Hannah Nightingale studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins, and her clever use of typography and a minimal, mature approach to projects really stood out to us. Her work comes from a place of humour and wit, yet also explores more complex issues such as Japanese war legalisation. One of our favourite projects from Hannah was her neat and very clever exploration of internet culture in book form, which creates a tongue-in-cheek elevated documentation of online culture from grumpy cat to Rick-rolling, trolling, hacking and revenge porn.
For Hannah, studying graphic design was an obvious choice. “I have always been interested in art and design. My mum used to be a fine artist and my dad is a graphic designer,” she says. “I’ve never been great at academic subjects and I find it easier to express things visually, even when I’m trying to remember something, I try and create a visual story around it. I guess I started out being interested in more commercially led graphic design as that is along the same lines as what my dad does, but as time went on, I discovered I’m much more interested in conceptual and experimental graphic design.”
Having switched from Brighton to Central Saint Martins, Hannah found her final year of the course to be the most enjoyable. “In second year I wasn’t really sure what kind of designer I wanted to be and what kind of work I wanted to create, so my projects were a bit all over the place,” she says. “In final year something really clicked. I realised where my interests really lay and I found my feet. I started to be more experimental and concentrate more on using design as a means of portraying social and political messages.
“One of the best bits of art school was the people I met. In my circle of friends, we are all very different in terms of our creative interests. Some are illustrators, some are more into branding, some are even interested in experimental music. We all bounce off each other really well and in a lot of ways inspired and helped each other with our work.”
Hannah’s interests lie in “pushing the boundaries of type and composition and questioning definitions of graphic design,” resulting in conceptual work that challenges her discipline. Now that she’s graduated, she’s hoping to find work in a small studio somewhere in London, but the eventual dream is to move to the Netherlands or “certain parts of Germany” to work in a studio out there.
While Hannah learnt a lot from her tutors – to “never stop experimenting” and to “push work its limits” – she also picked up a lot of valuable, if slightly baffling tips from her coursemates.
“The most valuable thing I learnt from my peers is all nighters are actually sometimes worth the pain,” she says, “Also that if you really believe you’re in a boy band, you can be in a boy band.”
G . F Smith
It’s Nice That’s Graduates 2016 is kindly supported by G . F Smith, whose gorgeous range of papers and services can be just the thing for new and soon-to-be creative grads. The 130-year-old paper company has a long history of working with designers and artists at all stages of their careers, with its high-quality and innovative paper products offering a huge range of creative possibilities.
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.