New Designers 2011 – The Write-up
As you may have seen from my previous post, I was lucky enough to exhibit my work at this years New Designers exhibition in London; a showcase of work from the very best of this years graduate designers.
I thought it would be a good idea, as I sit on my train back to Nottingham, to do a brief write-up on my experience of the exhibiton and to give credit where I feel it’s more than deserved.
Whilst the vast majority of space was occupied by Product Design stands, this write-up is going to focus on the Visual Communications section of the exhibition – much more relevant to the Tangled in Design blog.
What was on show?
Graphic Design was very heavily featured at the show, with the multimedia and interactive pieces being slightly more sparse; although these were the pieces of work I found to be the most interesting – probably because I’m a webby and have subsequently found more satisfaction in things that look good and sing and dance or whatever they might do.
Some [or even most] of the graphic design on display was of immense quality and these artists deserve to be among the elite in their field. It was kind of unfortunate though that some of this quality work was lost amongst the sheer volume of print design on display.
In contrast, it was kind of nice for me as a Web Designer to be showcasing something that was a little bit different to the majority. I like to think that the piece I was exhibiting is still aesthetically strong, but also features an additional dimension in terms of interactivity.
Web, Apps and Augmented Reality
So lets start with the really interesting stuff [well – to me anyway], then I’ll finish with a small showcase of some of the stunning graphic design work on show.
One of the most stand-out pieces of work in my opinion was a mobile App called Colour Chameleon by Tom Picken, which captures all of the fun [and addictive] qualities required for a successful mobile game.
The concept is wonderfully simple and involves selecting a colour and eliminating the bugs which come down vertically in a tetris-like style. Things then get harder as you progress as you get new coloured bugs appearing which can only be eliminated by mixing the original three colours together!
Great fun and huge commercial potential. It’s also coming to the App store and Android Market very soon, so look out for it!
Find out more about Colour Chameleon.
Self Promotion with Augmented Reality
I was lucky enough to share a stand with one of the most unique pieces of work in the Visual Communications section, which was the result of a University research project by Web Designer, Dan Ryland.
Obviously Dan didn’t invent AR, but he manipulated the technology in order to utilise it in a self promotion form, specifically through business cards.
The magic works by showing the business card to the webcam, which looks for a specific pattern on the card, which when recognised, triggers a video to appear and play from the business card.
This prototype is more about the concept, but it lays the foundation for self-promotion through AR. An ideal scenario outlined by Dan would be for himself to be recorded against a green-screen so as to eliminate the background of the video, resulting in a little Dan popping-up from the business card and relaying what could be a short introduction about himself. Obviously, you can only fit so much information on a small, rectangular business card, so this certainly adds a whole new dimension to print design and I think we will be seeing a lot more of this in the months and years to come. More on this project.
Another impressive creation I came accross was a web-based application that allows the user to add post-it notes onto any area of a site; created by Dean Claydon. You can then send that website state (with all the notes in place) to anyone else, who can then add their own comments to the notes.
Again, a simple concept but an idea that I believe has great potential in certain industries, not least the Web industry! This sort of application would be perfect for communication between Web Designers and their clients, eliminating much of the misinterpretations brought about by email.
Additionally, this idea has much more scope in terms of new features that could ultimately turn it into a full piece of web page annotation software. Visit the Annotate That website.
There were so many more worthy of a mention, but unfortunately I didn’t pick everyone’s business cards up!
Now for the snaps…
About Stephen Greig
Stephen Greig is a 25 year old Freelance Web Designer/Front-end guy, currently living in Nottingham, UK. Stephen is also the creator of messivsronaldo.net and author of CSS3 Pushing the Limits, a book on advanced CSS3. You should follow him on Twitter where he talks about the web, sports, music and swears a lot. Stephen's also on Google+ if that's more your bag.