UK grad shows 2014: UAL Central Saint Martins

Check out our pick of the best design and illustration from CSM 2014 grad show.


The graduate show of UAL Central Saint Martins is always a highlight of the grad show season, and this year there was a lot of top notch work on show. 

The work from graduates of the university's BA Graphic Design course spanned advertising, branding, illustraton, interactive and game design, and animation and film – plus we check out some work from the MA Communication Design course.

Last year, the standout student was illustrator Edward Carvalho-Monaghan, whose psychedelic colours and bold graphics has lead to a lot of big commissions and saw him exhibiting at the Pick Me Up festival as part of the Pick Me Up Selects group by April this year. This year it was designer and illustrator Brian Lo whose work stood above all others.

In the Double Take series, his uses monochrome lines and type to explore how Hong Kong has changed since it stopped being a British colony.

Brian says that "this project aims to rediscover the lost tales of significant streets in Hong Kong. Of the five selected are ones that provide unusual insight to how the city of Hong Kong operated during the British colonial rule.

"Documenting present day streetscapes and browsing through historical images of old Hong Kong is only one method. More importantly, researching into why the streets were given their respective names provides a renewed understanding of what has occurred in the past, some of which are unexpected in their narrative and require a second glance at the story."

Use the slideshow controls above and right to see more of the work on show at Central Saint Martins 2014 grad show.

Brian Lo

Camden Council approached students with a live brief that was aimed at producing graphic interpretations of significant buildings across the Camden Borough," says Brian. "The submission would be designed for two purposes, to turn images into ink stamps to be distributed across the community of all ages and to have them produced as large format graphics.

The proposal for this brief was delivered with two objectives. Firstly, to produce images that provide a taste of interior and exterior activities of Camden buildings. In addition, the images would combine a playful and interactive element to it, as the end goal was for them to be created into usable stamps.

The illustrations were crafted with a reoccurring treatment, based on a grid system that would allow the final inked images to be systematically positioned in various arrangements. This approach was aimed to appeal both the youth and adults as it would in theory, allow them freedom to choose where the buildings could be stamped on a canvas.


Tamzin R Atkinson

Tamsin's Modern Warfare is inspired by photographer Richard Mosse and artist Henry Darger. It's a beautufully drawn piece whose aesthetics contrast with its subject matter (graphic violence) – and as Tamzin herself asks "where does the line cross in expressing it as art?"

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Ruth Sarah Augusta Kosky

Ruth's graphic novel based on Paul Verhoeven's film Showgirls – which divides critics over whether its a terrible film or a brilliant satire – is agressively rendered, as if every stroke is an act of violence.

I was also impressed by how Ruth had frames from Showgirls ready as T-shirts, where they worked wonderfully.


Wei Shen

Chinese student Wei Shen took on the task of branding her home town of Hangzhou, which is well known in her home country as a tourist destination.

The identity present Hangzhou as a place of tranquility and rest, communicating this through black-and-white photography, poetry and a simplified logo.


Another tranquil poster from Wei Shen's branding campaign for Hangzhou.

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Wei Shen also created a series of cups and other homewares to show how the identity could be extended onto gifts.


Junwen Tan

"Senju-Luju means 'Dongba pictographs' in Naxi language. The wooden blocks set is designed for children to learn Naxi Dongba pictographs," says Junwen Tan. "The aim is to raise an own awareness of Naxi language, which is facing the danger of disappearing.

"Each block contains four Dongba characters in one theme; together there are 35 wooden blocks in 10 themes. The engraved wooden blocks can function as stamps. When finished learning one character, the stamp booklets provide a stamp achievement mark."

Here you can see our intern Amy Moore (right) creating a card using one of the stamps, assisted by Junwen.


Molly India and Olga Pope

Over in the advertising section, the work of art director Molly India and copywright Olga Pope stood out. Their work for Carex hand gel was the only campaign to really make us laugh, using negative space in a way that surprises and disgusts.

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Mollie and Olga's Sky campaign is simple and effective with some particularly accomplished copywriting.


Dora Scavello

Lastly we moved onto the showcase of work by students from CSM's MA Communication Design course. Dora Scavello's board game Souvenir aims to help designers work through problems in projects such as creative blocks by getting them to play with nostalgic memories.


A close-up of Dora Scavello's board game Souvenir.

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Ferdinand Freiler

Ferdinand's 3D-printed bowls are designed to provoke a tactile response from those using them that complements and enhances the eating experience, based on principles of multi-sensory dining.