The Digital Arts team popped to the preview of the New Designers 2010 exhibition (part 2), helpfully held a short distance from our offices at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. The event showcases some of the best creative work from new graduates across the UK.

Part 1 of New Designers ran earlier this week, and was focused on fashion, jewellery and textiles. Which I'm sure was nice, but it's the illustration, design and animation work on show in Part 2 that we're really interested in. This is open from today until Sunday and we recommend popping down if you're in town. If not, we've showcased some of our favourite work below.

There's a wide range of excellent work on show. Overall there was a warmer, friendlier and more approachable feel to the work than in previous years -- less aloof and style-obssessed. There was more children's book illustrations and a greater focus on family themes rather than 'big picture' campaigns.

One key recent trend -- papercraft -- was still very apparent, but the best work added some feats of paper engineering for pop-up books and effects. And with our economy still very much in the doldrums, it's no surprise that the comforting use of retro (and faux-retro) imagery was a regular sight.

Our only real complaint was that illustration and design seemed secondary to product design and furniture, as it was spread across back rooms and gallieries overlooking the main floor. The layout makes practical sense -- flat artwork can be shown on a gallery much easier than large product prototypes -- but we discovered the University of Sunderland and Lizzie Mary Cullen almost by accident, hidden away on a separate landing at the back.

Here's a sample of our favourite work.


Richard Herbert Parkhouse


Sam Gray


Jem Westing


Simon Peter Frank Cook