Student publication wins prestigious design award

Design firms on the hunt for fresh talent would do well to pay attention to York/Sheridan design students, who won a slew of Canadian design awards earlier this year, and have now scored a coveted Award of Excellence from the American University & College Designers Association (UCDA). The students received the award for the 2005 issue of their publication Verso (Graphic Perspectives).

Right: The cover of Verso

This year’s winners were selected from 1,300 entries from across North America, adjudicated by a panel of experts in the design industry. Although Verso is a student publication, it was entered in the professional magazine design category.

Along with the other winning projects, Verso is being displayed at the 35th annual UCDA conference. The conference, which began Sept. 17 in San Diego, California, will run until Sept. 20. The UCDA awards ceremony was held yesterday.

At the close of each annual conference, the winning pieces become part of UCDA’s permanent collection for future designers and students to study. The collection, currently housed at Kent State University Special Collection Library in Kent, Ohio, represents a significant investment in and contribution to the North American design scene.

Right: The visual narrative “Praise God – A day in the life of expressive typography” by third-year design student Pietro Gagliano. From the student publication Verso.

Based in Tennessee, UCDA promotes design excellence and develops professional opportunities for designers involved in the production of visual communication for institutions of higher education. The winning entries in UCDA’s annual competition set benchmarks for excellence and showcase the imagination and technical mastery of their creators.

Now in its fourth year, Verso is a collaborative project showcasing student work, initiated and produced by third- and fourth-year students in the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design. The students oversaw the call for submissions and the judging of the entries, as well as undertaking all the creative and technical work for the publication, including penning the text and the synopsis for each graphic representation.

Left: Zodiak stamp design by third-year design student Maya Boriskina. From Verso.

The UCDA award for Verso is just the latest in a long string of prizes won by York/Sheridan design students this year. In June, they swept the Canadian Society of Graphic Designers national awards, winning three of the four scholarships awarded, as well as an accolade of merit. (See the June 14 issue of YFile.)

They also took top honours at the 2005 Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario competition, walking away with six of the nine top prizes and earning nine accolades of merit. (See the June 23 issue of YFile.)

Adding to this outstanding record, York/Sheridan design students then went on to win all three prizes, plus two honourable mentions, in the student category of the Canadian leg of the 2005 Design Against Fur poster competition. Advancing to the international competition, the regional winners are now among the finalists from whom the grand prize winner will be chosen in November in Rome. (See the June 28 issue of YFile.)

“Taking the lion’s share of the top prizes in all these competitions is a terrific achievement,” said David Scadding, Chair of the Department of Design, in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “I’m proud that York/Sheridan design students have been recognized by so many leading industry experts. Our young designers have clearly demonstrated their design prowess.”

This article was submitted to YFile by Mary_Lou Schagena in the Faculty of Fine Arts.