By far the best graduate show that I've seen this summer is D&AD's New Blood showcase - which highlights the most interesting new talents in advertising, design and illustration from around the country. It's always stimulating to see what the new generation is producing, and the direction that they are taking - and this year there was a particularly strong group of work that fused retro and modern styles to make work that was completely contemporary.
Take Matthew Bromley's work. Elements of skate-punk, graffiti and comic strip are mixed with a mid-century palette and graphic style to make something very fresh.
Plus - he made life size masks. Always a winner.
Then there's the more obviously retro-referenced work of Robert Fresson and Edward Tuckwell (both graduating from the exceptionally good Illustration BA at Falmouth).
Robert's work is beautifully intricate and very English. This image immediately makes me want to go on a picnic.
On the other hand, Edward's pared down graphic style pays perfect homage to Film Noir.
This book jacket of his is so beautiful I'd like it on my wall.
Someone else obviously inspired by classic Americana is Aaron Alexander from Staffordshire University - this packaging for fireworks may well have been my favorite thing in the whole show. Far too nice to blow up.
Finally - huge compliments to Simon Cook (that's his stand at the beginning of this post). His website Stone and Spear is packed with fantastic things. Charming, naughty and with the most brilliant use of colour - his work gives me the thrill of the new that you always hope to get at graduate shows.
With talent like this, blogs like grain edit are going to have the time of their lives. I can't wait to start seeing these guys work on billboards, books and products.