New Designers is an annual graduate showcase for a variety of arts based degree courses. Held in the Business Design Centre in the busy London borough of Islington, it is a prestigious event for only a select number of students from universities across the UK. Nineteen motivated graduates from our BA (Hons) Graphic Design course were lucky enough to exhibit last week, alongside our college colleagues from BA (Hons) Illustration.
New Designers has an inspirational atmosphere and it is great to see the comradeship between students who take a real interest in the brilliant design work around them.
After a successful Summer Show here at the college, a similar layout and display was used used in London. We in Graphic Design were the only degree course to exhibit work on A-frames; making the space a cut above the style other universities had chosen. Students enjoyed being able to see for themselves the projects and ideas from the graduates that they are in competition with. New Designers has an inspirational atmosphere and it is great to see the comradeship between students who take a real interest in the brilliant design work around them.
Various organisations commented that the graduates from Plymouth College of Art, despite being a smaller institution, have been consistently impressive in the years they have bought their work to New Designers. This excellent reputation, along with the talented designs from the students themselves, attracted many potential employers to their stand, looking to offer opportunities for graduates both in London and abroad.
"I'm glad all the long hours and stress has paid off, and this has given me great exposure. I'm now well on my way of starting my design career." – Ash Henderson
As well as degree work displays, students are able to get portfolio and legal advice, enter a vast number of competitions, and attend talks from companies including John Lewis.
The first night of the exhibition is for VIPs and gives potential employers and contacts from the design industry the chance to browse the work of this years graduates. This is a particularly exciting evening for the exhibitors as they have the huge opportunity to promote themselves and receive feedback on their projects. This will hopefully go on to lead to interviews and job offers for many.
Students from Plymouth College of Art were given recognition by the Design Council and Proctor & Gamble. They also made contacts with a huge number of other design companies including Font Smith, BDC London and Oxford University Press. The VIP Preview Evening is also the time in which the awards, which are judged throughout the day, are announced and presented.
Perhaps the biggest achievement of the week went to Ash Henderson, who was selected as the winner of the Sky Arts award for innovation – with a prize of a four week placement at Sky's Creative Headquarters as well as £1,000. Ash commented, "I never knew that I would be in with chance of receiving this award let alone winning it. I'm glad all the long hours and stress has paid off, and this has given me great exposure. I'm now well on my way of starting my design career."