Well here it is folks, my run down of D&AD New Blood 2010, the prestigious graduate design show that was this year held at the Old Truman Brewery (a really awesome location for anything art and design related). I was lucky enough to be chosen to represent NUCA Graphic Communication with around 10 of my class-mates, and drove down with the constantly name-dropped Next Great Armstrong and The Creative Cakery‘s Christopher Johnson, leaving my car at the lovely Anna O’Dell‘s house for safe-keeping. Note: The A and M 11 are horribly boring roads to drive on, especially when you’re over-tired, border-line-dangerous but kinda funny at the same time.

After getting off at one tube station too far we attempted to try and use my TomTom satnav to navigate on foot, which failed miserably. It’s funny that such a sophisticated piece of technology that can pinpoint your location anywhere on Earth basically can’t cope with life when you’re travelling less than 10mph. After a while of wandering around and taking some great photo’s at 30 St. Mary Axe (a much cooler name than The Gherkin by the way), we eventually managed to find the Old Truman Brewery, get our wristbands and find our space. Annoyingly it had taken us so long to find the damn place we only had about 45 minutes to help set-up, and by ‘set-up’ I mean stand around, showing willing but with no real work to do that wasn’t being taken care of by the guys who had been at it for hours, and of course sweat in the stupidly hot heat.

Well, at least we showed up, unlike a couple of people who still had their work plugged, praised and jobs landed for them despite a complete lack of caring for anything relating to our course, it’s exhibition and the students (and tutors for that matter) who worked bloody hard to make it happen. I wasn’t going to rant about this on here, but you know what? Screw it, it’s been annoying me for months now, and by the time New Blood was in full swing all of my peers were pretty annoyed too. I get the fact that certain people’s work is very good, it definitely is worthy of D&AD and is often some of the best stuff I’ve seen come out of our class, but if they don’t come in, don’t care about their work being exhibited, then fuck you, why should you be handed opportunities you don’t want or deserve? I’m very jealous and feel kinda cheated. The funny catch 22 being that this is mainly to make our course look good, but thanks to these guys never coming in, word is we’re having one of our studios taken away. Bummer. Anyways, enough aggro.

So the following is a collection of the cool things I saw, collected, and that stayed with me enough to want to write about. There was alot of awesome work on show, alot that makes a humble design student like myself feel very insignificant and not all that good at graphics after all. Here are my personal favourites (I have taken work / images without permission of the authors – though at this point it’s only to praise them – I don’t have any copyright or legal permission and if anyone has a problem let me know and I’ll remove it):

Business Cards:

Emmie Bednall and Jonathan Jarvis – The sheer amount of business cards on offer meant that any one that made stop and pick it up is already a very good design. I am a sucker for great illustration, and really, who the hell doesn’t like robots? Jarvis’s card on the other hand is gracefully minimal, reflecting precision and simplicity. It’s also worth noting the dude has used a really nice stock to have these printed on, kudos sir.

Daniel Bartha – A card that I kinda want larger and on a postcard, that way it would take up more room and look better on my office wall. But saying that, it also looks very nice in the small confines of a business card. It embodies so much more than others and made me ponder on life for a little while.

Elena Kambanella – While I think the kerned type on the back could use a little tweaking (somehow it looks alot better in real life), the photograph on the front is fantastic, and really utilises the space a business card has to offer.

Karla Uribe, Aimee Taylor and Alexander Ecob – A couple of alternative dimensions that I thought was fresh and interesting, even though I’m sure people have been experimenting with conventions like this for years. Uribe’s square is printed on a textured card which feels more like the back of a cereal box and is a nice reflection of her photographic work. Taylor’s strip shape is pretty and seems more efficient, doing away with unnecessary space. Ecob’s is the standard shape, but his logo stood out as something I’d expect too see on Idsgn or LogoPond, a professional and stylish logo, applied very well with restraint and competence.

Gamze Kaplan – A contemporary a funky illustration style, akin to the cut-out style of Saul Bass and other 50s and 60s movie posters (a style I too have been using recently).

Sam Rennocks – Finally my favourite business card I picked up, Rennock’s style of cartoon illustration is really neat, and the image he uses here just appealed to me. Nice use of colours and a lovely image.

My best-of New Blood will continue in Part 2, please stay tuned!

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