New talent 2017: Best graduates outside London

Jasmine Welsh

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Projects: Young People in Politics and Ballot Box

Jasmine Welsh spent three months planning and producing a Question Time event that brought five politicians from the major parties face-to-face with Sheffield students. In a packed venue, Nick Clegg, Natalie Bennett, Paul Blomfield, Spencer Pitfield and David Kurten answered questions on education and immigration, and the event generated a great deal of press including an article on the event by Nick Clegg in the Evening Standard. 

“Young People in Politics is a campaign designed to encourage 18-24 year olds – who repeatedly have the lowest voter turnout – to make their voice heard,” says Welsh. 

“I also created Ballot Box, an educational board game intended as a free teaching tool for universities and colleges. It explains current political policies and can be updated with each election to help make voting more clear, combining fun with politics.”

Holly Whetnall

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Project: Explore

Holly Whetnall’s final year project Explore aims to encourage walkers to stick to the footpaths within the Peak District National Park and reduce the impact of erosion on the landscape. “Within my research,” says Whetnall, “I found that positive engagement has a greater effect than negative enforcement, such as ‘keep off the grass’.”

To promote this positive engagement, Whetnall created a series of large letters spelling out the word ‘explore’ to be positioned along designated paths, creating places to stop and take photographs, and subconsciously drawing walkers along the preferred route. “The letters create a feature whilst also blending sensitively into the environment,” she adds. “They have a dark wooden frame and are filled with a species of moss native to the Peak District.”  

Seb Gardner

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
  • Project: Narratives in the Everyday

Narratives in the Everyday saw graduate Seb Gardner finding different ways to create a story around ordinary subjects. Taking inspiration from BBC Radio 4’s The Listening Project – which records segments of conversation between ordinary people – the project aims to make visible the “un-noticed and mundane”.

For the Sheffield edition, Gardner focused on the idea of redundancy and identity to develop an animation. “Although very personal subjects are normally only held between family members and friends, being able to visualise this audio conversation brings a whole new perspective to the matter,” he says, “whilst also engaging a still wider audience.”

Anna Terreros-Martin 

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
  • Project: Felix the Fox and the Rainy Day children’s book

Graduate Anna Terreros-Martin believes it’s important for all children to have an equal opportunity to read, learn and enjoy illustrated children’s books, so she produced a tactile illustrated storyboard for blind and partially sighted children, and their families. 

Using a range of different fabrics to create raised images, as well as Bare Conductive Electric Paint – which, when touched, triggers sounds – the storyboard brings the story of Felix the Fox and the Rainy Day to life by prompting readers’ senses. The storyboard is also accompanied by an audio version of the story, so children can read and use the storyboard on their own. 

“I have developed a strong interest in children’s book illustrations and how they play an important role in childhood development,” explains  Terreros-Martin, “in particular, their importance in educating children and developing a strong bond between parent and child.”

Ashton Moran

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Project: By Order of the Committee

By Order of the Committee is a brand and style guide that can be used to recreate the distinctive aesthetic of a Working Men’s Club. Ashton Moran used original photography and a collection of family photographs to understand the unique interiors, decoration and signage of these venues, and the shared memories they hold. 

“This project is important in playing a role in the documentation of this once booming industry, which has a place in so many people’s hearts,” he explains. “It would be a great shame to lose such important places that have their roots in working class culture – although sadly I feel that this will eventually be the case.”

“I’d like to think that this guide will inspire someone to start up a fresh club,” he adds, “or will encourage WMCs of the present to update into the 21st century.”

Oli Wallace 

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Illustration

Revolving around themes of bias, emotive language and censorship, Oli Wallace’s final year project uses editorial illustration to engage and communicate. “I wanted to navigate the reader through the different methods that media outlets use to sway or influence opinion,” he explains. 

“It also serves to contrast the difference in tone from an article that has been deconstructed and stripped of its leading language. The different illustrations were constructed by creating metaphorical concepts that support and further inform the reader.”

Chris Winter

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Project: For the Love of Books

Chris Winter's final year project celebrates the format of the book and the pleasure of print through an experimental exploration of ink and paper. Each exploration was documented and designed into a full-colour, large-scale publication, For the Love of Books, which features double-sided folded inserts with duotone images of magnified ink.

“It got lots of people collaborating and needed a lot of tests, failures and research,” recalls Winter. “For one aspect, the unconventional Paper Collection, I created my own paper out of unconventional materials: the ultimate test was if it would print through an inkjet printer, which resulted in nearly breaking the printer several times.”

Nikitha Pankhania and Amy Hart 

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  • University: Sheffield Institute of Arts
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Project: The Chocolate Box Company

Graduates Nikitha Pankhania and Amy Hart collaborated to create The Chocolate Box Company, which addresses a brief to create, brand and package sustainable, Fair Trade chocolate. 

“We wanted to make Fair Trade exciting, interesting, accessible and educational so we developed a personal experience designed to simulate curiosity and excitement,” says Pankhania, adding that the brand ethos extends care to farmers, the people who produce the packaging and those who transport goods.

“The packaging communicates information about the Fair Trade producers through the use of Adinkara Symbols, which are a very important part of the farmer’s Ghanaian history and culture,” explains Hart. 

Next page: Our pick of the graduates from Leeds College of Art