production.
Some stunning work this year backed with real conceptual rigour. Some of these guys are destined for big things in the future, watch this space.
Some seriously impressive work this year; stunning level of production backed with real conceptual rigour. Congratulations to all involved and I'm sure we'll be hearing good things in the future.
The production ideas look very creative and eye catching.....visit website
I went and i disagree. Fantastic display of a wide range of work all treated in a professional manner displaying a wide range of skill and process.
Most of the projects had great core concepts, some basic but all communicated well and boldly. The show was certainly brave, adventurous and professional....
@Sally, what an unnecessarily bitchy comment.
The whole aim of the GDC course at Chelsea is to create well-rounded graduates whose end of year work - and memorable showcase - stands them in better stead to find work when they leave. Yes, it's slick and the production values are high, but it works - as has been mentioned, some of the work outstrips by some distance that of some established studios. I was massively impressed this year, as I have been in previous years, by the variety and integrity of much of the work. Joel Baker & Joshua Stocker are predictable but worthy standouts for me.
Chelsea's bark is as big as its bite.
Much of it depends on the projects assigned to the students. Some projects, more than others, promote a much more creative level of thinking. Brilliant work.
The nomadic designer project looks like a lot of fun, hats off to the lad.
Yes, very perceptive of you Gary. Just one correction, for their final project (on which the core of the show is primarily based) the students can opt for a live client-based industry project which they must propose and negotiate, or a purely self directed project which they propose within a set framework.
I was really impressed! The best show I have been so far
Personally I think that the show portrayed only a small selection of the talent on the course that was perhaps overlooked. You really had to dig deep into the computers or iPads to understand the random imagery placed on the walls and to see more of the projects - it seemed very unjustly weighted.
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