Grad shows 2012 review: Central St Martins

Central St Martins has a reputation from producing graphic design and illustration graduates who are brilliant, artsy and pretentious – with work to match. But from this year's grad show – the first at architecturally wonderful new campus behind King's Cross Station – we saw work that was incredibly good but often conceptually clear and even *gulp* commercial.

Illustration graduates seem to have fallen in love with Victoriana or hipster comics. There's much delicately beautiful 3D collages, alongside narrative work that wouldn't look out of place on the shelves of Nobrow.

The overarching influence of Apple's approach to product design permeated the graphic design section – and not just in the iPads and MacBook being used to display the work. Neat type and the glossiest black were everywhere – though much good work took a less traditional approach.

Here's our pick of the best work, chosen by Digital Arts editor Neil Bennett and art editor Johann Chan. The shows are open to the public until Thursday June 21, along with grad work across product and innovation design, ceramics, furniture, architecture, fine art and more.. More info can be found at

Heidi Andreasen

Emil Ásgrímmson Emil is also featured in our current issue's cover feature on retro collage.

Jamie Coe

Natalie Grogan

Natalie Grogan's Harmonograph was inspired by Adam Curtis's recent documentarty All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. The machine creates haphazard prints as the paper moves in harmonic waves based on the distribution of weights beneath it. See it in action in the video below.

Thomas Reddy

Yoomi Song

Clara Yee

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