African super graphics, Peruvian guinea pigs, distasteful jokes and a Peckham bakery; with subject matter like this, no one can accuse graphic design graduate Isabel Gibson of following the tired student tropes of a tea pantone or some triangles.
Isabel is a Chelsea College of Art alumnus with an ability beyond her experience to fulfil the multi-disciplinarian maxim: A good idea well made. “I don’t have a particular way or style of working,” she says with a portfolio featuring film, international fashion initiatives and the odd classic book work to back her up. “Instead I just try to use whichever medium makes for the most engaging outcome.”
If the future of design education is the application of design principles to anything but the traditional assumptions of the medium, then surely Isabel Gibson is top of the class. “If there’s something you find engaging” she tells us, “you just have to find a way of making others just as excited about it.”
Why or who or what made you go to art school?
I’ve always been a bit of a keeno but probably what cemented it was a pom pom making craze back at school – that really did it. Me and my sister made and sold hundreds. Thankfully it was just a phase but I was left knowing that when I was happiest was when I was making things that looked nice (which was debatable in the case of the pom poms).
What’s the best mistake you made when you were studying?
There is always a good side to every bad situation. Examples of which would be blowing up a cake with a firework and bursting a water filled balloon in my front room without being more prepared. It completely destroyed the floor, walls and ceiling but it was priceless.
If you could show you your work to one person, who would you choose and what would you show them?
I would probably show The Power of Static to Alan Davies and try and get him on board, just to see how that great head of hair would perform.
Can you give us one prediction about your work for the next year?
There is a long list of projects that I have been dying to do whilst still at uni but I never had the time, so this is now the opportunity to catch up. I already have a few collaborations setup over the summer so it will be great to crack on with them. This time next year, who knows where I will be but it’s exciting not knowing! Most definitely making bigger and better work.
What’s the best thing you saw in the last three years?
Too many things! A pigeon swallowing a Malteaser whole was a big highlight. Outstanding.
We are delighted that once again top creative recruitment agency Represent has teamed up with us to support our search for the cream of this year’s crop. Represent Recruitment Limited help some of the worlds most talented graphic designers find new work. We work with designers at all levels, from Junior through to Executive Creative Director. Our business thrives through the networks we develop and our impeccable eye for great work. Formed in 2003 Represent operate out of offices and gallery space in London, EC1.
- Living for the weekend, it's Best of the Web!
- The photographer archiving South Africa’s black lesbian community
- Kirsten Lepore’s creepy clay character is oddly soothing in this brilliant animation
- Friday Mixtape: Grammy award-winning Tinariwen curates a genre-crossing mix
- Designer Kara Zichittella talks about her typographically-led projects
- “Where’s my community?”: Skin Deep and POC on the need for diversity in the film industry
- A new national identity: Smörgåsbord Studio rebrands Wales
- Graphic design gems: Chicago gang business cards from the 1970s and 80s
- Photographer Dougie Wallace captures the super rich spenders of “Harrodsburg”
- “Romance in a sort-of fantasy world”: photographer Molly Matalon's new work (some NSFW)
- Studio Michael Satter’s sophisticatedly simple graphic design portfolio
- Harry Pearce and Pentagram create a new identity for Pink Floyd’s record label