The summer term is usually one of celebration; granted it is a celebration that usually follows the stress of exams, but it is a marker of the academic year gone by. The trials and tribulations, celebrating the projects that worked and commiserating about the ones that didn’t. But for a generation of students, school kids and creatives alike, as lockdown continues, this summer there will be no graduation.
This is an absence which will be keenly felt by designers and creatives, as the annual degree show is a vital opportunity to showcase their portfolio, as well as a chance for visiting potential employers to see the work and judge accordingly. To help young creators bridge this gap a team of senior designers, in partnership with Ocean Outdoor, have decided to set up the Nationwide Degree Show.
The project has been founded by India Pearce, Designer at Vayner Media, Charlotte Weyer, Product Designer at Vitamin London and Anoushka Schellekens, Designer at Gravity Road.
The team has put the project together in record time having run a mentorship programme for junior designers and graduates which gave them an insight into the challenges facing young creatives in a market in which many degree shows as well as D&AD’s New Blood scheme have been cancelled. The desire to find a way to ensure that the students’ work was still seen by the industry was the creative fuel for the project.
Now thanks to almost £50,000 worth of billboard space from Ocean Outdoor in London, Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester this year's graduating creatives will still get the opportunity to showcase their work to a broad audience. The Nationwide Degree Show will run for two weeks from the 25th May, although the team are hoping the project will extend further than the billboard exhibition. To this end they are looking for other partners to exhibit the work as well; whether that be on website homepages or through print publications.
The importance of championing this next generation of creative minds is not to be disputed, but it has perhaps never been more vital to offer support to those just starting out. As the crisis lengthens and the repercussions touch each corner of the industry, collaborations such as these demonstrate the generosity of spirit that is at the heart of an industry founded on brilliant creative minds and their ever-evolving ideas.
Through time, effort and commitment this team of designers are actively opening doors for the next generation of talent.
The team is accepting submissions from across all design disciplines, with the deadline to apply at midnight on Friday 15th May. Visit The Nationwide Degree Show’s website to find out more or follow the project on Instagram @_freshmeet