Design students bring home the hardware

As in past years, 2010 again brings host of accolades for students and freshly-minted graduates of the joint York/Sheridan Program in Design (YSDN).

Collectively, they’ve netted over 50 nominations and awards in the past few months. YSDN student work caught the eye of the judges in five major juried competitions, including the international Adobe Design Achievement Awards, the North American Applied Arts Student Awards, the national Advertising & Design Club of Canada, the Graphic Designers of Canada, and the provincial Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario.

“All of us in YSDN are very proud of the outstanding achievements of our students,” said Wojtek Janczak, chair of the Department of Design in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “I hope that the awards will encourage all of our students to enter competitions in the new academic year for even more success.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Adobe Design Achievement Awards. As one of the most prestigious international student design competitions, nominees are recognized as being among the most promising young talent in the world. Only three projects make it to the final round in each of the 12 categories in the competition. No institution received more nominations in the final round than YSDN and no other Canadian school had more than one finalist.

YSDN had three finalists. Matt Wiechec’s Amnesty International project received a nod for installation design, Edeline Bernal’s 29 was nominated in motion graphics and Linna Xu’s Ilford Film impressed the judges in packaging.

Above: Edeline Bernal’s 29

The finalists receive airfare and accommodation to attend the awards ceremony. Wiechec, Bernal and Xu will be heading to Los Angeles in October for the event – and the chance to win a $3,000 prize.

Each of the three finalists also had a second work in the Adobe semifinals, where a total of nine YSDN projects made the cut: Bernal’s “Down to Earth” animation; Veronica Wong’s YSDN10 website and Xu’s Deforestation browser-based designs; Man Wai Wong’s I Thought a Thought motion graphics; Wiechec’s YSDN 2010 – iMac Interface non-browser-based design; Elaine Y.L. Fok’s 8T5: TEE & TEA and Christina Lo’s Under Where? packaging design; Marcelo Hong’s Snip photography; and Sally Fung’s Writer‘s Festival Identity print communications project.

Above: Marcelo Hong’s Snip

The Applied Arts Student Awards is the largest competition of its kind in North America. YSDN picked up 21 awards – almost twice as many as any other school.

Bernal won three awards: her projects 29, Down to Earth and The Screwtape Letters were all recognized in the online animation category. Fok’s 8T5 TEE & TEA was recognized on the packaging series category while her National Cherry Blossom Festival Identity System picked up a prize for complete design program. Evan Dinsmore’s online portfolio received an award in the website category. Kaycee Ng’s Alice was recognized in two categories: corporate and collateral as well as photo illustration/mixed media. Wong’s Paulin’s Hardware Fasteners and her Tissue Box were winners in the packaging category.

Above: Elaine Y.L. Fok’s 8T5: TEE & TEA

Hong received four Applied Arts awards: his works Barber and Snip took prizes for photography, Mezcla won for editorial design and Textura 2010 for typography design and application. A team of six students lead by Wiechec was recognized in the web design category for their York/Sheridan Design Grad Show 2010 – iMac Interface. Wiechec and Shawn Mahabir’s Expressions won for online animation.

Sara Cwynar’s Kitsch Encyclopedia and York graduate design student Brian Banton’s Emblems & Gestures received awards for editorial design, while Mahabir’s Energy3 won for website design. Shane Collier’s works Martyrdom in Palestine: An Investigation of Suicide Bombing and The Result of Consumption were recognized in the corporate and collateral category.

Winners are featured in the September/October 2010 issue of Applied Arts magazine, which boasts a readership of more than 46,000, including many potential employers. They are also featured in an online gallery on and at the annual Awards Winners’ Exhibit, which will be held in Toronto on November 11.

Fung also received a $2000 Adobe Scholarship from the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada , one of the three annual scholarships they award.

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario ‘s 2010 student awards offer $15,000 in cash prizes plus recognition in Applied Arts magazine and the RGD website gallery set to launch this fall.

YSDN students took home seven of 16 awards given – an especially remarkable feat considering they were eligible for only 11 of the prizes, based on the location of the school.

The 40 RGD judges saw excellence in many of the same YSDN projects recognized in the Adobe and Applied Arts student competitions, including Hong’s Snip, which received the Crescent Award for the Greater Toronto Area, and Bernal’s 29, which picked up the CTV Creative Agency Award for Motion Graphics.

Other YSDN prizewinners were Evelyn Csiszar, who received the TAXI Award for the GTA; Ng, whose Noodle Matchmaker Guide won the Pylon Award for print and Jennifer Thai, who took the Shikatani Lacroix Award for her Sweet Talk packaging. Xu Ilford’s Fracture and Ka Wing Poon’s Make Magic Happen received the Zync Award for typography.

Nine YSDN students received honorable mentions. They are: Collier, William Duquete, Shaun Fernandes, Ng, Poon, Payam Rajabi, Wiechec, Wong and Xu.

YSDN boasts four finalists (out of 25) in the national Advertising & Design Club of Canada  competition. Adobe finalists and semifinalists Bernal, Hong and Wong and their classmate Stephanie Po all have a chance to be named “best in show” and win a cash prize of $1000. Judges may also select three additional entries as runners-up, each of whom will receive a cash prize of $500. All finalists will receive award certificates and their work will be displayed on the ADCC website, published in the 2010 ADCC Annual alongside the professional winners, and shown at the awards gala, which takes place November 4 at Koerner Hall in the Royal Conservatory of Music’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning in Toronto.

For more information on the program, visit the YSDN website.