Reviewed: The standout work from D&AD New Blood 2012

Girls with Balls

We sent Paul Hogarth and Paul Mann, creative director and content farmer respectively at London ad agency Inferno, to this year's D&AD New Blood show to get their professional opinion on the fresh talent coming into the industry. You can see a selection of this year's work at the bottom of this page. Here, Paul Hogarth reports back on the students that stood out...

We walked into D&AD New Blood with anticipation and a thirst to see ideas. Ideas that can make the world around us more interesting. Hosted in trendy East London’s Old Spitalfields market, it was hard to tell the students from the passersby. Like us though, most people were there to check out the best of branding, illustration, photography and advertising from across the UK.

With over 90 stalls from institutions there was a lot to get through. Some stand out work for us came from University College Falmouth, Edinburgh Napier University, Glasgow School of Art, Ravensbourne, Southampton Solent, Kingston, The Arts University College at Bournemouth and The School of Communication Arts 2.0.

This year a select few continue to ‘do interesting’. Advertising students presenting their work as if they were the new agency in town, design students integrating digital technology into their thinking and illustrators working in a style that’s on trend and fitting of the alternative style of magazine Little White Lies (one of this years many briefs). And students have more than ever before been increasing their online presence, with work showing up on Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter chat becoming hugely popular. To our surprise we were familiar with some work already thanks to some industry blogs picking up on some gradate masterpieces early.


So let's start with Advertising. Our first impression when walking into the New Blood Show was that the majority of students still focus on a carefully curated press ad (or two), followed by a traditional printed portfolio below. Surely the institutions know as well as industry does that most campaigns can be just as clever without TV or press advertising at their core. Integrated thinking and brand experiences are more powerful. It’s the time people spend today with brands online, on Facebook and on Twitter, and I am not convinced that those who choose to present their work in a printed A4 portfolio is right for agencies anymore.

One school did stand out to us by doing advertising of the moment, the SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION ARTS 2.0 Diploma program. Presenting their work on a huge iPad like table, it encouraged you to speak and engage with the teams. Their work revealed that they were thinking across traditional, digital and social spaces, considering how brands engage with people today. Buckinghamshire New University as ever exhibited some strong Art & Copy.

School of Communication Arts 2.0

Joanne Scaife & Simon Theis Jensen

aka This Creative Team

Campaign for Volvo Welcomes Careless Drivers

Martin Headon and Olly Wood

aka We are Molly games

digital campaign for EA games ‘Peace One Day’

Buckinghamshire New University

Dunja and Yonca

aka Girls with Balls

campaign for London Inc.


Design, as usual, dominated the show, yet we were amazed at how few students were exploring the medium of digital. Secondly, typography seemed to take a more passive role this year in visual communications. Even so there were a strong few that were applying their thinking commercially. In particular, we liked the branding and kit concept for the 2014 Commonwealth games by Terry-Hearnshaw. It’s design uses abstract forms of Commonwealth flags in differing combinations. It communicates the idea without being biased to a particular art form, and how although you know these aren’t quite flag shapes, you automatically relate it without too much thinking. Bournemouth University showed strongly again this year with Jon Cleave’s ‘Immaterials’, a wireless technology project. It was one of the few that explored technology and used design to visually engage. And finally the well talked about work of Peter Smart for his project ’50 Problems in 50 Days’. Other establishments that stood out were Southampton Solent and University College Falmouth.

University College Falmouth


Branding and kit concept for the 2014 commonwealth games

Arts University College Bournemouth

Jon Cleave

Wireless technology project entitled ‘Immaterials’

Peter Smart

Project entitled ‘50 Problems in 50 Days’


To end the show, the alternative influence of Little White Lies was evident this year in the work. Rupert Smissen’s illustration of Natalie Portman (for LWL) was another familiar piece that has appeared on many blogs and Pinterest boards. Top marks.

In contrast there were also bold and graphic styles that were spotted amongst the stands, such as the vivid work of Ren from University College Bournemouth. As well as great design, Southampton Solent curated the most interesting work that we saw during our time at the exhibition. We even have the poster from their degree show up in our studio.

Southampton Solent University

Chris Todd

circular illustrations

Arts University College Bournemouth

Jack Reynolds aka Ren

Norwich University College

Rupert Smissen

Natalie Portman illustration for Little White Lies

The promise that we witnessed over the two days suggests that the creative industry and its bosses can rest assured that the world will certainly remain a more interesting place. Now go grab the talent before someone else does.

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