Design students scoop major awards at national competitions

Richelle Rogers' winning entry in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards packaging category

Every year, the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design (YSDN) makes an impressive showing on the annual student design awards circuit and 2012 is no exception. With a major international win and a number of North American prizes, YSDN students are getting recognition for their creativity, vision and dedication to their craft.

Fourth-year student Richelle Rogers took top place in the packaging category at the 12th annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA) for her colourful Kreature Klips – hair clips in fun, monster-inspired magnetic packaging. Most packaging is designed to display a product and then be thrown away. Rogers caught the judges’ attention by making the packaging as desirable as the product itself. Her target market of eight to 12-year-olds can use the magnetic Richelle Rogers' winning entry in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards packaging category“Kreature” to display their own creative work on the fridge at home.

Richelle Rogers’ winning entry in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards packaging category

The ADAA is one of the few international design awards and competition is fierce: this year drew some 5000 entries from more than 70 countries. Rogers’ win marks the third consecutive year YSDN has scooped the prize in the packaging category (Linna Xu’s  Ilford Film entry won in 2010 and Man Wai Wong’s Tissue Box in 2011). In fact, it was the only Canadian school that made it to the semifinals, with no less than eight of the 26 semi-finalists being YSDN students.

Never before in the history of the awards has a school dominated a category so consistently. The ADAA saw fit to recognize these talented young designers’ instructor, Albert Ng, with a trophy of his own.

Richelle Rogers with YSDN design Professor Albert NgRichelle Rogers with YSDN design Professor Albert Ng

“Richelle’s creative thinking and positive attitude enabled YSDN to break another Adobe record,” said Ng. “I’m very fortunate to have so many brilliant students and the strong support of my colleagues and the Department of Design.”

The awards were presented at a ceremony held Nov. 9 at the DesignThinkers 2012 conference in Toronto.

Prizewinners in the 2012 Applied Arts Magazinestudent competition included two graduate students, Jillian Ditner and Jamie March, from York’s Master of Design program and 11 YSDN students and alumni: Julie Do, Man Greig Farin, Katy Ha, Ryan Hormillosa, Kavita Kapi, Judy Kim, Jinah Le, Jiani Lu, Teresa Man, Jacqueline Wong and Mary Zhao.

The competition is open to students at design schools across North America. Entries are judged on creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use by an international panel of industry professionals. The winning works, announced Nov. 1 at an exhibit at Toronto’s Artscape Wychwood Barns, are featured in the magazine’s annual Student Awards November print edition and the online Applied Arts Awards Winners gallery, which attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually.

YSDN student Jiani Lu's winning design for vitamin packagingYSDN student Jiani Lu’s winning design for vitamin packaging

The Advertising Club of Canada (ADCC)’s 2012 National Student Competition winners were announced Nov. 15 at Koerner Hall in Toronto. Alumna Kaila Jacques (BDes ’10, MDes ’12) took home three of the nine silver awards. Jacques and Julie Do (BDes ‘12), who picked up three awards of merit, were the only two competitors to receive more than two prizes.  Their work, together with pieces by Katy Ha (BDes ’12) and fourth-year YSDN student Teresa Man, make up a third of the 24 winning entries – more than any other design program in the country. The prizewinning works will be published in the ADCC’s awards annual and on its website.

Also honoured at the ADCC ceremony was York visual arts alumna Diti Katona (BFA ’84). A founding partner and creative director of the internationally acclaimed brand design agency Concrete, Katona received the Les Usherwood Award for lifetime achievement.

Earlier this season, newly minted alumnus Nicholas Papadimitriou (BDes ’12) received the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario’s 2012 Bell Award for Motion Graphics. His two submissions were chosen for the $1000 prize by a panel of 36 jurors from across Ontario. Papadimitriou described his piece “Buzzin’”, a short music promo spot with an animated boombox that emits elementary shapes, as “reflecting the euphoric environment” of the music. His experimental short film Myths & Reflections examines an alternative healing process.

Building on YSDN’s record of success over the years (see coverage of the 2011 and 2010 results) this new crop of accolades highlights YSDN’s leading role in graphic design education.