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New talent: Leeds College of Art degree show 2016

If you're looking for the best new graduates for your studio or agency, don't miss Computer Arts' New Talent special, issue 256, featuring the team's handpicked selection of the UK's best graduates – on sale 22 July 2016.

Leeds College of Art celebrated 170 years of delivering art education this summer, culminating in an innovate collection of final year student work at its end-of-year show, Made Here, held from 11-16 June.

Read on for our pick of the most outstanding work from the graphic design course – and don't forget to stop in at D&AD New Blood 2016 from 6-7 July at The Old Truman Brewery, London, to meet the students behind the work.

01. Alexander Finney

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Alex Finney

Close up of Alex Finney's interactive, musical project, Wall of Sound
  • Course: Graphic Design
  • Project: Wall of Sound

"Wall of Sound is a playable, conductive ink, synthesiser and theremin, allowing interaction between what you see, touch and hear," says Leeds College of Art final year student Alexander Finney.

"It came about after thinking about how I could engage the hugely diverse audience that attend degree shows."

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Alex Finney

Finney's project uses Bare Conductive's electrically conductive paint

"Finding Bare Conductive's electrically conductive paint was instrumental in the playable wall coming to life," he continues. "The project was made possible by modern tech, but the result was a simple platform for creativity and fun!"

02. Joe Valentine

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Joe Valentine

Joe Valentine uses project mapping to explore the relationship between print and digital posters
  • Course: Graphic Design
  • Project: Digital Enhancements

Joe Valentine's project explores how a printed poster design can be expanded into a digitally enhanced format. "Projection mapping allows the design to be versatile, meaning sections change and alter to create a whole new design," explains Joe Valentine.

"This means the visual will change over time – varying in colour, depth and perception – whilst using the same grid system and elements from the original poster print."

Leeds College of Art: Joe Valentine

Valentine assembled 12 wooden cubes and painted them white to create a 3D surface suitable for projection mapping

"I wanted to express a way in which digital projections can be used to expand on printed posters to create an interactive, alternative design that changes and alters in front of your eyes," he says.

"The idea is to explore the range of outcomes that can be provided with the use of digital formats."

03. Jessica Johnson

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Jessica Johnson

Seven Wonders conveys the architectural detail of the seven wonders of the world through screenprinting
  • Course: Graphic Design
  • Project: Seven Wonders

"A millennial project resulted in the establishment of the seven contemporary wonders of the world," explains Jessica Johnson.

"Although we see these seven spaces celebrated and advertised through a photographic medium, my aim was to convey the architectural detail and the in-depth construction measurements, using the traditional method of screenprinting to represent the long standing and original features."

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Jessica Johnson

This abstract set of prints explores the geometric elements of the landmarks, displaying significant attributes through line and colour

"Using measurements from the dimensions of each wonder, a grid was composed to create the structure of the prints," she continues. "On the second layer, a multitude of colours were used to show the vibrancy and variation of each location."

"The foiling created highlights demonstrating the spectacular aspects, and the letterpress represents the longitude and latitude of the wonders, giving the key clue as to which is being visually represented."

04. Alec Mezzetti

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Alec Mezzetti

Disfigure explores the history, meaning, forms and power relationships present in the act of statue vandalism
  • Course: Graphic Design
  • Project: Disfigure

"The reasons why statues are vandalised are as diverse as the reasons for building them," says Alec Mezzetti. "Some are the result of religious, cultural or political iconoclasm, others are altered to erase history and justify exploitation."

"Tyrants are toppled, either by genuine uprisings, or in staged events by occupying armies. Some use the act of vandalism to protest social injustices. At their heart, these acts, just like the statues that they are enacted upon, are symbolic."

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Alec

Alec Mezzetti's exhibition space at Made Here 2016

"I used a wide range of media to explore the issue, in order to create a body of work that educates an audience and allows them to draw their own conclusions on the topic."

05. Kieran Walsh

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Kieran Walsh

You Are Running Into Danger explores the CND's graphic heritage
  • Course: Graphic Design
  • Project: You Are Running Into Danger

You Are Running Into Danger promotes the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament. "The CND has a great visual history to build upon; designers, artists and the common demonstrator alike have all contributed vast amounts of imagery in an attempt to achieve nuclear disbarment," says Kieran Walsh.

"Each reiteration of the cause is undoubtedly beneficial, however the dilution and commodification of the CND's visual language can damage its effectiveness. The 'peace' symbol, for example, no longer directly correlates with its CND agenda but a hippy, flower child stereotype ready to buy at the local fancy dress shop."

"Approaching the communication of an anti-nuclear agenda in an alternate manner, then, seemed more efficient. Based upon the universal maritime code of flags, the imagery of the campaign reflects the context of Trident – Britain's nautical-based nuclear program."

"Sitting between an act of protest and an everyday garment, the scarf has the ability to mutate between obscurity and legibility. Worn discreetly the product is decorative; with intent the scarf can be held as a banner and used as a tool of protest."

06. Jonny Pell

Leeds College of Art degree show 2016: Jonny Pell

Jonny Pell displayed elements from his final year project, a book called Process
  • Course: Graphic Design
  • Project: Process: Digital letterpress

"Process is a document that rounds up a year's worth of my research into a publication format," says Jonny Pell. "The idea behind the display book is to provide a visual journey of the influence of technology, from a time where communication was purely verbal to the introduction of distributing information through the Gutenberg to the internet."

"By repurposing the book's content onto the wall using various formats and processes, I communicated this journey in a way that needed minimal engagement, from laser cut letterpress to digital printed posters to show an influence of technology."

"By using a range of thought processes, production processes and communication principles that took influence from key periods of communication, I was able to create a visualisation of the development of communication – like how language was a purely spoken thing with no visual system, to how voice and conversation could be placed into a lettering system that developed into the typographic alphabet."

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Julia Sagar
Julia Sagar

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.