The Next Generation 2021: Applications extended!

Formerly known as The Graduates, from now until 2 August 2021, we’re calling all emerging creatives to apply to our annual showcase highlighting fresh talent.


As summertime reaches its height in the UK, the team at It’s Nice That gets ready for one calendar highlight that’s been a staple for years: grads season. Since 2009 we’ve run an annual Graduates showcase, spotlighting tremendous talent about to enter the industry. But this year, we’re doing things a little differently. We recognise that a university education isn’t everything. For one, higher education is a privilege that not everyone has access to. But beyond that, we understand it’s not the only means of entering the creative industry, and nor should it be. So this year, The Graduates is getting a revamp. We’re widening our search, which means you don’t just have to be a new graduate to apply. If you have been working for one year or less in the creative industry, we’d love to hear from you.

With this change, there is cause for a new name – one that isn’t so tied to formal education – and we hope you like it. To mark another extraordinary year, we’re launching The Next Generation. A showcase of fresh talent championing the best new creatives in the industry no matter what your discipline. So, without further ado, applications are now open for The Next Generation 2021!


Identity by Yonk

Applications for The Next Generation now open!

Apply here

Whether you’ve recently graduated with an undergraduate degree, or if you’re about to this year. Or, alternatively, if you didn’t go to university at all but are less than a year into your creative career, you’re eligible to apply. Applications are open until Monday 2 August at midnight BST. We want to celebrate a diverse range of talent no matter what medium you work in. From design to fine art and everything in between and wherever you are in the world, please do share your work with us. We can’t wait to see what the next generation of creative stardom has in store!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing an eclectic mix of advice articles and opinion pieces specifically aimed at anyone new to the industry. These pieces include an in-depth list of resources for industry newcomers – a list gathered from all corners of the internet providing valuable advice on everything from how to write a cover letter to how to negotiate a freelance fee, contracting, unionising and much, much more. We’ll also hear from Intern founder Alec Dudson about how to expand your creative network during the time of Covid-19. There’s also an article capturing the experience of entering the industry in the past year and another offering much-needed financial information on what to charge for a freelance project. To round up the series of advice articles, we’ll explore the stigma associated with having a side job in order to support creative endeavours.

These advice articles have been shaped and crafted by you, our trusty audience of emerging creatives. A few months ago, we asked you to tell us what advice you want and from who. This series is the result of the information gathered. Hopefully, it’s a useful, insightful and encouraging resource.

We hope you enjoy The Next Generation and look forward to hearing from you and seeing your amazing work soon.


Identity by Yonk

Applicants must comply with one of the below criteria to be considered for The Next Generation 2021:

- Applicants must have graduated, or be due to graduate, from an undergraduate course (bachelor’s or equivalent) in 2021.

- Applicants must have left formal education in the last year (excluding qualifications higher than a bachelor’s degree or equivalent).

- For those without a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, applicants must have less than a year’s work experience in the creative industry.

Things to know before you enter:

- Work submitted must be the product of an individual portfolio, as opposed to a partnership or collective.

- We prefer evidence of work that isn’t bound by previous commercial or competition briefs. We want to see work that has authorship and that is original to you!

- All portfolios can be submitted as a website link or a downloadable PDF up to 10 MB. Unfortunately, we cannot open WeTransfer links, Hightail, Dropbox folders or similar.

Remember: the deadline for entries is midnight BST on Monday 2 August 2021.

Applications for The Next Generation now open!

Apply now

Look back on The Graduates 2020

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Further Info

Explore past editions of The Graduates here.

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