New talent: Leeds College of Art degree show 2015

Nine inspiring projects from Leeds College of Art’s graphic design and visual communication courses.

If you're looking for the best new graduates for your studio or agency, don't miss Computer Arts' New Talent special, issue 243, featuring the team's handpicked selection of the UK's best graduates – on sale 24 July 2015.

Every year, we keep a close eye on Leeds College of Art – it's one of the colleges where the output is of a consistently high calibre. This year's show, entitled 'Going, Going, Gone', was no exception. Here are our nine highlights from the Graphic Design and Visual Communication BA courses this year.

Be sure to check them out at D&AD New Blood next week, and come and say hi on the Computer Arts stand too.

01. Samantha Walker

React, by Samantha Walker

Walker enjoyed experimenting with heat-reactive ink for her chemistry-inspired React identity
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Project: React

Responding to the overall exhibition theme of 'colour' that was set for all of the college's BA Graphic Design students, Samantha Walker developed an identity system for a cocktail bar called React, which was inspired by molecular mixology.

"Heat reactive, colour changing ink was screenprinted to work with the chemistry-inspired concept," explains Walker, who admits that balancing this clinical aesthetic with playful brand values was the biggest challenge.

"To overcome this, a range of clean and simple icons and images were produced and applied to the prints and menus, indicating categories and featured cocktails whilst still allowing the colour changing ink to be a focus," she adds.

02. Nicola Toon

Real London wallpaper, by Nicola Toon

Nicola Toon drew her entire design by hand using ballpoint pens, before assembling it in Photoshop
  • Course: BA (Hons) Visual Communication
  • Project: Real London

Spurred into action by the fact that London's portrayal in media and film is often different from the reality, Nicola Toon decided to develop a wallpaper design dedicated to the iconic city.

"I explored all the touristy locations, but my attention wasn't only on the iconic structures - I wanted to capture the atmosphere," she says. "I had to find a balance between making it pretty and keeping it real."

Real London print on chair cushion, by Nicola Toon

Toon's design translated across gift wrap, wallpaper and even furnishings - as shown here

03. Bethany Dalzell

The Seven Chakras, by Bethany Dalzell

After researching traditional symbolism around each Chakra, Bethany Dalzell gave them a contemporary graphic twist
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Project: The Seven Chakras

Bethany Dalzell's response to the college's 'colour' brief was to develop a series of posters around the theme of The Seven Chakras.

"The biggest challenge was paying homage to the traditional hindu and buddhist artwork, whilst creating something starkly different as a response," she reflects. "The poster series was not about replacing traditional artwork, but creating a modern celebration of it."

04. Jasper Lee

Milan in Colour, by Jasper Lee

Although more used to editorial design, Jasper Lee enjoyed designing and curating his exhibition space
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Project: Milan in Colour

With a passion for editorial design, Jasper Lee addressed the 'colour' theme through a photographic exploration of the architecture in Milan that translated into both a publication and an exhibition space.

"I juxtaposed the grand traditional buildings against the sharp modern silhouettes of Milan, focusing on the colours found there," he explains. "I selected the most powerful photographs to provide colour and content to the space, and positioned the vinyl to draw the viewer's attention to the publication."

Milan in Colour, by Jasper Lee

For Lee, focusing on colour was the biggest challenge: "It's not usually at the forefront of my practice," he admits

Lee selected photographs with vibrant and interesting colours: "That way, I could still work monochromatically but colour would be the stand-out element," he says.

Milan in Colour, by Jasper Lee

Lee selected photos that juxtaposed bold, striking colours with architectural shapes

05. Barsha Pant

Darker, by Barsha Pant

Darker, by Barsha Pant. Levitation was a common theme across the whole series
  • Course: BA (Hons) Visual Communication
  • Project: Floating

Having long harboured a fascinating with surreal imagery, for her final -year project Barsha Pant chose to explore her own personal world through the medium of photography.

Levitation was the common thread running through her images. "My favourite aspect is the story behind all of them, as they are personal to me," she says. "I am very happy and proud of the final compositions."

Fly, by Barsha Pant

Fly. Pant combined multiple layers in Photoshop before colour-correcting her final images

Her biggest challenge was simply time: "I was spending hours editing one picture because I was not happy with it," she admits. "I overcame this difficulty by revisiting the brief after a month."

Forest, by Barsha Pant

Forest. Pant spent many hours editing each image, but found that stepping away and coming back later helped give her perspective

Next page: four more outstanding design graduate projects - plus get a half-price subscription to Computer Arts...