Covid-19 lockdowns had a terrible impact on student creatives, with the opportunity to collaborate effectively and in person largely taken away from their university experience. An environment of video chats, email attachments and online collaboration replaced tangible human experiences, with the pandemic also largely putting a stop to student end-of-year shows. Students normally rely on these shows to present their work, network and formally dive into the hiring pool. Most didn't happen over the past two years, while those that did were limited in their capacity and scope.
In a bid to counteract this creative anticlimax and help give students a more appropriate platform for their hard work, Canon teamed up with global media network, The Drum. Canon and The Drum invited students across the UK to submit work and take part in the scheme, which saw a broad range of student art gathered, printed and shared in a virtual exhibition, the Class of 2021.
Matching their printing expertise with The Drum's networking power, Canon aimed to reinvigorate the student graduate experience and get students excited about print as an effective medium again. Each of the 65 students who took part in the project received a pack of printed A5 postcards featuring a headshot and introduction, and four examples of their work. A few of the students were also invited to take part in a limited physical exhibition, introduced by presenter and reporter Richard Askam (who also moderated Canon's 2021 Future Promotion Forum).
Here, we find out how this collaboration helped celebrate and promote the students of lockdown.