New talent: Falmouth University degree shows

Becca Allen uncovers the best new graduates at Falmouth's 2014 Graphic Design and Illustration exhibitions.

If you're looking for exciting new graduates for your studio or agency, don't miss Computer Arts' New Talent special, issue 230, featuring our handpicked selection of the UK's best graduates – on sale 24 July.

This week, I popped along to Falmouth University's 2014 Graphic Design and Illustration graduate shows and was lucky enough to be given a tour by the head of Graphic Design, Bryan Clarke.

Held in a very simple, minimal space, each student had one white wall and a white cloth-covered table to display their work. But while the exhibition itself lacked the spectacular custom-built displays often seen at graduate shows - and indeed in past Falmouth exhibitions - the standard of work was exceptionally high.

I was filled with inspiration by the concepts, and excellently executed ideas and products on display. Some of the end products were created to such a high standard they were retail-worthy.

In no particular order, here is some of the work that caught my eye…

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith for Danepak

Nathan Smith's morning fresh bacon packaging for Danepak

Tasked to reinvent the way Danepak bacon is packaged, while keeping it fresher for longer and giving it shelf standout, Nathan Smith brought a literal approach to the phrase 'breakfast in bed'. The bed sheets are reminiscent of butcher's strips and differentiate between different cuts.

"Their current campaign is based on the tagline 'mornings made better' with a look heavily wrapped around the 'British morning'," Nathan explains. "This led to the thought that bacon could be tucked up fresh for the morning."

Malin Persson Jarskär (Malin Linnéa)

Malin Persson Jarskar ISTD Ebb and Death

Malin Persson Jarskar created Ebb and Death I for ISTD
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Website: www.malinnea.com
  • Project: ISTD: Ebb & Death

Ebb & Death I [above] and Ebb & Death II [below] were submitted to the International Society of Typographic Designers in response to the brief: 'Everything about one thing'.

Booklets from Ebb and Death II, by Malin Persson Jarskar

Booklets from Ebb and Death II, by Malin Persson Jarskar

"The project evokes the relationship between the ebb and flow of the tides, and the coming and going of life," says Malin.

David Doran

David Doran, Going Home Again

David's illustration for The New York Times was featured in the Society of Illustrators Annual 56
  • Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
  • Website: www.daviddoran.co.uk
  • Project: Going Home Again, for The New York Times

This illustration for The New York Times was created to accompany a review of Going Home Again, a novel by Dennis Bock. The story follows a man who spends a strange year at home in Canada, after separating from his wife in Madrid.

Doran's graduate degree show at Falmouth University

David's graduate degree show at Falmouth University

David's image depicts the secluded and contemplative scene of the protagonist travelling back home alone. The stripped-back palette of the spotlight evokes the Canadian flag, helping communicate the subtle questions of identity raised in the article.

Remy Nurse

Alien Hand Syndrome, Cotards Syndrome and PSAS - three images from Remy Nurse's Hypochondriacs Handbook series

Alien Hand Syndrome, Cotards Syndrome and PSAS, from the Hypochondriacs Handbook series

Alien Hand Syndrome, PSAS (Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome) and Cotards Syndrome are just some of the rare diseases, ailments and syndromes interpreted by Illustration graduate Remy Nurse through Hypochondriacs Handbook, a series of illustrations exploring the complicated machine of the human body and mind. The pieces were hand-painted using acrylic on paper.

Grounds For Divorce album artwork for Secret 7" by Remy Nurse

Grounds For Divorce album artwork for Secret 7" by Remy Nurse

Remy's Secret 7" submission - also hand-painted in acrylic on paper - interprets the music and lyrics of Elbow's single, Grounds For Divorce.

Josh McKenna

Josh McKenna's Paradise illustration

Josh McKenna's Paradise illustration

Based on the quote "Paradise is exactly like where you are right now, only much much better" by Laurie Anderson, Paradise features in this year's University College Falmouth: Book of Illustrated Quotes and Sayings.

Paradise on display at Falmouth University

Paradise on display at Falmouth University

"It epitomises the summer vibes of my work, and has been the most recognised and well-received piece of mine," says graduate Josh McKenna.

Paddy O'Hara

Briefed by D&AD New Blood to interpret the true power of cinema through a 25-second indent for Digital Cinema Media (DCM), Paddy O'Hara brought to life the idea that nothing compares to the big screen.

"This is illustrated in three cinema idents that show the comparison in screen size - approximately to scale - between these devices," he explains, adding that he also created an ad for television and online in which the DCM logo acts as a magnifying glass. The project was awarded In Book status by D&AD.

Also of note was Paddy's Coca-Cola Tackles Mental Illness campaign, a self-initiated project designed to help increase awareness of mental illness within the UK.

Hannah Sunny Whaler

Hannah Sunny Whaler's sequential piece, The Phillumenist

Hannah Sunny Whaler's sequential piece, The Phillumenist

"I produced this piece as an entry for The Cheltenham Illustration Awards, based on the theme of 'Being Human'," explains Falmouth graduate Hannah Sunny Whaler.

"I chose to look at our bizarre impulse as human beings to collect things, and the gap between imagination and reality," she adds.

"Visually the piece is inspired by the combination of visuals and typography used in vintage cigarette and matchbox packaging."

James Holdsworth

James Holdsworth final poster

James Holdsworth's This if First Aid final poster

This Is First Aid is a playful campaign designed to quickly teach life-saving skills. The project aims to remove any stigma that might be attached to the process of learning an important skill, while also injecting humour into what could be a terrifying task.

"It points out the obvious, you already do first aid everyday: hitting a ketchup bottle, playing basketball and slamming your alarm – this is first aid," explains graduate James Holdsworth.

"It's the simple action of hitting something, which you need to do to stop someone choking."

'You do first aid every day' is the message behind James Holdsworth's This Is First Aid campaign

'You do first aid every day' is the message behind James Holdsworth's This Is First Aid campaign

Laura Plant

Laura Plant also designed a fold-out poster to accompany her book, In Praise of the Beetle

Laura Plant also designed a fold-out poster to accompany her book, In Praise of the Beetle

Inspired by museum cabinets and old natural history pocket books, In Praise of the Beetle is a small book detailing the folklore and superstitions that surround the beetle.

The project focuses on the intricate beauty of the insect through a drawing process that replicates the traditional process of engraving used in scientific illustration.

Map of the Chakras, by Laura Plant

Map of the Chakras, by Laura Plant

"I also wanted to juxtapose the scientific and mythological elements of the beliefs through the visual language used," explains Laura Plant.

Another great piece on show was Laura's Map of the Chakras, illustrating energy floss from the Hindu and Yogic systems of belief.

Half-price CA subscription offer!

We know it isn't always easy being a recent graduate. So to celebrate the 2014 degree show season, we're offering an incredible 50% off an annual subscription to Computer Arts magazine. For just £39 you'll receive an entire year of industry insight, opinion and inspiration, delivered directly to your door.

Plus: sign up by 10th July and you'll receive our New Talent issue, featuring our guide to 2014's most outstanding design graduates - and a very special cover designed in response to a joint brief with D&AD New Blood.

Words: Becca Allen

Becca Allen graduated from Falmouth with a First Class honours in Graphic Design. She worked as designer for Computer Arts and head of women's design for Rhythm Europe in Austria. She is now a freelancer working on illustrative, typographic and editorial projects.