As usual there were a plethora of outstanding design graduates on show at New Designers, and I always um and ah about how I am going to split these blogs up. Should I go with themes and trends that I spotted across the show? Inevitably I’m more likely to be drawn to trends that I myself love so I can’t for one moment profess to give a full view in this respect. Should I go with type of work? It’s a tough one, because many of these designers produce designs that could cross over into many disciplines. For now I’m going to start with a review of the surface designers who were inspired by the 50s, of which there were many who caught my eye.
At the Loughborough University stand I admired the crazy cool dog designs by mature student and former jockey Paul Roberts. I asked if he’d considered horses as a theme, but for now it seems he’s sticking to a slightly humorous 50s vibe of people and their pet dogs.
This sheep’s skull print was produced by Ruth Rennison, winner of the Lucienne Day award. The dominance of greys and other sludgy tones give her collection a heavy feel that was very indicative of one type of 50s design: much favoured by my grandparents for interior fabrics in their Welsh cottage (still there today).
Leeds College of Art is always home to a plethora of great new surface designers and this year was no exception. Anna Gurrey concentrated on simple 50s style scribbles and strokes, piled onto pastel backgrounds.
This lovely perfume bottle pattern is by Lauren Marie Burke.
Rose Thomasson of Heriot-Watt University produced Scandinavian influenced geometric designs populated by birds and leaves. Scandinavian design had a big impact on 50s design across the world, with echoes still reverberating today. You can read about Rose’s placement at Tigerprint here.
Fellow student Rachel MacLeod made repeat prints featuring boats and houses – again the use of a muddy palette is very suggestive of the 50s.
At Bath Spa University I liked this teasel wallpaper by Sophie Berry – a slightly more modern take this time, but still a bit 50s in the repeat use of an unusual decorative plant with curlicue detailing.
Her fellow classmate Polly Rowan has an equally wonderful name. She had produced this lovely open pattern design with a beautiful quality that can only be achieved through screenprinting, but the subtle use of a zingy orange brings this design bang up to date.
Hazhar Pani from the University of Bolton took a graphic approach to his retro modern architecture inspired surface designs, which he told me have attracted a great deal of interest already.
Next up: a blog full of beautiful splashy brights and much much more. Don’t forget, many of these images first appeared on my instagram feed, where you can view my pick of design graduates as I find them.
- New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part two
- New Designers 2013 Surface Design Graduates – Playful Brights
- New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part one
- New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part three
- New Designers 2015: Abstract Textiles and Surface Design