Design students look to raise funds to secure place at national industry event

A group of students at Gray’s School of Art are appealing for help to raise funds which will allow them to attend a major event for emerging designers.

New Blood 2016Gray’s White Sharks, a group of fourth year Communication Design students, are attempting to raise £6000 to secure three stands at the D&AD New Blood Festival in Shoreditch, London.

D&AD celebrates and nurtures outstanding work in the design and advertising industry each year with its international creative awards.

As well as the Professional Awards, D&AD aims to cultivate new talent, ensuring the next generation of creatives gets off to a flying start.

Gray’s White Sharks have already raised £1,020 towards the total, with £3000 due by the end of January, and then a further £3000 by the start of April.

They also plan to hold a number of fundraising events including a Valentine’s stall, movie night and a communication design course tea & chat.

Student Xanthe Bodington (22) said: “After our Degree Show in June, the next major showcase for design students is D&AD's New Blood Festival – it is a national event where designers from all across the UK showcase their work to top industry leaders and networks.

 “The job market for new graduates is very competitive. Exhibiting our work in London would not only help us showcase our work in situ, but it is also a great opportunity to try and help securing a job after graduation.”

One of those new graduates who managed to impress at the event last year and secure himself a job as a junior designer was Stuart Foy (22).

He said: “New Blood was the perfect chance to be surrounded by talent from all over the country, including fellow students and established creatives looking for new recruits.

“Being able to talk through your work with people was very useful, and I was able to show a different side to my practice. Anyone you speak to at New Blood could be searching for new designers or creatives, and that makes it all a little bit more exciting, so I really recommend people get comfortable talking about their work.

“I was lucky enough to gather a bit of attention from a few companies, taking me back to London for interviews and soon after, a job. My current job at Havas Work Club stemmed from a portfolio review at New Blood, so while it's a cliché, New Blood really did change my life.”

Stage 4 communication design co-ordinator, Annette Murray, said: “New Blood Festival is an important forum for communication designers to showcase their work and make industry connections that will help their career and we always encourage our new graduates to attend, if possible.

“A massive fundraising effort is involved from the students in order to secure their place at the event and hopefully they will reach the required target by the end of the month with the support of the local community.”

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology