290°: DJCAD Degree Show 2013
18 May 2013 - 26 May 2013
As a graphic designer I am always looking to be inspired, to see that one piece of work that sparks a chain reaction of creative thoughts and ideas. This inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere, but what better way to be inspired than to have a look at what the current fourth year students have been working on. After all, the work they have produced is what I will be tackling next year.
Graphic design is about communicating and being able to communicate this message to the correct audience. This was a stand- out feature in much of the work showcased this year. One of the most engaging aspects of the Graphics show is always the unique way different students tackle a single brief; as we look around the show thought processes are borne out, personalities revealed and the outcomes are always diverse. Louise Barrie’s interpretation of this year’s YCN Lego brief was both playful and thought provoking and was expertly answered through a very well designed motion piece (Click HERE to view). Barrie’s personal project tackled the issue of teaching older generations how to swim, by appealing to their younger selves. Using a mixture of vector illustrations and real photography, she was able to create a strong final design that would make them feel young again.
The best in show, for me, went to Andrew Leitch who showed a very high level of concept driven work, beautifully backed up in his finishing. His personal project on raising awareness of Thorium as an alternative form of energy was everything I would expect from a fourth year student. Every element of the work had been considered, from the materials and colour palette used, to how the target audience would respond to the visual language. Leitch not only impressed me with his personal project but also his response to the ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) brief. His ‘Books Still?’ project was beautiful in every sense of the word; Leitch had not only shown his proficiency in typographic design but also in his bookmaking skills, and he must have spent hours working on the construction of the book alone.
Balance is important to the discipline, graphic design is, after all, primarily a client-based industry and so each project should ideally be given equal attention and effort. Leitch and Barrie were two students who put the same amount of effort into each and every project and this was very evident in their work.
Hannah Doig had a very nice outcome to the “Marriott Hotels” brief set by the YCN (Young Creatives Network) Awards. I was naturally drawn to this project because of the visual treatment she chose to use. The use of a black and white image with a red spot colour made this project stand out from the others. The concept behind her response was very clever and I was pleased to see her efforts earned a well-deserved YCN Award.
This review is of course based solely on what I could take inspiration from, going into my fourth year studies. I didn’t like everything about the show this year but then again I wouldn’t have been expected to. The students and work that I stopped and looked at were all good in their own way. This year’s degree show is once again testament to the strong working relationship between staff and students. It’s a credit to this creative partnership that the DJCAD Degree Show is always such a huge success. This year was no different.