New Blood, the circus comes round again

Over the last week the once-a-year design-meat-market that is D&AD’s New Blood show has been held in the design hub of Shoreditch, East London in the Old Truman Brewery, and last Saturday I made the trek down from Norwich to take a look. My experiences of this, really well-respected, event are pretty ghastly and unenjoyable, but was a real shock wake-up call of how competitive the design industry is.

The Truman Brewery is a much better space for artistic work than the Olympia that has been used before, which with it’s vast open-plan space and grid-stand system felt very corporate and sterile. The rough and ready spaces within the Brewery, different level floors and beautiful brick archways (most of which have unfortunately been white-washed over) not to mention the trendy bustle of Brick Lane outside, is much better suited to the next generation of would-be image-makers and trend setters.

However having spent an hour and a half bumbling round, I couldn’t really big up any particular student’s work. This is not because of a lack of quality; the opposite is true. To peer into over a hundred stalls with ten-plus pieces of work in each is to suffer visual overload. I couldn’t give each piece the attention the energy they deserve if I had a whole month and a dozen pair of eyes. It’s so difficult for any design to stand out amongst the best the country’s colleges have to offer, and I really can empathize with that feeling.

That said, the stand from the Graphic Information Design course at the University of Westminster put up a really clean, well organized exhibition, but then I’m a sucker for info-graphics. I really enjoyed myself ogling all the graphic eye-porn, absorbing the nervous electricity of the students standing around and generally feeling relieved that it wasn’t me.

Good luck to you all.

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