Design students sweep provincial contest

For the sixth consecutive year, York /Sheridan Design (YSDN) students collected a raft of accolades at the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario’s (RGD) annual student design competition. YSDN students won seven of the 16 awards given, each valued at $1,000 – more than double the number of winners of any other school – and received an additional 12 honorable mentions.

York/Sheridan students also won big at the Graphic Designers of Canada student competition (see the June 19 issue of YFile).

The winning works were displayed at Toronto’s Metro Hall Rotunda from June 30 to July 4. The winners will be celebrated at a reception on Sept. 18 at the Harbourfront Centre’s Brigantine Room.

Wendy Wong, chair of York’s Department of Design, says she’s not at all surprised by the continuing success of students in the program. “Year after year, our students have distinguished themselves by winning provincial, national and international awards,” she said.  “We encourage all YSDN students to enter competitions like these to benefit from the opportunity to test their work and to build and strengthen their reputation and relationships with the professional community beyond the classroom. This is a win-win for students and the program.

Left: Wendy Wong

“As the word gets out about the strengths of our graduates, we continue to attract dynamic young talent,” said Wong. “I would also like to thank all our instructors, who work very hard with students to bring out their best.”

This year’s winners, all of whom graduated with their bachelor of design degrees in June, were enthusiastic about the competition, the YSDN program and their bright futures as they embark on professional work in the field.

Jungmin Han won the Adobe Award for Print Design for her “Beneath: the Venetian Mask” book design. “I was so glad for this opportunity to show my work to other designers,” Han said.  “And it’s great to know there are people who appreciate my work.”

Right: Jungmin Han’s book design won the Adobe Award for Print Design

Also receiving attention in this category was Sarah Danahy , who was among the category’s honorable mentions.

Oleksandra Korobova and Borzu Talaie co-won the Harlequin Award for Book Design. Korobova’s bright and bold “Toy Box” submission contrasts sharply with Talaie’s contemporary black-and-white “The Futurist Manifesto”. Giulia Ciccia and Cassandra Gonzales also received honorable mentions for book design.

Left: Borzu Talaie’s "The Futurist Manifesto"

In other categories, Talaie also received nods for Excellence Across Media and for Interactive Design, while Korobova received an honorable mention for the Applied Arts Award for Editorial Design. Talaie’s other accolades include recognition from the Applied Arts Student Award for Editorial Design and the 2008 Department of Design Award. “Honours like these tell me I am on the right track in my professional career,” he said.

James Ayres picked up the q30 Award for Logo Design for his “Subvrt” logo, business cards and letterhead design. “These awards are a great way to recognize the efforts of graduates in graphic design programs across the province. It certainly helps with our student loans!” Ayres said. He is the newest addition to the Toronto design agency henderson bas, which has executed award-winning interactive campaigns for companies such as Coke, Mercedes Benz and Virgin Mobile.

Jan Walczak took home the Adobe Web Award for Web Design for his “Rkive9 Motion Reel”. “One of the best parts of YDSN was having the freedom to explore my own interests,” he said. Walczak is now applying his creativity in a new job as a junior art director/animator in Stockholm, Sweden with a design and directors studio called b-reel.

Left: Jan Walczak received the Adobe Web Award for Web Design for “Rkive9 Motion Reel”.

Christopher Wright won the Crescent Award Interactive Design for his “I am…” video, an interview with visual arts student Suse Silva, produced in collaboration with his classmate Walczak.. “We chose to approach the documentary/interview process from a different perspective – without words,” Wright said. “All [Silva’s] nuances and artistic sensibilities are presented in the motion piece through her physical performance and our animated graphics.”  Wright has recently joined the team at Toronto’s Z.Inc design.

Fawad Mehrzad received the CTV Creative Agency Award for Motion Graphic Design for his MTV Bumper project, which also won an award from Applied Arts magazine and an honorable mention for the Adobe Award for Web Design. “I entered one of my motion projects because that’s what I want to pursue in the coming years,” said Mehrzad, who is currently working at the CBC and Corus Entertainment plus freelancing from his own studio. Iffat Jokhio received an honorable mention for his submission to the Motion Graphic Design category.

Right: Fawad Mehrzad’s MTV Bumper Project

Other honorable mentions include Ronald Ruiz for the CundariSFP Award for Poster Design, Sara Wilde for the Interbrand Award for Branding and Giulia Ciccia for the Koskie Minsky Award for Typography. In the Awards of Excellence Across Media category, YSDN students Talaie, Jokhio and Janice Wong took three of the four honorable mentions for the TAXI Award of Excellence for Central Ontario.

The RGD awards competition is open to any student RGD member enrolled in a three- or four-year graphic design program at a recognized college or university in Ontario. Entrants are required to submit three samples of their work, from Web pages to book design and corporate identity packages. Submissions are juried by RGD Ontario members.

For more information about the competition, visit the RGD Web site.