TDK Awards

TDK Awards '19

November 2019 – January 2020
Worldwide entries
10 Industry judges
30 winners

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our 7th year of running TDK Awards! We invited 10 industry leaders, spread across the world, 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 PDF folio applications. The result is the hottest talent going into 2020, so if you are hiring, read on!


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!

Annie Atkins, Dublin. @annieatkins

Paul Mckie, Autumn Studio, Brisbane.

James Gilmore, DesignStudio, Sydney. @__designstudio__

Daniel Martínez, Futura, Mexico City. @byfutura

Craig Parsons, Parsons, Cape Town. @parsonsbranding

Lester Cruz, Serious Studio, Manila. @seriousstudio

Chris Ballasiotes, Siotes, Seattle. @siotes

Tess Robinson, Smack Bang Designs, Sydney. @smackbangdesigns

Tony Brook, Spin, London. @spin_studio

Hagit Kaufman, Wix, Israel. @wix

… and here are our 2019 winners, congrats guys!

Design work by Alma Santang - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Alma Santang — @almasantang

Melbourne, Australia
Monash University

Paul’s pick: It feels like Alma is pushing some design boundaries, which really excites me to see what is yet to come. Her ‘Museum of the Invisible’ project is amazing — the consideration of type, image treatments and colour palette, really makes you connect to the story behind it. All of her projects have an awesome meshing of styles which really makes them stand out from the norm.

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Design work by Carson Keeling - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Carson Keeling — @carlson_kay

St. Louis, United States
University of Kansas

Chris’s pick: Carson is bringing the heat! This Kansas native blends well-crafted typography with handsomely balanced color palettes for striking identities, packaging, and book layouts. I love her combination of different fonts, as well as the development of her own bespoke contemporary serif typefaces (which I would happily use any day of the week). I also am a big fan of her project posters for Bon Iver. Carson, I loved seeing your inspiring work and keep it up!

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Design work by Claire Dillon - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Claire Dillon — @clairedillondesign

Limerick, Ireland
Limerick School of Art and Design

Hagit’s pick: I really enjoyed Claire’s portfolio. Her thought-provoking works play with quirky typography and image-making in a very intelligent way.  I especially liked ‘ The big bad microcosms in our city’ and her lovely use of good photography and typography to convey a complex message. She clearly knows how to incorporate good design with intelligent copywriting to bring her vision to life.

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Design work by David Pakenham - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

David Pakenham — @davidpakenham

Dublin, Ireland

Hagit’s pick: A very good typographer, who uses type to create elegant design. I particularly liked the project ‘A loss of privacy, china’s journey towards a surveillance state’ where he cleverly used gold foil to navigate the delicate issue of China’s social credit system. I love the fact that he tackled each project from a different angle, bringing intelligent concepts and good design to each one.

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Design work by Diana Wiedmann - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Diana Wiedmann — @didiwww_

Würzburg, Germany
Fakultät Gestaltung Würzburg

Hagit’s pick: I loved the versatility of Diana’s works, her ability to move seamlessly throughout the different mediums. Modern product design on the one hand, and then a good sense of typography, layout and illustration in other projects. It’s fun to see a designer that continues to surprise in their choices, I’m curious to see what her next project will be!

Design work by Diego Aguilar Villalobos - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Diego Aguilar Villalobos — @draaav

Bogotá, Colombia
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano

Chris’s pick: Portfolios can often be simple and lackluster, yet Diego provided such a gorgeous resume that I’ve looked it over again, and again! I would hang Diego’s portfolio cover page as a poster on my wall. The descriptions for each project and his attention to unique typography really set this designer apart. His brandings for El Enemigo and Senalizando are also top-notch examples of his identity and type design prowess. Yeah, Diego!

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Design work by Elbert Uba - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Elbert Uba — @elbert_uba

Manila, Philippines
University of San Carlos

Paul’s pick: Elbert’s style is super fresh and eclectic. There is so much goodness in all of his ‘Feature Cover’ designs, I find myself continually going back to have another look at them. He effortlessly combines different fonts and design styles — even bringing in my secret crush of 80’s vibes. Super keen to see what Elbert creates in the future.

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Design work by Erica Lee - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Erica Lee —

Melbourne, Australia
RMIT University

Paul’s pick; Love this! The beautifully jarring colour palette of ‘Psychedelic Lyric Bottles’ to the fresh colours of ‘Pinch Sea Sat. I can’t decide if my favourite project of Erica’s was
‘Goodnight’ or ‘Ctrl Z’ — the font choices, imagery, type treatments and layout in both were so damn nice! Every aspect of every project feels considered and thought out — extra points for putting in great intro’s and image credit!

