The best of D&AD New Blood 2014

Once again D&AD New Blood has taken over Spitalfields Market in London, which has played host to the enormous graduate fair since 2012. As one of the judges of ‘best stand’, CR was lucky enough to have a look around prior to the opening – and so here are some of our highlights

Once again D&AD New Blood has taken over Spitalfields Market in London, which has played host to the enormous graduate fair since 2012. As one of the judges of ‘best stand’, CR was lucky enough to have a look around prior to the opening – and so here are some of our highlights…

When it first landed in the historic (and redeveloped) market space, New Blood suffered from packing in a vast amount of work across a series of small stands. But, as with 2013, this year the show is more spread out and allows for the various colleges to organise their work in more thoughtful and considered ways.

Funnily enough the first stand that caught my eye was also the first to be snapped by Patrick last year – Southampton Solent University’s illustration stand (shown top of post and below).

There’s a nautical identity that unites it with the graphics and advertising stands – the only problem being that the work is all uncaptioned, so I’m unsure as who created what – and there is some great work on display.

Edinburgh College of Art also has an accomplished collection – I particularly liked Julie Ritchie‘s prints and also Hannah Clarke‘s tiles.

Joel Burden‘s posters on the Leeds College of Art graphic design stand pulsed very nicely in 2D (below, on right); while in a contrast of materials, Eve Warren is showing some impossible shapes in brass.

Edinburgh Napier University’s graphic design course put together one of the best stands (I judged them along with Computer Arts’ Nick Carson and It’s Nice That’s Rob Alderson). Colour is clearly something that the Napier graduates weren’t afraid to use – but it was the arrangement of the 3D objects and printed work that made it much more engaging as a display.

And from the projects on show, I really liked Jolita Lenktaityte’s You Are What You Tweet project and Christopher Brand‘s aptly named, Colour Can’t Hold Me Back. Ever! series.

This great print is by Jennifer Humphrey‘s of Grays School of Art in Aberdeen’s illustration course.

Plymouth University’s graphic communication with typography course showed a good range of work – from Sebastian Jacques identity for the UK’s only ‘ethical fashion show’, Five Hundred; to Ike Daeche‘s Chaos Theory prints.

Murray McCusker‘s Off the Rails is a huge handmade book about London (it’s about one and half metres wide) – with coloured line illustrations on black paper. (He was representing Middlesex University’s illustration course.)

From the same college, My Graphic Katha by Gary Curzai on the graphic design coure was brilliantly realised – it’s a kind of visual autobiography.

At Falmouth’s illustration stand, there was plenty of strong work. David Doran‘s assembled editorial work and books prove he is already establishing himself in the industry (he has work for NoBrow and the New York Times on show); while Chloe Robinson‘s work uses colour and cut-outs to great effect.

Another favourite stand (one of the three we awarded a prize to), was from Arts University Bournemouth’s graphic design course.

It was one of the most polished at New Blood – they’d sourced some nice metal stands and numbered the work on the tables to correspond to a series of smart black portfolio boxes stored at the back (so no clutter of folder,s or work strewn across the stand – though by the end of today this might look different).

Chris Bennett’s work on the rise of surveillance technology caught my eye here – particularly his ‘dazzle ship’ umbrella and how a similar design works in the field.

Norwich University of the Arts’ graphic communication course has produced a fine series of posters – but, again, there’s little (or no) information as to who’s behind each one, though this may of course have changed by now.

Their illustration strand also boasted plenty of good work (too much to show here). So I’ve gone for Ellen Rockell‘s book covers for Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up (I think this may have won D&AD’s brief, too); and also Tim Blann‘s beautiful pictures of dogs, birds, and dogs on people’s heads.

I was originally unsure as to who the ‘burger’ print was by on the University of the West of England, Bristol’s graphic design stand – but thanks to the comments received below, I can credit it to Leslie Büttel.

Holly Dennis also made the great ‘Troll’ poster, officially entitled The Irreversibility of Speech, displayed below.

Otherwise, several other strong posters were on show here – Yasseen Faik‘s Master of Their Craft (below left) alongside Nick Hussain‘s Whistleblowers; while Joe Morgan‘s Escape is shown here (in green and black) with Rob Galt‘s alphabet, Constructed Reality.

Of the Staffordshire University graphic design and illustration display, Craig Palmers posters of ligatures and ampersands proved particulary enticing.

And there’s some great packaging for vintage cheddar by Chris Webster and also Jonathan Walley from Norwich University of the Arts’ graphic design course.

From Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design’s illustration display, I really liked Matt Martin‘s two prints/posters.

And from the college’s graphic design stand, possibly the strangest product of the day – Mark Cook‘s range of handmade quality ‘lures’ for fishing. The identity around the series, called Crafters, was great.

And at the Teeside University graphic design stand, I spent a while with Arron Wilson’s intricate print project that examines people’s reactions to wearers of the niqab and incorporates some deft use of typography.

At Colchester School of Art’s graphic design stand, Nick Frazier‘s work stood out as being among the few examples of 3D illustration on show – and I thought these worked really well for a men’s clothing brand.

Similarly tactile – and no less appropriate to the client – Boyko Taskov on the University of Westminster’s design for communication stand showed a limited editon book on the work of US band, Fleet Foxes. The typeface is called Flow.

Over on the college’s illustration and visual communication stand nextdoor, Tom Spooner’s dark illustrative work was really appealing; as was Caitlin Park‘s colourful pair of prints, though their subject matter is actually far from cheerful.

From the Preston Illustrate collective’s show, part of the University of Central Lancashire’s offering, I liked Jade Laura‘s portraits.

Finally, the third of the ‘best stand’ prizes we gave out went to London College of Communication’s graphic design display – a brave and very self-assured way of showing work within the busy layout of New Blood.

One framed image for each student, neatly hung on the wall, with some printed work set behind. It provided some time to reflect on the projects shown – all of which were expanded upon within an accompanying publication.

D&AD New Blood is on today and tomorrow at Spitalfields Market in London. More details at Images from last night’s private view are here. Anyone with additional links to portfolios they’d like added to the post – just post a comment below and we’ll add them in.

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