Beethoven in 2021 and Babies in 2031: New Talent 2022 Latest Entries

From Beethoven to babies, today’s submissions for our New Talent 2022 Annual imagine separate design worlds where the past meets the present, and the present meets the future.

Marrying the 1700s with music’s modern kaleidoscope of aesthetics, School of Visual Arts student Doah Kwon reimagines Beethoven as a contemporary artist of our day and age in “Beethoven Album” (above). Under the assistance of professor Justin Colt, Kwon was able to design a modern album cover for Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3” in honor of the musician’s 250th birthday. Combining Bauhaus-like typography with geometry, Kwon emulates a minimalist, contemporary art style that’s further augmented through a muted color palette of blues, oranges, yellows, and beige. The latter painting is a stark contrast to art’s romantic era that Beethoven was famously a part of. 

On the design process, Kwon shares that she limited herself “to use only shapes and typography and a limited number of colors.” The end result was a gatefold album with four inner sleeves for a “contemporary remastering of Beethoven.” With Kwon having also designed “Burning Grill”, another contender for our New Talent Annual (read more here), her design roster is shaping up to be an incredible addition to the field, and we can’t wait to see more!

Like “Beethoven Album,” School of Visual Arts students Zao Li and Lingling Xie also make use of modern design practices, this time to aestheticize an eco-friendly brand in “Generation Protector” (above). Mainly relying on Adobe Photoshop, Lee and Xie were able to create several advertisements for The Seventh Generation under the mentorship of professors Ben Bliss, Abe Chuang, and Debbie Pan. By meshing adult faces onto baby bodies, the duo hoped to sell a brand that “helps you sleep like a baby who you care about.” This plays on the idea that using environmentally friendly products can help guarantee a better future for new generations. 

While “Generation Protector” and “Beethoven Album” are starkly different in design, both pieces capture the medium’s ability to reimagine time, whether that’s a promise for the future or bringing back the past.

To submit your own entries for our 2022 New Talent Annual, visit for more information. 

Author: Graphis

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