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Design work by Evangelina Rios - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Evangelina Rios —

San Diego, United States
San Diego City College

Chris’s pick: Recently, Eve Rios finished her Associates Degree in Design and all of her projects speak to her immense talent in creating visually appealing identities. Eve’s branding for ‘Yours’ features beautiful patterns, fun packaging, and disrupts a bland health and wellness industry. Her design work for the tempting absinthe project ‘Ordinaire’ is clean and features the perfect range of vibrant psychedelic colors. The future is very bright for this San Diego native and I can’t wait to see what Eve creates next.

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Design work by Grace Diianni - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Grace Diianni — @gracediianni

Perth, Australia
North Metropolitan TAFE

Tess’s pick: Grace has a great understanding of colour, typographic treatment and layout, with each project showing considered pairings of content and concept. Her portfolio showcases a variety of thoughtfully curated briefs, which speaks to her underlying personality and interests.

Design work by Hamish Jenkins - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Hamish Jenkins — @hamish_jenkins

Melbourne, Australia
Monash University

Craig’s pick: Yes Hamish! What an epic entry of typographic proportion. The ideas behind his work are clearly expressed in his work. Autenticos is a custom typeface that expresses max contrast and personality – the construction punctuation and glyphs are delightfully quirky and then throw in colour as thoughtfully as he has and you have a true recipe for authenticity.

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Design work by Hannah Colenbrander - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Hannah Colenbrander — @hannahcolenbrander

Wellington, New Zealand
Massey University

Craig’s pick: From page 1 you can see that Hannah has a keen eye – we always look for that detail in the portfolios we receive. Hannah’s written expression of works supports the distinctive concepts she produces. Each piece of work is founded in a distinct idea and then expressed is a really deep and meaningful way. There is an appealing level of restraint that lives with immaculate type setting shown in her ONE OF A KIND piece.

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Design work by Hollie Fuller - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Hollie Fuller — @holliefuller_

Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Leeds Arts University

James G’s pick: Hollie’s work exudes charm and warmth. Her ability to tell a compelling story clearly and confidently with a limited set of forms, colours and textures really impressed me. Her work with the Hepworth Wakefield drew me in, intelligently balancing the subject matter and a playful approach. I’m excited to follow her progress over the next few years to see how her style grows and develops.

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Design work by Jonathan Levain - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Jonathan Levain — @jonathanlevain

Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Design Academy Eindhoven

James G’s pick: Jonathan’s work made me smile, think and laugh all at once. His love of investigation and experimentation jumps off the page with projects like ‘Les Crayons’, ‘Digital Sprayers’ and ‘Adele’. They give the impression of a creative who can turn their hand to anything and have fun doing it. He’s clearly an intelligent creative unafraid of embracing diverse challenges and outcomes in his work, I hope he leans into this even more as he starts his creative career.

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Design work by Juan Villascusa Candela - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Juan Villascusa Candela — @juanvillascusa

Murcia, Spain

Tess’s pick: Juan’s work has great versatility of style, and the thought behind his brand identities and conceptual works is evident. His choice of colour and typography is eye-catching and cohesive within each piece.

Design work by Julia Dufossé - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Julia Dufossé — @juliadufosse

Chicago, United States

James G’s pick: I fell in love with Julia’s work as soon as I saw it. Her airbrushed aesthetic feels contemporary and classic at the same time. The craft and attention to colour and composition in her work demonstrates a maturity which elevates something as simple as a coin to an arresting image. It’s exciting to see her start to experiment with typography through pieces like the ‘See Stickers’ I can’t wait to see how she pushes her style in the future.

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Design work by Juliette van Rhyn - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Juliette van Rhyn — @juliettevanrhyn

London, United Kingdom

Craig’s pick: What stood out most for me was the depth of execution in each case presented; from illustration to colour to typography – each element is purposefully placed to produce connected and visually pleasing brand assets. Each case is supported with rationale and as a business founded in strategy we believe any candidate we work worth needs to be able to communicate their unique point of view and their reasons behind the concepts they produce. Juliette demonstrates a sense of play within structure and a fluid ability to work with the landscape each new medium offers her ideas. LOVE the structural signage executions.

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Design work by Lois Vergel - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Lois Vergel — @loisvergel

Melbourne, Australia
Swinburne University of Technology

Tess’s pick: Lois shows a strong aesthetic throughout her portfolio pieces, which have been rolled out across a good range of simple but effective touch points. Particularly impressed by her use of colour and type, and the showcase of seamless art direction and styling.

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Design work by Maanasa Mahesh - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Maanasa Mahesh — @maanasamahesh

Chennai, India
National Institute of Design

Annie’s pick: In Maanasa’s Conscious Consumption project she picks some tricky, taboo subjects and spotlights them with a deft and refreshing touch. While it’s clear Maanasa is developing her own personal illustrative style, she also shows an aptitude for versatility. Her work is simultaneously socially conscious and visually pleasing: one of the products she has designed, a beautiful soap that turns into its own soap holder to reduce waste in packaging, is so beautiful that I want it to be put into production just so that I can buy it for my own bathroom. Great portfolio!

