Best of the Grad Shows 2017: New Designers

Check out some brand new talent with our pick of the best graduating designers and illustrators from across the UK.

Held in Islington, London, New Designers offers a chance to check out work from newly graduating illustrators and designers from across the UK – from Falmouth, Cornwall to Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee.

The show is much like D&AD New Blood – it’s even held at the same time – as it brings the best talent to London so the students can network with agency recruiters, creative directors and press to showcase their best work in the hope of a landing a job, or for some students, actually following through with their design projects. New Designers is a lot larger than New Blood – with more institutions taking part and more students per university or college showing their work.

New Designers showcases a lot of furniture, fashion, jewellery, architecture and product design, but being Digital Arts, we've focused on the graphic design, visual communication and illustration students.

Here’s our pick of the best designers and illustrators from New Designers 2017, starting with Charlotte Tisdale.

Additional reporting by Neil Bennett.

Charlotte's City of the Apes is an illustrated word-free comic with a looping story – the final page takes you back to the beginning to 'read' the narrative again. It's a clever way of presenting a tale of a town whose human population have to flee their homes and take to the see every evening, as the city is invaded by monkeys.

The monkeys don't do anything except cause steal a few things and make a mess to be cleaned up by the people on their return in the morning – and there's a well-rendered sense of resignation in the human characters and curiosity – rather than malice – to the monkeys too.

We thought were over faux 80s book and VHS covers, but University of Portstmouth graduate John Lihou won us over by showing his work inside increasingly-hard-to-find VHS boxes. 

Alongside some wonderfully rough linework, there's a real grubbiness to his work that manages to make the work look really badly treated rather than just aged (though there are a few obvious mcbess influences that he needs to tone down).

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Amy Woodham from Southampton Solent University showed off her pattern designs by creating this marvellous jacket. You can see it on a chair on her Instagram too – plus lots of other great work using textiles..

Ross has designed an in-depth fictional conflict all about how government surveillance is the modern war, as seen here. It was inspired by the release of the Amazon Echo, and fears surrounding its ability to track your personal information. It felt eerily realistic, in a far-away, dystopian future.

He created a totalitarian state called Praise (based on how American students pledge allegiance to their flag every morning) – and the resistance fighting it. His posters take inspiration from World War I and II propaganda posters. The project intends to raise awareness on how consumerism can be used to control the masses.

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Robin has just finished a BA in Graphic Design at the University Centre Weston in Weston-super-Mare. Robin designs for a transgender fitness app-based service called Budii is original and realistic. After extensive research, Robin found having gendered changing spaces at gyms prevented many of those who are transgender – Robin included – from exercising.

Robin's app design would allow users to find others in their area who share the same fitness goals, and allow them to search and rate local gyms based on diversity and accessibility.

The entire design encapsulates motion and fluidity – waveforms and lines that never meet, and a colour gradient inspired by the trans and non-binary flags.

Philip’s project explores how technology has changed the way we view football – "the spectators perspective has shifted". Philip's visual metaphor is transformed through an augmented reality experience using a smartphone. He created the AR project using Unity, free software for personal use.

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Tilly reinterpreted a classic tale – Rip Van Winkel – in her own style to create a full storybook using water coloured paper cut into shapes to layer and collage for the final images. 

Tilly studied graphic design at Nottingham Trent University, but illustration is her passion.

Lucy Cripps, also from Nottingham Trent University, creates beautiful editorial illustration and her children’s book Me, Myself and I – but we loved the concept behind her Bee Healthy animation the most. 

The brief, set by RSA, was to illustrate the idea of a 'health social movement'. Lucy created the hand-painted animation containing over 100 bees to represent the beauty of a group working together to encourage healthier lifestyles. It is also beautifully executed.

Rachel’s detailed pencil illustrations combined with clever graphic design makes for a great campaign – Fight for Flight

Her posters depict the effects of consumerism on birds using the elegant Crowned Crane bird, a wetland bird species. Her drawings her produced using pigment ink pointillism.

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Dani is an illustrator from University of Portsmouth, who specialises in the mythical and macabre, and bringing bizarre creatures to life through ink, paint and print. 

Her Curious Cabinet of Creatures book is truly strange, but extremely eye-catching and brilliant.

Graphic designer Adam told me he doesn’t like the way magazines are designed, too much is going on, so he designed this "minimalist" layout for a film magazine, Screen

Although the idea is pretty straight forward, we appreciate his spacious execution. I would definitely pick this one off the shelf.

We were drawn to the intense emotion captured in Josh Agamlong’s visualisation of Brexit. His illustrations also depict gun violence in the US and his experience of growing up in South London. 

Josh is interested in visual storytelling (comics), and eventually entering the animation industry.

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