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We asked Malcolm Garrett RDI – the influential British graphic designer who created the iconic artwork for bands like Buzzcocks, Magazine, Simple Minds, Duran Duran and Peter Gabriel – to choose five of the 70 Ones to Watch we’ll be showcasing as part of our 70th anniversary celebrations.
Malcolm joined us at New Designers, the UK’s largest graduate exhibition, to look for up-and-coming designers with vision, innovation and ambition.
Q. How would you sum up what you saw at New Designers?
The exhibition represents an almost overwhelming wealth of expertise from a broad range of talents with a vast range of projects and ideas on display.
I am sure that the Ones to Watch I chose could be matched by many other students that I didn’t have the good fortune to talk to, but nevertheless there was something that drew me to their work, so there was evidently some creative magic at work.
Q. What stood out for you at the exhibition?
The universally high standard of execution, the thought and care put into presentation, the obvious pride of teaching staff for their students’ capabilities and achievements, and the enthusiasm of all students in their willingness to talk about and explain their work and their goals.
There is a sense of confidence amongst students, who have the gratifying realisation that their years of work has borne fruit and that they are poised to capitalise on that endeavour and launch into successful careers.
Q. Who did you pick for our Ones to Watch and why?
University of Brighton
Patrick Kendal’s Spring Oven is simply a great idea. The intelligent, perceptive analysis of the science of baking led to an ingeniously simple utensil that can be used in almost any oven to produce fresh bread in any home. This is a basic, practical, and affordable product for any domestic environment. In addition he has designed and produced a professional standard brochure to present and market it. His belief in his own product and his hunger to bring it to market is clearly evident.
London South Bank University
George Mabey’s A4 Scooter is one of those ideas that spring from the most unlikely of places. Taking inspiration from a simple child’s toy, the designer has produced an ‘impossible’ engineering solution to a problem no-one had previously thought to consider. It is simply ingenious. It’s not that the world needs a scooter that will roll up to the size of an A4 box, but the fact that this was made possible suggests the kind of mind that could achieve great things when tackling unforeseeable problems in other unlikely situations.
Rory McLaren created a sort of corporate Top Trumps. Rory impressed me with his inquisitiveness in embracing a relatively new and unknown technology. With determination and tenacity he took time to learn how to deliver an augmented reality component within an otherwise conventional graphic design project. Through teaching himself advanced software skills he took his creative solution beyond the expected boundaries, which suggests the kind of curiosity and ability in skills acquisition that will see him succeed in any creative environment. All credit to the college in supporting his personal quest.
Aimee Joy Jones
Aimee Joy Jones created infographic variations of fairytale characters. This project acknowledges the universality of the characters in the fairy tales we have all grown up with, from The Snow Queen to The Three Bears to The Seven Dwarves, then undermines our childhood memories by using them as the basis for an exercise in information design. Through a visual re-telling of their stories in an infographic environment, it presents a charmingly preposterous conceit, perceptively analytical and beautifully illustrated. The result is a book that I would love to see on sale (in all good bookshops), and would happily buy copies for all of my friends.
Plymouth College of Art
Hannah Pellatt created the Education progression pack. This is a fresh typographic take on the standard course brochure. With typographic precision the designer deconstructs core information about arts education and available pathways, and presents it in three clear and effective sections, in a way that recognises and responds to the intended audience’s visual taste. I was impressed by the clarity of the editorial structure that was determined through careful analysis and rewriting of the texts, the attention to typographic detail, and the disciplined simplicity with which the three sections are compiled and presented both individually and as a set.
Could you be one of our 70 Ones to Watch?
Our team of scouts can’t reach every talented up-and-coming designer out there – so we’d encourage you to nominate yourself online to make sure your work gets seen by our Ones to Watch judges. You can apply online until 1 October 2014.
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