TWO Graphic Design students from Havering College have been shortlisted for the Design Council's prestigious 'Ones to Watch' initiative.
Aimee-Joy Jones and Rory McLaren – new graduates from the BA (Honours) Graphic Design course – are among 70 students nationwide identified as being among the best in emerging talent across all fields of design.
The accolade is a fantastic achievement for the students and the Graphic Design department based at Havering College's £6million Centre of Creative Arts in Hornchurch, Greater London.
The pair were "scouted" when they exhibited their final major projects in the New Designers graduate showcase at the Business Design Centre in Islington this summer.
Aimee-Joy and Rory have received a further boost as the influential British graphic designer Malcolm Garrett included them in his personal top five of up-and-coming designers with "vision, innovation and ambition".
Garrett – who created the iconic artwork for bands like Buzzcocks, Magazine, Simple Minds, Duran Duran and Peter Gabriel – identified Aimee-Joy's project on Fairytales in the 21st Century and Rory's game based on Top Trump cards and 3D character models as among the graduate presentations that stood out.
He said of Aimee-Joy's work: "The result is a book that I would love to see on sale (in all good bookshops), and would happily buy copies for all my friends."
Rory, 25, from Romford, impressed with "his inquisitiveness in embracing a relatively new and unknown technology".
Garrett commented: "Through teaching himself advanced software skills he (Rory) took his creative solution beyond the expected boundaries, which suggests the kind of curiosity and ability in skills acquisition that will see him succeed in any creative environment. All credit to the college in supporting his personal quest."
Rory said: "I am really chuffed. This was the last thing I was actually expecting. My project was to do with augmented reality. I had only a limited amount of programming knowledge and there were many sleepless nights but it was successful. I am job hunting at the moment and am very optimistic about the future."
Dagenham resident Aimee-Joy, 21, who is currently job hunting, said: "I was delighted when I found out that I had been selected by the Design Council. For me New Designers was one of the best experiences I have ever had the chance to take part in and I'm going to make the absolute most of this opportunity now given to me. I feel very privileged and humbled by the whole situation."
The New Designers graduate showcase was also a fantastic experience for Graphic Design students Sophie Broyd, 21, from Tilbury and Sophie Bland, 21, from Brentwood. Both were directly approached by major companies, including Tigerprint and Proctor & Gamble to sell their work.
Tony Branch, curriculum manager for HE Graphic Design at Havering College, said: "To have two of our students shortlisted for the Design Council's 'One to Watch' initiative is a great achievement. The level of attendance from industry at the New Designers graduate showcase was one of the highest ever and I am also delighted that a number of other Havering College students, including some of our 3D Design Craft graduates, were approached by parties to sell their work."
Havering College holds Artsmark Gold status from Arts Council England in recognition of its commitment to, and excellence in arts education.