New talent: Chelsea Graphic Design Communication degree show 2014

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Chelsea College of Art and Design's Graphic Design Communication degree show isn't big in size, but this year's graduates once again packed an impressive variety of work into the window-less exhibition space.

The 2014 show revealed a heavier emphasis on digital than last year, with a corner sectioned off for screenings of students' final-year film and motion work.

We enjoyed the range of work we found inside: slick type work shared the walls with tactile prints and posters, while innovative online services, clever smartphone apps, an inspiration machine and huge video game took over the exhibition's screens and display cabinets.

Here are eight outstanding graduates from the show...

Jack Hardiker

One of the most impressive projects at the Chelsea Graphic Design Communication degree show was Movements, a smartphone app designed by Jack Hardiker that encourages collaborative play.

Nokia has funded Movements, a smartphone app that encourages collaborative play

The app works by showing users a certain movement that - when performed - activates a sound. Like this, different users can play a range of instruments, enabling groups to make music together.

Georgina Bourke

Studio Exchange is an online skill-finding service for creatives

Studio Exchange is an online service that fosters creative collaboration. Built on the premise that it can be difficult to find creatively compatible people with the skills, experience or vision needed for a particular project, users can search the database by skillset - and are able to rate creatives - making it easier to address the creative and technical needs of a brief.

"The biggest challenge was starting from the position of knowing nothing about how to build a website or construct a complex system," explains Chelsea graduate Georgina Bourke.

Studio/Exchange helps users find the exact skillset needed for a project

"I worked with Nordiff Technologies, a web development team in India, who helped me through the process and transformed my wireframes into a digital reality," she says, adding that her favourite part of the project is the cheeky branding.

"It's provocative and adds an element of humour to a project that would otherwise have quite a neutral tone," she explains.

Richard McDonald

Close-up of It's Nice To Be Remembered, three prints by Richard McDonald

Richard McDonald's revival of his grandfather's letterpress printing business was another notable project from the Chelsea exhibition. It's Nice To Be Remembered is a tactile series of prints made up of ripped, wheat-pasted layers - the first piece of work produced through the press.

"It took a lot of trial and error before I was able to produce a set of three that conveyed the right message," he admits. "To see the reaction of those who knew my grandfather when they saw the posters in the exhibition was an extremely satisfying moment."

Katherine Jenkins

Antonym is a high-contrast, stencil typeface
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design Communication
  • Websites:
  • Project: Antonym typeface

One of our favourite projects was Katherine Jenkins' experimental Antonym typeface, a classical high-contrast stencil character set with "add on serifs". Inspired by Matthew Carter's 1995 typeface Walker, Antonym is a sans serif – that also has the option of thin or thick serifs, plus an 'outline' ultra-fine weight.

Beautiful detail on the 'Q' letterform

"Creating a typeface that stood well as a high-contrast sans serif but would also work well with serifs was challenging," says Jenkins.

"I actually referenced Gill Sans, as it's modern but has a classical feel, so Antonym is quite geometric. This unorthodox methodology has hopefully produced an unorthodox set of typefaces unlike any others."

Antonym was inspired by Matthew Carter's 1995 typeface Walker

Jenkins worked with Anthony Burrill to create a poster using brass stencils. "Designing a typeface can be quite solitary, so having the brass acid etches meant I could take it to people and get an immediate result, rather than putting it online and not knowing if it would ever get used," she adds.

Lucy Powell

Why not 'play fax' the cat?
  • Course: BA (Hons) Graphic Design Communication
  • Website:
  • Project: Unconventional Uses for A Fax Machine

Lucy Powell's Unconventional Uses for A Fax Machine - a print and motion campaign aiming to revive the dated technology for new, creative uses - drew a laugh from the audience in the film area of the exhibition.

Trapped between the realms of analogue and digital, the fax has historical significance and, according to Powell, is still used by many big-name agencies. Her project highlights a number of surprising ways in which the device could be used creatively, from 'faxing a race track' to 'play faxing' the cat.

"My work comments on consumerism and how we disregard out dated devices," she explains. "I basically wanted to say 'obsolescence' in a jokey, creative way," she explains. "

Tobias Bschorr

Tobias Bschorr's Inspiration Slot Machine

We also liked Tobias Bschorr's critical take on the inspiration process in the age of the internet. "While endlessly scrolling through design blogs and tumblrs for inspiration and ideas isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can sometimes lead to work that copies visual styles rather than having its own unique language," he explains.

Instead of offering visual inspiration, Bschorr's machine juxtaposes 60 different written references at random, providing 8,000 different combinations. The idea, he says, is to encourage lateral thinking: "It encourages a research-based practice for developing ideas."

"The biggest challenge of the project was rewriting the references so that they were short and instantly meant something, whilst also being open to interpretation. I overcame this by taking excerpts from the references that were short and oblique, and linking them back to the original references and where they came from on the poster."

Safwaan Motara

Safwaan Motara's stunning posters make use of a spot UV finish

Created in response to D&AD's New Blood XL Recordings brief, Safwaan Motara's striking spot UV-finished posters highlight Dizzee Rascal's Mercury Prize-winning album, Boy in the Corner, leaving the names of the 11 other 2003 same-category nominees 'hidden'.

Motara's response to D&AD's New Blood XL Recordings brief

"The data used displays the age, group or band size, album length and album’s peak position in the UK chart," says Motara.

"I enjoyed the development stage, where I created countless alternatives to try and achieve a collection of posters that stood out individually but also worked as a set."

Tabrez Pathan

Close-up of Tabrez Pathan's Font Ok Please

We also liked Tabrez Pathan's colorful tribute to Indian 'truck art', which brings a cultural aesthetic into a modern environment.

As Pathan explains: "In a land where highway code signs and even road lanes are a rare sight, truck drivers improvise by using warning messages, such as, ‘Horn Ok Please’ in various styles and colours to warn other road users. I have always been fascinated by the people behind this art."

Indian truck art is visually referenced in Font Ok Please

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