It’s official – graphic designers Jocelyn and Toby are the industry’s rising stars
Two graphic designers who honed their skills at the University of Northampton have been hailed as some of their generation’s very best creative superstars.
Jocelyn Yong and Toby Clarke, who have just graduated from the Graphic Communication course, are two of just 70 designers from around the world to be named as Ones to Watch, by The Dots – a leading online professional network for the creative industries.
Toby and Jocelyn were selected by The Dots after their portfolios impressed judges at this year’s D&AD New Blood Festival.
This highly prestigious international design and advertising festival attracts thousands of entries from students and recent graduates from around the globe, with creative briefs set and judged by industry professionals.
Toby has been no stranger to awards since he became a student, having picked up two titles during his time at Northampton – a YCN Student Award commendation, and winning a contest to redesign a cover of Owen Jones’ bestselling book, The Establishment and How They Get Away With It.
Speaking about his latest award, Toby, who comes from Milton Keynes, said: “I am extremely shocked and privileged to have been selected as one of D&AD’s Ones To Watch.
“I always strive to do my best in my work, but never expect any reward. I never thought I would be selected for this honour, as there are so many great designers in the industry, so I never dreamed my portfolio had a chance.”
Looking back at his three years at Northampton, Toby added: “I have been fortunate enough to work with great peers and tutors that have developed and inspired my design work throughout my study.
“The course provides for a unique experience of freedom and opportunities as a learning designer. I have personally been lucky enough to have been exposed by a selection of giants in the industry, from working with clients at Silverstone Circuit and experiencing a work placement at Penguin Books.”
He added: “Due to the pandemic, which has shaken every industry, now is the time to evaluate my future, and explore the next steps to develop a career.
“I’d like to see where a future job will take me, nowhere is off limits and everything is on the table.”
Jocelyn, who comes from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was delighted to see judges pick out her work from more than 1,000 portfolios – particularly as she had only been at the University for a year.
She said: “I was very shocked, it was a total surprise. I had to read the email again and again and I still couldn’t believe it for a while – I was very grateful to be chosen.
“As an international student who joined in the third year of the Graphic Communication course, I was really pleased in the way it enhanced my skills, especially my critical thinking as a graphic designer and a problem solver. I’ve also gained a lot of design knowledge that can broaden my perspective too.”
Jocelyn added: “I am constantly updating myself during this pandemic by joining loads of webinars, doing some side projects, and updating my portfolio to prepare myself for the working world. My dream now is to secure a job with a graphic design agency in the UK, exploring and doing all kinds of fun and exciting projects.”
Programme Leader, Trevor Brown, said: ‘’To be selected as a Ones to Watch from the prestigious D&AD New Blood graduate festival this year is an amazing achievement – D&AD only picked 70 from thousands of profiles!
“Both Toby and Jocelyn have been stars in their very challenging pandemic-affected final year and the work they have produced under lockdown is testament to their commitment to the course and to their design futures. Being selected by D&AD demonstrates the high quality of their work and we have no doubt these two graduates will excel in their careers.’’