Gradwatch 2017: Camberwell UAL Undergraduate Design Degree Show

Here’s our favourite work from Camberwell UAL’s Undergraduate Design Programme, including an illustrated Jataka tale and a typeface inspired by North East England’s steel making traditions.

Camberwell UAL’s Undergraduate Design Programme degree show had a great selection of work by students on the BA Graphic Design, Illustration and 3D Design programmes, as well as Foundation Graphic Design and Illustration courses. Here is some of the work that stood out for us:

Yiyi Zheng – BA Illustration

For her final year project Zheng created an illustrated book titled The Niveous Deer, an adaptation of an ancient Buddhist Jataka Tale. The world she has created is incredibly detailed; each spread is packed with carefully considered elements that draw the viewer in. Even while busy and colourful, there is something very restrained and delicate about her style.

On her website, Zheng provides a detailed insight into her research process, the Dunhuang cave paintings of ancient China that influenced her style and how she broke down the story into narrative spreads.; @yiyi_anit

Ella Maisie – BA Graphic Design

Maisie had a couple of interesting projects on display, like Spoon Newspaper – where ingredients from a traditional English breakfast become the starting point for every story and a satirical cookbook titled McDonalds.

What stood out most is a game she designed called Funny Trolls which is a set of cards, each with a fictional illustrated character, but a real tweet she found in the Twittersphere. It’s a mirror to the times and would make for a fun dinner party activity.; @swigofink

Olivia Bennett – BA Graphic Design

Bennett’s graphic design practice is greatly influenced by her family’s roots in the Middlesbrough/Redcar area in North East England and their association with the erstwhile steel industry. Her heritage has inspired several projects like a book titled A Family History: Dorman Long, which an exploration of the steel industry across the world includes interviews with ex-steel workers.

What stood out the most is a typeface called Dorman Long which she developed after the chance discovery of a discarded steel girder which read ‘Dorman Long & Co Ld Middlesbrough England’. The association with her own family history and interests was eerily uncanny and inspired her to design this type.

Sijie Liew – BA Illustration

While at Camberwell Liew has developed an interest in drawing on location, and creates ‘visual essays’ of her observations. She’s done this in several neighbourhoods of London, including Peckham and Hackney. For her final project she brought together her drawings of Canary Wharf into a zine that quite accurately captures the mood of the financial hub.; @sijie.illustration


Yan Yu Lee – BA Illustration

For her final year project, illustrator Yan Yu Lee, has created a wonderful little book that documents what she cooked during her years as an international student in London. Her style has the ease of a personal journal, but is put together like a cross between a story book and cook book.

Even while just documenting the mundane Lee tells a story of student life, struggles of living in a new country and being a novice in the kitchen. Her portfolio also includes some lovely children’s books and prints.; @iamyylee

Shanti Rai – Fda Illustration

Rai had on display a lovely selection of comics and illustrations. You expect the comics to, but even her standalone illustrations weave imaginative narratives.

Some of her work, including the comic book Prosephone pictured here, is available to buy on her online store.; @shantidraws

Yumeka Saito – Fda Illustration

Saito’s work takes an imaginative look at life in London and her personal experiences in the city. On view were a few drawings that beautifully capture the cluttered chaos of the city and a zine titled Soui.; @yum.s_

The identity for the BA Graphic Design degree show, designed by the class of 2017


The show is accompanied by a lovely pop-up shop where a great wide selection of the students’ work including prints, postcards, comic books, zines and much more is on sale. The shop is a beautiful way to celebrate the students’ work and gives visitors a chance to support them or take home some of their favourite work. The exhibition and the shop is open to the public till Friday June 24.