Words by Christina B and Emily S
We had a blast at New Blood this year – not just because we got to showcase our latest issue, but because we were once again able to feast our eyes on the best fresh new creative talent across the UK. Here’s a quick look at some projects that particularly grabbed our attention.
Michael Lainé, MA Motion Graphics & Animation, Northumbria University
Animator Michael Lainé created the short 3D piece ‘Silvia’ for a Channel 4 Random Acts brief. Frames of the sequence (complete with deliberate glitches) were then 3D printed and turned into a singing zeotrope, thus combining a classical medium with two contemporary forms. The uncanny valley rarely looks this cool.
Adam Chescoe, Graphic Design, Falmouth University
The Perpetual Deadline Calendar succeeds in being an infographic, project manager, calendar and promotional piece all at once. Intended to showcase Fredrigoni’s Woodstock range, it serves as a 360-degree designer’s desktop calendar. The wedge, which holds post-it notes, turns the piece into a pie chart representing the paper’s ingredient of 80% recycled material, while the fold-out tabs help remind the user of looming deadlines.
Ruta Paskeviciute, Graphic Design, Edinburgh Napier University
Asleep Awake is a beautifully-made book visually interpreting a collection of dreams. The organised chaos of the layouts, use of optical illusions and pastel colour scheme help create a project that is both trippy and relaxing on the eyes.
Rachel Bungey, Graphic Design, Nottingham Trent University
Rachel Bungey explored the theme of visualising sound by studying the reconstructed music of DJ Shadow. She reproduced his work by converting WAV files into vectors and then laser-cutting plywood (yes, it works!) and plastic to produce working records, with the help of an open source experiment by Amanda Ghassaei and computer programs Audacity, Processing and Python. In short, it’s a reproduction of a reproduction with a very unexpected final object.
Lewis Bartlett, Visual Communication, Arts University Bournemouth
Lewis’ project By Hand celebrates craftsmanship and typographic skill through this beautiful series of illustrations. After designing all the lettering by hand on paper, the image was reproduced by various painstaking traditional methods including foil block and relief printing. It’s a simple, honest message but damn, it looks striking.
Camille Lapham Flores, University of the West of England
First of all, a big shout out to The University of the West of England (or UWE – pronounced ‘youuuweee!’ – as they are also known) for their fantastic collection of thoughtful and excellently designed publications. We have to draw attention to Camille Flores in particular though, who had not one, but two such publications on show. First up is ‘Boast’, a collaborative piece with photographer Nia Samuel-Johnson, a tactile publication showcasing how bold imagery can be emphasised by interactive design in print. If you like acid brights, surreal photography and playful design then this is surely your bag. Next up is her ‘Type Specimen for the Future’ publication, again a highly tactile piece designed to “emphasise how print designers will forever be coming up with new concepts that outsmart the capabilities of pixels.”
Jolita Lenktaityte, Edinburgh Napier University
Jolita Lenktaityte was a particular standout from this year’s show with her eye-catching ‘You are What You Tweet’ project. Encompassing a combination of styling, fashion and graphic design served loud and luminous. The project pokes fun at the ubiquity of online self-promotion and questions whether this behaviour would translate offline; if we are willing to share our every thought so publicly would we be okay with really owning these soundbites and actually wearing them? Either way this work is fitter than Mo Farrah after his post-quorn bolognese jog. Definitely one to watch.
Erin Abercrombie, Gray’s School of Art
It was all about the Scottish unis this year as our final pick comes in the shape of Erin Abercrombie for her Britney zine, featuring some particularly expressive and horrified onlooking old-skool Mickey Mouses. In her own words, “this zine is influenced by the dark side of contemporary culture and the idolisation of the celebrity. I try and create images that reflect and critique the relationship between the viewer and pop culture, all with a subtle sense of irony.” In our words, “this is graphic porn so good it will have you rubbing your thighs like a horny Vic Reeves. Oof.” Also, a big up to Gray’s as a whole with their eclectic zine wall, D&AD-approved fashion (Lloyd Robertson – Best In Show) and nifty venue hacking ways (employing guerrilla stickering promo tactics at New Blood). Ooh and not forgetting their cool little illustrated portraits wall featuring all the participating students by Rebecca Gray. Good work guys.