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The Drum and Canon launch ‘Class of 2021’ campaign to share the next generation of student talent with creatives

'Class of 2021' will provide these students with a dedicated platform from which they can showcase their work

The Drum and Canon have joined forces for ‘Class of 2021’, a virtual exhibition launching June 29 2021 that is designed to give the global creative community exclusive access to up-and-coming talent in creative arts and design via a digital ‘degree show’ that offers thousands of students a second chance to get the recognition they deserve.

2020 was a tough year for many and not least the thousands of art students who missed out on their final year degree shows, normally a life-defining moment that sets them up for a bright future in the creative industries. This new campaign will provide these students with a dedicated platform from which they can showcase their work to the global creative community, who will benefit from getting unique access to the next generation of student talent.

Register for access to the full exhibition here

“This project will be a significant focus for The Drum throughout 2021 and hopefully allow us to ensure that the next crop of creative talent don’t become a lost generation,” says Gordon Young, editor-in-chief of The Drum. “Not only are we giving these students a platform from which to showcase their work in an effort to help them further their career opportunities, but we encourage creatives to engage with them so as not to miss out on up-and-coming talent.”

Students from all over the UK have already signed up to be involved with the project and now The Drum is inviting the best creative minds from across the advertising industry to register on the hub to access the virtual exhibition.

In addition to an image gallery showcasing the students’ creative projects, creatives can learn more about the people behind the work and filter projects by categories based on specific interests/disciplines – for example, illustration, photography, graphic design, 3D, architecture, interior design etc. The exhibition has been built to randomize the content on each visit ensuring that on each login there will always be something new to discover.

The campaign will be brought to life at different stages over the course of the year through creative digital and print assets, to arm students with a range of tangible resources to help them further their career prospects with potential future employers – for example, by printing personalized student packs for them to showcase their unique work.

“We think this is such a great initiative and we're proud to support it,” says Canon Europe’s Cathy Bittner, the project lead on ‘Class of 2021’. “This project is a lovely opportunity for Canon to work with The Drum to drive technology innovation. We love the idea of this very customer-centered approach, creating this platform to bring the relevant stakeholders together and that we can use this project to try out some ideas of adding print into what might normally be an online-only experience.”

Carl Halford, course leader of BA Advertising at the University of Gloucestershire, adds: “In what has been an incredibly challenging year not just for Creative Advertising students at the University of Gloucestershire but for students studying practical creative subjects all over the country, support from organizations such as The Drum is invaluable in promoting the new generation of creatives entering the workplace. It’s certainly something we hope continues in the future, post-Covid.”

To help give these students a leg up and ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore what the next generation of up-and-coming creative talent has to offer, you can sign up now for exclusive access to the ‘Class of 2021’ here: /project/class-of-2021/registration/creative