Design students showcase new creative directions

Toronto’s hottest new designers will showcase their work in the York/Sheridan Design Grad Show 2010, the graduation exhibition of the 2010 class of the York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design (YSDN).

The outstanding work of this year’s 106 graduates will be on display April 18 to 21 at The Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s Distillery District. The show launches with a reception for family and friends on the evening of April 18 and is open to the public throughout its run.

Left: Packaging redesign for Lush Cosmetics by Nicole Love

The York/Sheridan Design Grad Show is a harbinger of future directions in the industry. The student exhibition team has produced a fresh conceptual approach and exciting new format for the show, aimed at portraying the distinctive creative voices and collective spirit of these up-and-coming designers. For a glimpse into the intriguing range of talent, energy and originality found in the YSDN graduating class, visit the York/Sheridan Design Grad Show 2010 Web site.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, YSDN is a national leader in graphic design education. Offered jointly by York University and Oakville’s Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, it combines the faculty and resources of two leading institutions in an intensive, four-year honours bachelor of design program focusing on education in visual communication, information design and interactive multimedia informed by design history and theory. While imparting the practical techniques and skills for professional work in the challenging field of graphic design, the program encourages creative and critical thinking, collaboration and the leadership skills essential for success in design for the future.

Over the past decade, the stellar achievements of YSDN students have been recognized through a host of awards from leading provincial, national and international design organizations and publications, including the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, Applied Arts magazine, Coupe Magazine, Adobe, the Advertising & Design Club of Canada and the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. 

Right: A design concept for Defy magazine by Melissa Zeta

Alumni of the program have gone on to establish successful careers in Canada and around the world. Recent graduates include Fawad Mehrzad (BDes Spec. Hons. ’08), motion designer for CTV, whose most recent project was for the 2010 Winter Olympics; Jane Speed (BDes Spec. Hons. ’01), principal and founder of Toronto design studio Carte Blanche Creative specializing in both print and Web projects for international hotel chains and other brands; Liang Zhang (BDes Spec. Hons. ’06), art director at the Brooklyn, New York-based international design agency HUGE Inc; graphic designer and researcher Janice Fung (BDes Spec. Hons. ’04), who went on to earn a PhD in architecture from the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art and is now a principal of JF Design in Toronto; Michael Tjioe (BDes Spec. Hons. ’08), a graphic designer on Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Brand team; Sharis Shahmiryan (BDes Spec. Hons. ’07), award-winning editorial feature designer for the Toronto Star; and Marek Okon (BDes Spec. Hons. ’07), motion and print designer with the ad agency Wieden+Kennedy in Tokyo, Japan.

Left: Caravaggio: A typeface design by Rachel Fobert

Admission is free. The Fermenting Cellar is located in Building 58, Suite 200 in the Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St. in Toronto. The exhibit opens Sunday, April 18, for family and friends of students. Exhibit hours are from 10am to 5pm on Monday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 20 and from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday, April 21.

Members of the professional design community will meet the rising young talent and view their work at a special industry reception on the evening of Tuesday, April 20.

The exhibition will close with an external assessment in which more than 30 established designers are invited to give individualized feedback to each of the graduates poised to join the professional ranks.

For more information, visit the York/Sheridan Design Grad Show 2010 Web site.