It’s a hard time to be a student, what with the recession, the lack of jobs and the bad press resulting from a small minority rioting over university fee increases. The Hot 50 selectors, however, think it is important to acknowledge graduates and their unfaltering spirit to forge successful careers in the design industry.

Last year saw a number of graduate collectives pop up out of the woodwork, including Arts Thread, a social enterprise that connects graduates, universities and the industry in the field of design. The graduate website is an educational design tool students can go to for
inspiration and practical advice, and to upload their work. It has just struck a deal with graduate show New Designers to put the CVs of its exhibitors online.

Shellsuit Zombie, a collective masterminded by Jonny Burch (pictured) and four fellow Loughborough University graduates, launched a print magazine and collaborated with D&AD’s New Blood.

Shellsuit Zombie was set up in 2009 as a website where graduates, students and established designers can present their work. The blog now has 10 000 unique users a month, with plans to hand it over to fresh faces each year so that it is always maintained by graduates.

Another group of graduates eager to get going as a design business is 10 Collective. A group of ten female design graduates from the London
College of Communication MA course in graphic design worked well together during university and decided to set up their own studio. The group finished 2010 with an exhibition called Not Safe for Work, showcasing their output this year.

It is clear that graduates are thinking creatively in the face of adversity and it’s great to see so much new blood making headway in the industry.

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