I sorta went off on one in my last post and although it was good to verbalise what’s been grinding my gears as of late, I realised it made my experience at New Blood sound pretty darn negative. And yes, it’s true that I didn’t get a chance to wow anyone from industry (at all), and I have yet receive any emails or comments from anyone who may have possibly seen my work, but I still had an absolute blast with my friends and design colleagues. Two days in a really happening area of London, chock full of other creatives, cooky stores and lovely weather is worlds better than staying in Norwich, or worse, at home.

Apart from simply having a nice time and seeing alot of awesome work, I also managed to land a portfolio surgery with Mary Lewis, of Lewis Morberly (who offered some advice regarding cluttered layouts and stuff that interviewers would pick up on) and a visit to the boardroom of creative agency POKE, thanks to Portfolio’s from the Soul‘s Mark Amos who booked a place, couldn’t make it and offered it to yours truly. Both very cool opportunities that I’m grateful for, and no doubt wouldn’t have considered had I not been floating around the Truman Brewery, admiring everything on show, collecting things and noting down my favourite pieces of work. Which brings us back to the continuation of my ‘Best of New Blood 2010’…

Postcards & Flyers:

Dungeons and Desktops & G-Shock East – As well as numerous lovely business cards, there was also a ton of postcards and flyers to take. I really liked that alot of students had printed their work on postcards, as it doesn’t take up much room, and as a physical object can be scanned in, stuck on the wall or filed away pretty easily. No fuss, and good exposure. The flyer for ‘Dungeons and Desktops’ struck me thanks to the great illustration by Jack Teagle, it’s fun and geeky, and reminds me of the Nerdcore hip-hop scene and the artwork I often see for various things in that department. The G-Shock flyer is fairly basic I guess, but the simplistic layout, funky type and bright colours just work for me, very hip sorta Saved by the Bell-esque.

Phil Wilkinson & Hannah Watkinson – On top of the fact I really like the purely happenstancial fact that both these guy’s last names sound so similar, these are two lovely looking postcards. Wilkinson’s type design evokes old school Hitchcock, especially with the swirling hypno-disc graphic and Watkinson’s owl struck me as just being a beautifully rendered illustration. I’ve been looking at the various pieces of work on her website, and she has a wealth of really awesome print based stuff. I’m a sucker for cool printing, all the textureyness and imperfections that are different every time, I just dig it. If you’re anything like me (or have even a basic grasp of what makes cool design) you’ll love her work too, check it out here, here and here.

Ben Walden – Simple and striking. The punk side of me always like skulls and skeletons, and I really like the use of the orange X they have on solvents and cleaning products, instantly identifiable and very strong.

Work on Show:

Cherie Chapman ‘Patricia Cornwell Book Covers’ – Very cool, cut-out style book covers (alot like my own H.G. Wells books, which I will whack on here soon). A striking colour scheme and funky imagery which I could harp on about all day thanks to my love of all things retro and movie-related.

Chris Arrowsmith ‘Resistance’ – Being very cynical of fashion trends and scenesters, this poster immediately appealed. I absolutely, fucking hate skinny jeans, with every ounce of my being. They’re uncomfortable and look stupid. Usually it wouldn’t be a problem and I wouldn’t mind (after all, you should wear whatever you want to wear), but now it’s got to the point where they’ve become so popular that EVERY pair of jeans is now ‘skinny’ to some degree. They have literally reduced the size of all jeans made. ‘Average’ and ‘normal’ jeans are ‘skinny’ jeans nowadays, ‘skinny’ jeans are ‘stupidly-skinny’ jeans, and ‘baggy’ jeans are now about as common and easy to find as unicorn blood. I don’t actually know what Arrowsmith’s opinion is on the matter, but this awesome, propaganda-spoofing poster certainly highlights what I personally think is almost a complete joke and illustrates how blindly people (sorry, morons) buy into silly fashion trends.


Matt Pell ‘Marc & Anna’ – I always say that however unoriginal, using CMYK colours generally looks really nice. Case in point, this lovely poster. It has a cool print-making feel, and is simple, stylish and elegant.

Leah Alfonso & Matthew Steedman ‘Ikea’ – Here’s a fantastic example of how you use light humour to maximum effect. Sly and witty, the humour works great with the cartoony illustrations. Great stuff.

Ben Cridland ‘100’ – I didn’t realise how big infographics had become until seeing the amount of fantastic posters based around various facts and statistics. It just came out of nowhere. Sure I’d seen a few online, but I’d actually never considered making one myself. This poster (which either won or was nominated for an award) struck me with it’s mellow beige colour and beautifully designed graphics. There’s almost a clash of boring diagram with competent design flair, which is what makes these posters work so well in my humble opinion.

Although I have amassed loads more nifty pieces of work, I literally can’t be arsed to keep going. I think at this point more work would detract from the ones I’ve already featured. So there you have it, my fantabulous summary of D&AD New Blood 2010. A fun jaunt in our capital and massive eye-opener as far as the competition and state of the industry goes. “It’s like the X-Factor of design” as my friend and colleague pointed out, and that’s a pretty spot-on observation.

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