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Our annual Graduates showcase is back for 2014 and it’s bigger than ever. Supported again by Represent Recruitment, we are proud to present 15 of the most exciting young talents leaving art school this summer.

  1. Jj_judge

    It was something of an honour to have illustrator Jean Jullien in the studio to help judge this year’s It’s Nice That Graduates. Not only is he a really nice guy, but he’s also one of our favourite artists who – in our eyes – can do no wrong. His style is effortless and full of humour, grinning at our modern world through a wry squint – an ability that most of the great illustrators through time have nearly all had in common. Another thing we can all learn from Jean is that he works harder than most people we know and rarely says no to a project, making him in-demand and always on everyone’s radar. Here he is on what he learnt from helping us judge the It’s Nice That Graduates 2014.

  2. Michael

    Graphic designer and Manchester School of Art student Michael Crook is the 15th and final of our Graduates of 2014, securing a spot up there with the best of ’em with his incredibly sharp and effortless-looking design. The projects he won us over with include an identity for an event called The Science of Fashion in which he used thermochronic ink to create a disappearing design, a book about American hobo culture and the secret written languages nomads use to communicate with one another, and an original take on book cover design, in which he made Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 look like a book of matches ready for the striking. Read on to find out about his favourite project to date, and the perfume-soaked tab he’s hoping never to encounter again. Well done Michael!

  3. Main

    Our penultimate It’s Nice That Graduate of 2014 is Falmouth Illustration grad Lauren Humphrey, whose style is fun and playful and brilliantly authentic without sacrificing her message. It’s not often that you find a creative fresh out of university who so effortlessly aligns meaning with a recognisable and accessible aesthetic, but Lauren does so effortlessly, combining a style she has firmly established with the brief she’s set. She’s one to watch out for! Find her in a swanky studio, or potentially restoring an old boat, before you even know what’s happening.

  4. Charlotte

    University of Brighton graduate Charlotte Bassett’s work is so carefully considered that if you saw it in an art gallery or publishing house, nobody would blink an eyelid. There’s nothing rash or impulsive about her design, which focusses primarily on “curation, interdisciplinary collaborations and publishing”; instead, she combines diverse elements and a thorough knowledge of her subjects in a measured, sensitive and effective manner to create lasting impact.

  5. Grads_judge_accent

    We’ve almost finished our selection of It’s Nice That Graduates 2014, and we’ve well and truly established that this year has produced some of the most talented and exciting creative talent to date. We had a selection of handpicked judges to help us select the entrants who most deserved to make it through to the final 15, and in corner of publishing are Lydia and Lucy from Accent Magazine, “a global celebration of lives lived outside the ordinary.” They kindly left us with a few nuggets of wisdom for new graduates to show what they were looking for.

  6. Grads_thursday_17

    Going through nearly 600 applicants for the It’s Nice That Graduates was a long process, and in it we saw countless photography submissions. To come across a portfolio like Portsmouth graduate Alecsandra’s was truly special, as her website was utterly brimming with fascinating, in-depth projects that stood out as being truly well-researched, full of passion and rather unique. Her love of storytelling led her to focus on politics, family, tradition and emotion, making her body of work alive with folklore and wisdom. How great is it when someone’s work truly opens your eyes to something you had previously never encountered? Here she is on her degree, her passion for photography, and her future.

  7. Tris

    Sleek vintage cars, mousetrap swings, chance encounters with rainbows and days out at the races all feature in the varied portfolio of Tristan Cluett, a recent graduate from Kingston University. He’s spent three years immersing himself in his medium, getting out in the field to shoot cyclists in action or creating polished sets in the studio to provide backdrops for his unusual ideas. What seems key to the success of Tristan’s work is his openness to experimentation – he’s not content to be a one-trick pony – and the level of polish he applies to every one of his projects.

  8. Hannah

    LCC Photography graduate Hannah Burton has spent her three years of undergraduate study working out ways to get as close as possible to her subjects. She’s worn their clothes and camped out in their rooms for shots in which she embodies the subject, trawled east London’s Gascoyne Estate, getting to know its inhabitants as she shoots their pictures and explored her personal relationship with her mother in a series of intensely revealing portraits.

  9. Main4

    David Doran is an illustrator so on top of his game that he’s already knocked up a cracking client list, and he’s only just finished his degree in Illustration at Falmouth. It’s not hard to see why, though – his skill is second to none, interweaving layers of soft texture, muted palettes and characters so animated that you almost recognise them, to create some of the snazziest tableaux we’ve seen in ages. We can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve next, but in the meantime, get a load of this! Cor.

  10. Judge_josh_king

    We love Josh King. He was one of our favourite grads two years ago – his ideas and way of looking at graphic design with actual humour rather than just making stuff look nice was totally refreshing. When we asked him what his best mistake was while studying, he answered: “I once made petrol scented candles. It wasn’t a mistake but it could have been. Luckily no one got hurt.”

  11. Joe

    Much like the content of most of Joe’s work, opening the email attachment of his portfolio when he applied to The Graduates was like stumbling across buried treasure in ancient ruins. To see such honest, informed and unique work that shows dedication and a two-fingers-up to common, trendy illustration is just such a joy that I can barely contain myself.

  12. Main3

    When I was finishing up my final project at university I’d wake up, have a slice of burnt toast, then hobble across slippery cobblestones to a windowless library. When Barnaby Kent woke up on the days that he was working on his graduate project he awoke lying on a bed of luscious leaves in the jungle, and he’d have fresh passionfruit for breakfast before taking a walk in the mountains. It’s no wonder that his work is so magical.

