Grad shows 2015: New Designers

8 great art and design projects from this year's New Designers multi-institution grad show

This year's New Designers was the weakest we've seen in a long time. The multi-institution show is primarly focussed on product design, with its visual communication tucked away in smaller rooms separated from the main hall – but usually we see a substantial amount of high-quality graphic design, illustration and animation. In the 2015 show, these gems are few and far between.

So we scoured every area of every hall and even took the time to Google graduates who haven't provided working websites or contact details (who are normally the first to be culled when we pick our 'best new grads' features) to bring you these eight.

Illustrators who mix simple shapes with bright flat colours have been very popular recently, and Ana Jaks was the best new graduate at the show working in this 'genre'.

As well as co-designing the type-covered outside of the University of Portsmouth's graduate brochure, Harry Stewardson also produced this bold book about The Clash's self-titled debut album.

Alongside a cleanly laid-out history of the band, the book also has a series of type-based posters dedicated to each song. These are particular highlights: strong, elegantly stripped-back but also managing to incorporate all of the lyrics.

Pompey's university always has particularly strong print work, which also included Joe Lynch's Made You Look. This series of screenprinted posters plays with halftone-based versions of the human face, reducing its complexity to find the point where it becomes unrecognisable – a point that differs, of course, depending on how far you are standing away from it.

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Nora Wright won a prize sponsored by Hallmark Cards at the exhibition's own awards, following a being awarded what she calls a "first class degree in drawing princesses".

Chelsea Smith's multi-layered papercut 'cover' for CS Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is a lot more well-thought-out than most papercut projects we saw. Through the layers you get a real sense of just how far the wardrobe goes back for those children who venture into it.

We don't often see projects accompanied by matches at grad shows – there's too much paper around for it to be safe. So it's ballsy for Masha Oks to show off this flame-power installation.

The 3D-printed box with a sensor, circuit and speaker inside springs to life when you wave a flame near it, starting to play an audio recording of Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451.

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From her site, Melissa Delteil appears to produce work primarily in a very traditional children's book style – but Entre Chien Et Loup is something else. Named after a French expression for twilight that literally means 'between dog and wolf' (as at twilight you can't distiguish the two), Mellssa has created creatures somewhere between chimera and were-animals that are brlightly coloured by still project a sense of menace.

The University of Plymouth's Dan Budd is an accomplished artist, but appears to have no online portfolio – so must not be looking for commissions then.