Talent spot

Who are the print and graphic design stars of the coming year? Kerstin Kühn asks eight luminaries to nominate an up-and-coming designer who looks set to make it big in the next 12 months. Two of these have moved on to product design after training

Nick Defty, Creative and editorial director, YCN One to watch: Dean Pannifer

‘Everyone loved the work Dean Pannifer submitted for the Tetley Tea brief as part of last year’s Young Creatives Network Awards. Using tea stains, he created representations of cultural icons, such as Paul McCartney and David Dickinson. These works are beautifully simple and went on to be one of only five submissions to win a Rocket. Pannifer’s work is sophisticated yet accessible, and it never lacks a sense of humour. I recently saw some DVD titles he created for a Lost in Translation DVD brief. He did them in the style of Teletext, and they are lush. You can show his design work to anyone – from a creative director to my mum – and they’ll understand and love it.’

• Dean Pannifer graduated from the Visual Communication department at the Glasgow School of Art in 2004. He has worked for Skratch Design, YCN and Franki & Jonny, among others. He lives in Northumberland, where he is freelancing.

Jeff Willis, Deputy head of department, Communication Art & Design, Royal College of Art One to watch: David Sudlow

‘David Sudlow is an antidote to this fast-moving, insincere world of fake design celebrity. He represents a generation of Royal College of Art graduates who are able to negotiate the space between personal ambition, innovation, playful experimentation and professional pragmatism. He has an accomplished typographic sensibility and an eloquent visual language. Don’t expect elaborate, short-lived gloss and style; expect a measured, thoughtful execution of what he considers appropriate to the job. Of course, he needs opportunities, challenges and clients who see his value as a designer and a person.’

• David Sudlow gained an MA in Communication Art and Design from the Royal College of Art in 2004. He works as an Associate Lecturer in graphic design on the BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design course at the London College of Communication and is also freelancing, developing information systems and graphic design for exhibitions and museums.

Hugo Manassei, Creative Pioneer programme director, Nesta One to watch: Jan Lun Lee

‘Within months of graduating from the Glasgow School of Art, Jan Lun Lee was commissioned to work for the Graphic Thought Facility. Both take the craft side of graphic design and the importance of the imagination as cornerstones of their work. Lee’s work is driven by his vivid imagination and his passion for illustration, which he realises in totally fresh ways. Predicting who will make it big in 2005 is difficult because it is so dependent on fashion. But GTF continues to be the daddy of British graphic design, and in Lee, with his similar approach, we may just see a new kid on the block.’

• Jan Lun Lee graduated from the Visual Communication department at the Glasgow School of Art in 2004. He has recently worked with Nesta and GTF and lives in Glasgow, where he works as a freelance designer.

Jeremy Leslie, Group creative director, John Brown Citrus Publishing One to watch: Bob Design

‘Bob Design is the antithesis of the style-over-content graphics that usually attract the attention of the design press. Set up in late 2002 by three graduates of Kingston University – Alexis Burgess, Kieran O’Connor and Mireille Burkhardt – Bob has quietly built up a body of work notable for its purity of thought and its variety. As well as ongoing work for Pringle of Scotland, recent projects include exhibition designs for illustrator Quentin Blake, an identity for Swiss insurance broker Walser and a series of look books for John Lewis. This mix reflects the group’s design approach: a purist Swiss aesthetic tempered by a warming British wit. Having just added Candrian Catering and Dunhill to its client list, I expect 2005 to be a big year for Bob.’

• Bob Design is a team of graphic designers working for clients in London and Zurich. Bob was formed in August 2002 by its three partners and is based in Notting Hill in west London.

Emily Campbell, Head of design, British Council Ones to watch: Matthias Megyeri and Julia Lohmann

‘The British Council is showing two wonderful product designers at Milan this year. They are Matthias Megyeri and Julia Lohmann. Both trained as graphic designers, which, I’m told, is a growing trend. Megyeri investigates the twin obsessions of security and kitsch by customising burglar alarms and surveillance devices into flora and fauna. Lohmann transforms the food industry’s waste – cowhides and offal – into lighting and furniture which is organic in a true sense of the word. There’s a lot of talk in product design about emotional connection and I think these two really make it. Perhaps my prejudice as a graphic designer leads me to believe that their intense early training in the welding of form and content is what gives them this narrative skill.’

• Matthias Megyeri studied Visual Communication and Design in Germany and gained a Design-Products MA from the RCA in London in 2003. He is working for Dear Dad in London.

• Julia Lohmann studies graphic design at the Surrey Institute of Art, where she works as a session tutor. She gained a Design-Products MA from the RCA in 2004.

Chris Thompson, Programme director education and deputy team director, D&AD Ones to watch: Amy Doherty, Poppy Stedman and Sam Stephens

‘After graduating from Kingston University, Amy Doherty, Poppy Stedman and Sam Stephens were selected as winners of D&AD Best New Blood Awards from more than 1500 graduates. In a separate round of judging, they were also selected as winners of the John Gillard Award. Their project, Tree Drawings, was unanimously decided to be the most inspiring and insightful piece of work on show.

Tree Drawings comprises a project many professional designers and agencies would be proud to own and deserves to be recognised as a design classic of 2004. Doherty, Stedman and Stephens are without doubt among the most rounded graphic design graduates of last year and are destined to become well established.’

• The team has decided to go their separate ways, with the idea of setting up a company together in the future. Sam Stephens is on a placement at Williams Murray Hamm, Amy Doherty is on an extended placement at the BBC and Poppy Stedman is working full time at Lewis Moberly.

Adrian Shaughnessy, Art director, writer, consultant Ones to watch: Bibliotheque

‘The three founding partners of Bibliotheque have got what it takes to be design world stars in 2005: talent and plenty of confidence. Jon Jeffrey is ex-Farrow, and Mason Wells and Tim Beard are North alumni. They combine the best of traditional craft-based design – meticulous typography and fastidious use of print technology – with restrained yet intense expression. Their smart, well-lit EC2 studio resembles a piece of Bibliotheque graphic design: it’s so neat and tidy that you almost expect it to conform to an invisible grid. There’s a bookish seriousness about them (hence, perhaps, the name), but they’re not humourless. Jeffrey is the perfect front-of-house guy: affable and highly organised. Beard is the quiet one and Wells is a stern enforcer. It seems to be working: they’ve already got lots of eager clients queuing up for a bit of Bibliotheque corrective treatment.’

• Bibliotheque is one year old and its work ranges from exhibition design to corporate identity for an airline. Clients include Adidas, Shell and Catriona MacKechnie.

Helen Walters, Editor-in-chief, Idanda One to watch: Julia Hoffmann

‘Julia Hoffmann is an old fashioned graphic designer, meant in the most positive way possible. She moved from her native Germany to New York, where she has learned her trade with Stephen Doyle of Doyle Partners, and is now at Pentagram, working under the aegis of Paula Scher. Her attention to the needs of a particular client come to the fore with each piece of work. As she puts it, ‘design without concept is mere decoration’. As a result of her tenacious attitude, her solutions work on many levels. Uninterested in passing trends or stylistic whims, her work is nonetheless elegant and powerful at all times, while always being appropriate for the problem at hand.’

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