Your guide to a successful showcase: top tips for exhibiting at ND23

ND23 is just around the corner. As an aspiring designer, showcasing your work in front of industry professionals and prominent members of the design community is a significant stepping stone in your career journey. To help you make the most of this opportunity, we have asked ND alumni and members of the ND Community for their advice for students preparing to exhibiting at ND – keep reading for their insightful top tips.

‘Enjoy the experience and use the opportunity to meet peers from other universities and begin to build your network. As well as the industry contacts you may meet, your peers will be potential collaborators and like-minded creatives who are also at the start of their careers. 

Try and make the most of all of the opportunities offered at ND, talks, workshops, anything that is provided for you – take it.’

Eve Gray – Creative Development Director, Hallmark

‘Be brave, collaborate, take a break every so often and jump around, go and look for inspiration, do lots of roughs. Show your passion.’

Paul Barlow – Creative Director, Creative Conscience

‘Don’t over clutter your space. Have additional sketchbooks etc. readily at hand to expand on your display material and help us understand your thought process.’

Dai Sanders – Consumer Sector Manager, DCA Design

New Designers 2022, Islington Business Design Centre, London.  
30/06/ by Sam Frost...©2022
New Designers 2022, Islington Business Design Centre, London.  
07/07/ by Sam Frost...©2022…

‘For many New Designers is the platform in which you are first exposed to the rest of the industry, convey confidence and don’t be afraid to ask too many questions – most importantly have an amazing time!’

Aaron Dunkerton – Designer, John Lewis & Partners

Try to relax and enjoy the experience, also talk to as many people as you can! 

Rosalyn Crosthwaite – Senior Jeweller & Workshop Manager, Diana Porter Jewellery

‘Ensure that you can easily tell the story of how and why you developed your project. Have lots of supporting material that isn’t necessarily displayed but can help you talk through your process. Practise talking through your project.’

Anna Jaanus – Senior Industrial Designer, DCA Design

‘Be adventurous and stand out from the crowd and of course, have fun’

Kelly Wykman – Design Director, Hallmark

‘Be confident to say hello and strike up a conversation with people visiting your stand – you never know where a conversation could lead.  (I have never met anyone scary in the design industry – they are all lovely)’ 

Lucy Day – Designer (Home Product), John Lewis & Partners

‘Leave lots of time to focus on presentation and clear story telling. Rehearse your pitch and review your presentation with friends who are willing to give (constructive) criticism.  


The rule of 3rd from Loughborough’s design course still echos in my head and is often a good proxy- that is 1/3rd research, 1/3rd design, 1/3rd presentation + story.’

Tom Shirley – Principal Designer, Cambridge Consultants

‘You have got this!  

Enjoy this time, take it all in, make links and make the most of the opportunity. Make memories!’ 

Laura Bromley – Creative Talent Manager, Pentland Brands

New Designers 2022, Islington Business Design Centre, London.  
07/07/ by Sam Frost...©2022…
New Designers 2022, Islington Business Design Centre, London.  
07/07/ by Sam Frost...©2022…

‘Presentation matters’

July Lin – Designer, John Lewis & Partners

‘Do a spell check. 

Show your best work first!  

Don’t forget to show the development process. 

Rehearse your pitch. 

Be approachable. 

Do some background research on the people you want to impress and give you a job.’

Lai Chiu Tang – Head of Design, Cambridge Consultants

‘Show your creative thinking, technique & process, not just the finished result. Sketch books & back up work are so important. As they help us understand the creative journey you have been on.

Felicity Mould – Director of People, Culture & Communication, Romo

Click below to see the inspiring talks and workshops on offer at New Designers 2023.