We are super excited to announce our top students and graduates for 2017! We invited 9 industry leaders across Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada to judge the work. They were told to pretend they were hiring for a junior role and to pick 3 people they would get in for an interview based on all the applications (we received over 600 of them!). Also for the first time ever, we are including the US and Canada in our entries: Welcome! The result is the hottest talent for 2017, so if you are hiring, read on! Full interviews with each winner will follow in January.
Our judges were chosen on their high industry involvement and incredible standard of work. More than half of them have been involved in teaching design in some capacity and understand student limitations, but also know the standard and what to look for. Thanks again to our judges!
… And here are our 2017 winners in alphabetical order, congrats guys! Full interviews coming soon!
Adam Ridgeway (work above)
Instagram: @adam_ridgeway New York, USA Parsons School of Design
Sam’s pick: I look for design thinkers. A designer who can establish a nice or idea, then look to extend that idea in a clever or unusual way without forcing anything. I enjoyed his ‘Plots’ and ‘Extrapolation Factory’ projects as they demonstrate an understanding of typesetting. He’s able to do the small things right. Optimal line lengths, very few widows and orphans and an understanding of a grid were all evident. Adam has a clear and well designed portfolio – nothing too tricky, a short and easy to read description for each project and a simple but well designed structure.
Andrea Cenon (work above)
Instagram: @andreacenon Los Angeles, USA Cal State LA
Daniel’s pick: Andrea’s portfolio stood out to me due to the wide flexibility and control displayed over a range of varying mediums and styles. Her control and use of colour, typography and hand lettering is impressive for someone who’s so fresh to the game.
Andrew Webb (work above)
Instagram: @_andywebb Melbourne, Australia Swinburne University
Chris’s pick: I immediately gravitated to the simplicity of how Andrew presented his work. The flow and design of a folio is just as important as the work. Andrew’s is clear, neutral and easy to navigate. The work is strong too. Clear, clever ideas, no set style and diversity of skill sets on show. He also demonstrates an interest in writing and verbal communication. A rare an attractive trait.
Camille Charbonneau (work above)
Instagram: @lacharbonne Montreal, Canada Universite du Quebec Ã Montreal
Armin’s pick: I’ll first admit that I am a sucker for the Memphis-style particle pattern that makes recurring appearances in Camille’s work but beyond that I really like how she can adapt her style to either abstract or figurative compositions while retaining a common thread. I also appreciate how she can adapt the illustrations to layouts and projects so they are not just stand-alone creations. Bonus: nice handling of type and layout.
Danny Rutledge (work above)
Instagram: @danny_rutledge New York, USA University of Florida
Daniel’s pick: Danny’s work displays an eye catching range of ideas and experimentation across a number of different projects. The varying mediums and real project photos was good to see from the overused and abused photoshop mockups studies tend to rely on. Also props for running his own business, shows good initiative and management skills.
Farah Saad (work above) Instagram: @farahsaad Toronto, Canada University of Toronto
Tim’s pick: I like that all of Farah’s work seems very different. I like that it’s conceptual. I like that it’s experimental. I like that it’s unapologetic.
Hope Lumsden-Barry (work above)
Instagram: @hope.lumsden.barry Melbourne, Australia RMIT University
Chris’s pick: I loved the energy of Hope’s work. It is so far from anything I am able to do. It’s unexpected and shows a strong understanding of pace, tension and playfulness. Strong use of colour and typography on display too.
Hyeona Hannah Ahn (work above)
Instagram: @hyeonaahn New York, USA School of Visual Arts
Phoebe’s pick: Hyeona’s work immediately stands out from the other submissions. The simplicity is striking and combines a subtle playfulness that is a treat to discover. Hyeona’s compositions are strong; balancing attention to detail with an understanding of the core design principles needed to convey a message effectively.
Jens Marklund (work above)
Instagram: @jens.marklund New York, USA School of Visual Arts
Sam’s pick: I enjoyed Jens’s portfolio based on his ability to create a well-structured piece of design. He clearly thinks about the ways in which he can express a singular idea. He doesn’t over decorate the design, leaving as much room as possible for the idea to shine. His typography is strong and looks to have a good technical ability. His work isn’t over-produced and follows a great underlying structure.