  13. Alice

    Like the large majority of my generation I spend a disproportionate amount of my daily life on the internet, but probing the way that digital spheres function within our actual lives is a task which requires a very specific – and hard to come by – kind of creative brain. Cue the arrival of Alice Stewart, a digital and interactive illustrator from Kingston University whose handle on internet-driven concepts is second to none.

  14. Rachel_2

    Of Rachel Treliving’s work, our Graduates judge designer Shaz Madani said simply: “She is great.” Rachel’s work truly astonished us in the process of finding our 15 It’s Nice That Graduates. How wonderful to find someone who is so passionate about typography that every single project she has created is a gesture of love towards a subject that, judging from the 600 or so Graduates entries we had this year, is becoming less and less important to learn in a graphic design degree. The depth Rachel travels to in the research for her projects in unparalleled, and the beauty of the work she creates is equally as strong. This girl is gonna go far.

  15. Judge_02

    We’re a week into our Graduates 2014 and have so far announced four of the grads that we think hold some of the best talent in the country. This year we asked some very special judges to come in and help us with the ever-difficult task of whittling down the submissions to a honed 15. We asked Shaz Madani along as we have long-trusted her seemingly effortless, stylish and informed designs for the likes of Giles Duley, Riposte and Elephant magazine. She very kindly answered a few questions post-judging about her thoughts on the submissions this year.

  16. Luke

    Say hello to the guy that everyone’s talking about, Luke Evans. A Kingston Graphic Design and Photography graduate, his work was picked up by Saatchi in his second year and has since produced work for Rankin’s Hunger magazine – not bad! Luke’s scientific background gives him a curiosity to explore and challenge, making his projects exciting and daring and often unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. In Forge he takes the audience to a far, unknown land using just his kitchen table and some household items. Clever lad. Read on to find out what he’s been up to and what he’s got up his sleeve…

  17. Rob

    It’s a brave undertaking to create your own typeface at any stage of your design career, let alone when you’re a student, but Rob Headley threw himself into the process and wound up creating something truly unusual – a deconstructed font that progresses through various stages of legibility. He’s also designed some beautiful book covers for Ian M Banks’ sinister oeuvre and produced an experimental animation project that teaches users the animation process though analogue printed media. In fact there was so much variety on show in his graduate portfolio that we knew almost immediately that we had to name the Liverpool School of Art student as one of this year’s It’s Nice That Graduates.

  18. Main

    You’ve probably already seen Gaurab’s work being chucked around social media for the last few weeks as everyone is going nuts over him since his prints went up at Camberwell’s degree show. Gaurab’s work has actually been on the site before, twice! Surely a record for any It’s Nice That Graduate. Personally, I think Gaurab’s work is some of the most exciting illustration I’ve seen in a long while. To see someone clearly passionate about a subject (jazz) and completely, unashamedly infuse every aspect of their work with that is extremely impressive. This is someone who is not borrowing off someone else, just carving out their own niche with a strong style backed up with knowledge. Gaurab Thakali is gonna go far, mark my words.

  19. Grads_2

    One look at Francesca’s portfolio and we knew that this was a very, very exciting graduate. Channeling all the vibes of Rookie with the serene portraiture ability of Vermeer, Francesca’s lucid, candid photography depicts youth, friendship and true love. With a BA in Photography from the London College of Communication and a few cross-continental adventures under her belt, Francesca’s well on her way to becoming a much-loved photographer. We chatted to her about her time at University and her plans for the future.

  20. Judge_01

    We are now just a few days away from unveiling our 2014 Graduates; 15 of the most exciting young talents leaving UK art schools this summer. For the first time ever this year we called on a panel of expert judges to help us select our final 15 and we’ll be hearing from them over the course of the next few weeks.

  21. Red_cream_list

    It’s that time of the year again! Like the annual family get-together which sees you dragged reluctantly around a huge mahogany dining table with the large majority of your extended family to coo about how “well” (read: fat) you’re looking, we’re catching up with last years Graduates! Except our mahogany table is this website, and we’re cooing not about weight gain, but about all the cool stuff they’ve been doing. Without further ado then, here are Oliver Jennings, Bianca Tuckwell and Callum Green to update us on all of there achievements since last summer.

  22. Red_cream_list

    Here we are, round two of our Graduates catch ups in which we get back in touch with our grown-up children from last year and see what powerful things they’ve been up to since we let them fly the nest. Turns out they’ve all been doing exceptionally well, which is nice. Here’s some absolutely fantastic grads Edward Monaghan, Lottie Brzozowski and Ollie Willis sharing their knowledge on how you earn a buck or two in this big bad world these days.

  23. List

    Here it is, that time of year again, doesn’t a year swing by quickly now we’re all getting older? After launching our Graduates 2014 we then turn to the Graduates of 2013 to ask what they’ve been doing with their year as professional post-grads. Up first is Alice Tye, Ed Cheverton and Charlie Patterson. Hip hip hooray for them all being very powerful and creative still. Let’s start with Alice…

  24. List

    Stop the inkjet! Halt the squeegees! Tell the cafeteria workers to hold off on the floppy cheese and mayo sandwiches, it’s time to put down your collective art materials and enter your prized work to be part of The It’s Nice That Graduates 2014.