NTU Art & Design Show 2016

While Spring is the time of year for nature to bloom and grow, summer is peak time in the creative industry to watch designers and artists do the same at end-of-year university shows. Following graduating from their respective courses, these shows are a chance for them to show the world what they've got, as well as for us to spot some real talent. These shows give us the chance to re-examine our own work, keep up with the latest trends in the industry and ensure our work stays fresh.

This June, we went to check out Nottingham Trent University's end of year Art and Design degree show. We saw amazing work from 20 different course areas across the school and evidence of some real talent about to drop in the creative pond. Below we've posted our top picks, which featured heavily in the graphic design and illustration department.

Tucked away from the rest of the show with lots hidden corners and dividing walls, each piece of work was given space to breathe. Having been to these kind of shows many times before, we had an idea of what to expect, but as this was our first trip to this particular campus, we were pleasently suprised.

What struck us at first was how varied the work was, a real mix of graphics and illustration. Some of the work was traditional and clean, fresh and contemporary, while others pushed the boundaries of modern graphic design and broke the rules in a brave and inspiring way. Some work was more illustrative, with beautifully bound books to accompany it, there were also print and pattern designs which had been used very creatively on clothing, cushions, cards and wrapping paper.

While these shows can be a great oppourtunity for artists and designers to showcase their portfolio, the problem that they face at these events is the relatively 2D nature of the work. Many shows tend to display pieces as prints on the wall. Whilst this works in a certain context, a degree show buzzing with huge statement furniture and outlandish costume designs can often cause the graphic design department to shrink into the background. What made this show so refreshing was how everybody had a table with their work featured on physical objects surrounded by accessories, which we felt really brought the work to life and helped the department to stand its ground against the competition.

We were most impressed by the quality of the books that had been printed. This was such a professional touch and was the highlight of the show to us. It was also great to see a lot of the students there, a great way to meet people in their aspiring industries and the best way to utilise the oppetunity of having your work displayed in a buzzing creative city such as Nottingham. 

Here are our top 3 picks from the show:

Aiden O'Connell



Amy Gibson



Urvashi Kanda