Instagram: @joelmechielsen Brisbane, Australia Design College of Australia
Dawn’s pick: Joel’s work includes a really nice range of styles and approaches. I especially enjoyed the system for Resort 2016 that allowed each encounter with the campaign to feel like it’s own brand experience connected through color and type. This is exactly the type of work and breadth we look for when hiring.
Joseph Dennis (work above)
Instagram: @josephdennis_ Perth, Australia Curtin University
Armin’s pick: Joseph has a great handle on color, typography, and composition. The Riverbend packaging is something I could easily getting, like, thirty thousand appreciations on Behance. There is a great “finished” quality to all of his work.
Lucas Nelson (work above)
Instagram: @Lnels0 Kansas City, Usa University of Kansas
Dawn’s pick: While I do greatly enjoy each project in their individual state, what surprised me by Lucas’s work was just how wide of a variety of styles and types of work he was presenting. I know when we look for new designers, stylistic range is one of the most important aspects we seek out. The only thing missing from the bunch was something digital.
Luke Hoban (work above)
Instagram: @tangydesign Wellington, NZ Massey University, College of Creative Arts
Phoebe’s pick: Luke’s work comes across as sophisticated and thoughtful. He has a strong sense of typography that is unique and distinguished. I appreciate his minimalist sensibility which is executed with confidence and style.
Interview: Coming soon!
Mel Yeo (work above)
Instagram: @mel.yeo Melbourne, Australia Monash University
Dan’s pick: A strong command of form across a variety of subject matter, all using the qualities of the medium to further enrich the message. Beautiful work.
Dawn’s pick: Absolutely loved the LGBTQ Mardi Gras campaign. As a member of that community myself, I’ve seen so many rainbows I could barf. This felt minty fresh and on point. Sure there are a lot of squiggles in the design-o-sphere these days, but given the candy concept, I think they work perfectly in this context. Nicely done Michelle!
Nick Adam (work above)
Instagram: @nickadam Chicago, USA RISD
Dan’s pick: Nick has an awareness of the impact of typography, from its construction to its culture. And that apostrophe T ligature is so strong I forgive the golden ratio overlay further down.
Reuben Mergard (work above)
Instagram: @reubenmergard Brisbane, Australia Shillington College
Tim’s pick: Reuben’s ability to combine strong formal and type skills with a good sense of “making” is refreshing.
Sahra Martin (work above)
Instagram: @type_eleven Melbourne, Australia Swinburne University
Phoebe’s pick: Sahra’s folio immediately strikes me as commercially viable. Her work has a maturity and refinement that shows experience and an innate sense of taste. I appreciate the diversity of her work, it spans from playful and bold to refined and minimal, showing that she is able to adapt her work to client briefs and needs.
Stephen Grace (work above)
Instagram: @_sgrace Sydney, Australia Shillington College
Sam’s pick: Stephen’s work was conceptualised and executed in a similar fashion to the work that we produce. It’s evident that he establishes a strong idea relevant to the topic or brief and pairs it with a strong visual concept that isn’t over-produced or forced. He shows a good level of craft and is able to produce well-structured design. His ‘H is for Horror’ and ‘The Big Unpeeling’ projects in particular showcase key elements I look for in a design project – the ability to inform, delight and surprise. Stephen has a well designed portfolio that’s simple, isn’t over-designed and professional.
Tom Muntisov (work above)
Instagram: @muntyhoops Melbourne, Australia Swinburne University of Technology
Chris’s pick: Tom’s folio was definitely one of the stranger ones. And I mean that as a compliment. While it’s almost entirely devoted to basketball based projects they are handled with such invention and craft that you can’t help but be drawn in. The layout, illustration and type skills are top notch and the conceptual ideas as impressive, especially the NBA x VHS project.
Triana Thompson (work above)
Instagram: @trianathompson Kansas City, USA University of Kansas
Armin’s pick: Of all the portfolios I saw, Triana’s was the one where I thought: this is someone whose ready to be given a desk at a design firm and start knocking out great ideas and executions. The KU Design Week project has a great vibrancy and strength that’s hard to achieve and the flour tortilla packaging is the ultimate artisanal product in the vellum packaging and thread-sewn closing… it’s just so nice and over the top in a good way.
Veronica Tran (work above)
Instagram: @nveronicatran Melbourne, Australia RMIT University