Year on year we’re astounded by the number and the quality of applications to the It’s Nice That Graduates, but this time around – when we were faced with the mammoth task of whittling down 900 applicants to only 16 talented people – we knew had our work cut out.
We’ve had some brow-mopping and no small amount of heated debates to get to this point, but the final 16 graduates, whose work ranges from graphic design and illustration to fine art and photography, are a truly talented, driven bunch, and we’re very excited to be championing them for the year ahead.
We’ve seen Alexander James Wood’s A0 size screenprints of empty interiors, Camberwell graduate and illustrator Anna Skeels’ painterly scenes, Edinburgh-based artist George Douglas’ many-layered collage compositions, Michael Driver’s editorial illustration and animation or Philippine d’Otreppe’s dynamic, sketchy scenes. Painter Lewis-John Henderson brought a fine art edge to the mix this year "with vibrant, playful canvases.
The graphic design turnout this year was as impressive as ever, with designs merging media and disciplines to forge new aesthetics. Anton Hjertstedt wowed us with his 3D renders, which fell so far outside of his university syllabus that his tutors wouldn’t accept them as graphic design at all, he told us, while Brighton graduate Dillon Biltcliffe-Newell’s work blends traditional design media like typography and print with abstract concepts worthy of a fine art project.
Kingston graduate Joel Antoine Wilkinson was representing Kingston’s trademark lateral thinking, solving problems with ideas rather than designing for aesthetics alone, and Tommy Spitters demonstrated how effectively graphic design can work with socialism and architecture to communicate political themes. Elsewhere, Tilly Thompson blurred the boundaries between set design and graphics by creating books about sets and hoping to make sets about books too, and Shannon Lea’s astute ability to create comprehensive visual languages shone through in her beer bottle branding, and a series of Philip Larkin novels that go way beyond traditional book cover design.
In the photography field, we saw bold shots shifting from still life to portraiture and then back again from Ellen Syrjala, while Charlie Hitchen’s quiet, almost haunting images of Coney Island and the grittier corners of Manchester had us enchanted. Similarly interested in architectural details is Nina Band, who recreates abstract shots in paper to toy with her viewers’ perspective. Finally, Sophie Mayanne’s raw and compelling portraits are full of promise of editorial features and magazine covers to come.
Last night saw beers in the sunshine, talks by graduates new and old, and a lot of names and email addresses swapped at the Hoxton Arches in London – check out a few images below. Here’s to the Grads of 2015!
We are very pleased that The It’s Nice That Graduates 2015 will once again be supported by Represent Recruitment. The graphic and digital design recruitment specialists have developed a peerless reputation working with designers of all levels and matching them up with the right positions in some of the top agencies around. Represent’s support has helped us grow the Graduate scheme over recent years and we are thrilled they have partnered with us again in 2015.