The Paper Kind

Creative living.

Visiting The 2018 DJCAD Degree Show

A few weeks ago I took a trip up to Dundee to visit the Duncan of Jordanstone degree show. This is an event put on by the art school every year which showcases the work of fourth-year students. I’ve been to the DJCAD Degree Show a number of times in recent years and I’m always really impressed by the work on display.

ceramic mugs made by illustration student

I could quite easily have spent an entire day at the show, unfortunately, I didn’t plan in advance and only had two hours for a very quick visit.


Some may think I’m strange for saying this, considering I’m a graphic design student. I felt the Graphic Design work on display this year was a little boring to look at. Unlike somewhere such as The Glasgow School of Art which focuses more on the artistic side of visual communication. The Graphic Design course at Duncan of Jordanstone focuses heavily on the smaller details which make up design.

poster designed by graphic design student

A majority of the work on display was projects submitted to the International Society of Typographic Designers. Students can apply to become members by completing an assessment scheme which a number of the students at the DJCAD degree show had taken advantage of.

ISTD submission by graphic design student

Personally, I found this really interesting. The project I had been working on at the time was all about typography and using it to celebrate the work of David Bowie. Seeing these projects helped me figure out a number of problems I had with my own work.


Heading down a floor to the textile design work makes it obvious how dull graphic design is in comparison. Walking into a room full of colour and pattern makes me want to give up as a graphic design student and work with patterns instead.

weaving patterns made by textile design student

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As a designer adding colour to a sketchbook can be quite difficult, especially when working on a dry project like an editorial design. The Textile Designers make creating look easy. There is a room displaying the sketchbooks and supplementary work done by the textile design students. This is so inspiring to me.

sketchbook page by textile design student

I work with patterns to some extent. Usually when creating a brand identity, but the work I have done is nothing compared to this. It makes me want to take the essence of that and incorporate it into my own work.


The DJCAD Degree Show is held at the end of May every year and runs for 10 days. Obviously, this year’s show is now over but I would highly recommend everyone take a visit. Dundee is just over an hour on the train outside of Glasgow and is a really lovely city to visit. Duncan of Jordanstone has a very good reputation for producing designers ready to jump into work. So this is a fantastic opportunity to discover some up and coming talent.

fine art display at DJCAD degree show

Maybe I’m being too harsh on the Graphic Design students. While speaking to a lecturer I found out the work on display wasn’t to the same quality as it has been in previous years. Maybe I just like more colour in my design work. Either way, the DJCAD degree show is still a must visit if you happen to be in the area.

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I’m Emma. I am a designer, calligrapher, and content creator, sharing my love for paper goods. Expect pens, pencils, and some really fancy paper!


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