BCU Showcase: Our top picks

This year’s cohort of shiny new graphic designers are graduating from Birmingham City University!

2021 brings another year of online showcases, with in-person degree shows unable to go ahead as they usually would. At GRIN, we’ve been browsing BCU’s Graphic Design showcase The Grad Co and we’re celebrating a few of our favourite pieces of work.

Brittany Camwell
For her final project, Brittany Camwell worked on a brief from D&AD called Repositioning Menopause. She created a collaborative campaign between Let’s Talk and a local brewery that would tackle a new theme every four months. Brittany aimed to encourage younger audiences to talk about the menopause, create awareness and remove the taboo surrounding it. The use of traditional printmaking combined with motion design is gorgeous and Brittany has managed to bring fun and colour to a subject that isn’t always presented in such a way.


Oliver Wells
Looking through the BCU graduates artwork on the first scan alone, how could I not pick something Carhartt related? Excellent subject matter aside, Oliver Wells execution, of what could be a very tried and tested formula, is brilliant. The mixture of analogue and digital, the great use of colour, the application through the newspaper, all while looking perfectly on-brand for the streetwear fashion label, is solid work. But what more would you expect from the co-director of the experimental print workshop BCU Print Club.


Zhang Ziwei
Zhang Ziwei’s JiuJiuXiaoHan epitomises the balance and beauty of letterforms. With a personal inability to decipher the language in which these posters are inked, a true appreciation of the typography’s aesthetic can be captured with no ulterior motive.


Ellis Husband
Ellis Husband’s Anonymous highlights a prejudice towards demographics which do not fall within a brand’s target audience or perceived social environment. In an all too often theme, brand perception and greed outweighs compassion, self-sacrifice and basic human need.


Courtney Jade Neale
Courtney Jade Neale has created a phone app called Safe Hand, which allows women access to safety information, protective features such as emergency signals and maps that show the busiest and most well lit routes home. Courtney has combined this powerful idea with her stunning illustration style, so that the app feels friendly and welcoming while trying to fight something sinister.


Liang Xinyi
Liang Xinyi has focused their final project on rebranding the Lianxiang Lou bakery in Guangzhou, China, which is well known for its famous Cantonese-style pastries. With this project, Liang aims to market these traditional pastries to a younger audience and add a contemporary feel to the packaging, while still honouring the culture and background of the original packaging. The result is this incredibly beautiful piece of work. Liang further explains the development of this project on their website.


Erik Bezak
This refresh of Birmingham Royal Conservatoire celebrates music in such a dynamic way, combining the theme of classical music with a contemporary style. The minimal use of colour, the striking typography and, of course, the addition of music and motion come together to create a body of work that is really bold and dramatic.


Congratulations to all of the talented designers that have taken part in this year’s showcase and completed their degree! Visit The Grad Co to see more from the graduates.