Graphic design students win national awards for their work

Written By Hayley Keys, Co-News Editor

This summer the American Graphic Design and Advertising Awards (AGDA) presented Point Park with 10 awards for individual student projects. The competition recognized the students’ works on a national level, bringing attention to the university and the graphic design program.

“It’s work that was done in classes that we felt was worthy to send into competition,” Robert Meyers, associate professor of multimedia, said. “It’s great recognition for the school and it’s even better recognition for the students.”

Meyers said he was proud of the students and claimed it was a great thing for them to experience.

“It’s a line on their resume, something they can show on their portfolios when they go to get jobs,” he said. “The fact that they can say ‘oh this won a national design award’ helps the conversation as well.”

He also mentioned that this sort of acknowledgement was not easily achieved. Meyers previously had the opportunity to judge competitions, and he knew how high the standards were.

“The competition is selecting winners out of thousands of people, the fact that we had 10 winners, that’s pretty good,” he said.

The winners included, Njiyyah Floyd, Jessie Goodes, Samantha Fairchild, Emily VanderMey, Alexander DiCaprio, Emily Fails and Brianna Farrand.

Alexander DiCaprio, a junior multimedia major with a focus in graphic design, said he was surprised when he found out his project had won.

“I was kind of happy and a little shocked,” he said.

DiCaprio’s winning design was a set of three book covers for the author Ray Bradbury. His project featured the title of the book as well as an original drawing. He also created a spine for the books.

He chose the books, “Dandelion Wine,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “The Halloween Tree.”

He said he felt like his win will not only help him in the future when he was looking for jobs, but also boost his confidence in his abilities.

“It might finally give me a chance to stand out from other people,” he said.

Jessie Goodes was another student who won. She graduated with the class of 2019 and is currently out of school, but she is proud of her work.

“Knowing my work was chosen to be entered into the competition made me really excited,” Goodes said. “It boosted my confidence.”

Her project was an original beer bottle design inspired by the font Gotham. The design features three different types of beer such as, bold, regular and light. The container is decorated with a clown face that is made entirely out of letters in the font.

According to Goodes, she was overwhelmed when she found out she had won.

“When I got the email, I pretty much told every person in a 10-foot radius around me,” she said. “I was excited to say the least.”

She is currently visiting family in England, but she expressed confidence that her win would help her find a job in the field.

“[The win] will draw more attention to those projects in my portfolio,” she said. “It also gives me the opportunity to talk more in-depth about the experience of these projects in an interview.”

Both students said the program at Point Park helped them achieve success. DiCaprio said he could see how much he had grown from freshman year.

“I can feel myself improving a lot,” DiCaprio said.

Goodes also said she felt like her fellow students pushed her to grow as an artist and a graphic designer.

“The entire class was extremely helpful for me,” she said. “It opened my eyes to all the really awesome package designs in the world.”

Meyers said he feels that the students have been exposed to real life situations which will only help them improve their future work.

“It’s just a matter of growing,” he said. “But it’s pretty cool that they got their work out there and were able to get something out of the experience.”