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Design work by Mady Samsel - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Mady Samsel — @madysams

Philadelphia, United States
Jefferson University

Annie’s pick: Mady has clearly had great fun with her portfolio: the bright colour palette and choice of topics make for an engaging and refreshing read. It’s clear that Mady has been inspired by various graphic styles from the vernacular, but she’s still made everything her own. I love the Pacman print on the burger wrapping, and I love how she’s photographed everything to give her designs context. Super!

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Design work by McCall Keller - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

McCall Keller — @macmosskeller

Los Angeles, United States
Brigham Young University

Annie’s pick: A beautifully executed portfolio almost entirely in monotone – Mac’s work doesn’t need colour to pop from the page. Each spread feels fully-realised and stylish, and includes a typeface design that has an intriguingly playful exposition on It’s facing page. A well-executed confident portfolio. Great!

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Design work by Meredith Zerby - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Meredith Zerby — @meredithzerby

Oklahoma City, United States
Maryland Institute College of Art

Tony’s pick: The first impression from Meredith’s folio is she’s confident across many mediums – there are hand made aspects, advanced image-making, strong branding and even products in there. The use of type and colour tie everything back together.

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Design work by Meria Ogawa - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Meria Ogawa — @meriaogawa

Los Angeles, United States
University of California, Berkeley

Lester’s pick: Meria’s work is consistently clear and fun. It is clear through her work that she enjoys the work she creates. Her portfolio shows a versatile range of what she can do when it comes to branding and design. For example, Miravel shows more of how she can communicate an up-scale/elegant look and feel for the brand; while Pique-nique shows a bright, playful aesthetic. Also, being able to write good copy to go alongside your work is a big plus, as it shows she can add character to the brands she works on. Good job!

Design work by Natalia Oledzka - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Natalia Oledzka — @nat.wrk

New York City, United States
Washington University in St. Louis

Tony’s pick: Natalia is very confident with her typography skills, and her designs are playful, considered and unique. She has a mature colour palette for each project and she doesn’t sacrifice style for the commercial aspect of her work. Great work Natalia!

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Design work by Nathatham Rojanusorn - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Nathatham Rojanusorn — @naspock

Milan, Italy
Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Daniel’s pick: Eye candy from head to toe! Nathatham has his references well landed and creates worlds from scratch with an excellent use and understanding of color. I can tell he has a graphic design background but I’m more drawn to what I can see he is passionate about; which are rendering and digital art. His project HONG KONG JEWELRY AND GEM FAIR is a perfect example of bringing together his editorial skills with his 3D rendering skills. 3D modeling and rendering are definitely skill sets we are always on the lookout for because they help the studio tell the story better to the client, but they also enhance the quality of our portfolio.

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Design work by Odin Lowsley - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Odin Lowsley — @odinlowsley

Gold Coast, Australia
Griffith University

Lester’s pick: At the studio, we like work that makes us comfortably 
uncomfortable. Odin’s work comprises of bold colors and big shapes while keeping it all nice and clean— something different from the sea of permutated work we see on the internet. A lot of people are afraid to do something experimental, and Odin is not one of them. 🙂

Design work by Savannah Walker - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Savannah Walker — @savwalka

New York, United States
Savannah College of Art and Design

Daniel’s pick: The projects selected for this submission had a clear brief that gave purpose to the execution. I admire the sense of locality the brandings have—I’m sure it’s helping these businesses thrive. On one hand, we have the re-branding for Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop, which successfully brought to present tense a family-owned generational business. And on the other, Frankie’s Hot Dogs, which tells a not-told-enough story about the participation of women during the invention of the great dog. I think Savannah did a great job putting together her submission and efficiently telling the story of her projects.

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Design work by Shi Min Wong - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Shi Min Wong — @takeyourvitamin

Melbourne, Australia
Monash University

Lester’s pick: Going through Min’s work tells our studio that she is well capable of balancing space, design elements, and social commentary. This is seen from the loud tones of ‘Loud, Not Clear’, to how she’s able to communicate a socially relevant topic with People & Colour. Being able to work on great layouts with minimal elements makes Min highly resourceful and remarkable as a designer. Not everyone can do this, so I’m really impressed by what she’s done. The studio and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store in 2020.

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Design work by Stephanie Winarto - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Stephanie Winarto — @winarto.psd

NYC, United States
Rhode Island School of Design

Tony’s pick: We thought that Stephanie’s work was of a very high standard, particularly the ‘Rhode Island School of Design, Class of 2019’ project which is excellent – it went the extra mile – experimental, original and memorable.

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Design work by Sunny Tianqing Li - TDK Awards '19 Award Winner

Sunny Tianqing Li —

Los Angeles, United States
Art Center College of Design

Daniel’s pick: Alright, let’s talk about identity. Consistency (amongst other things) is what makes a successful identity system. The projects Sunny has developed work very well because they talk to each other, inserting themselves within their consumers’ imaginarium. Her work feels fresh, experimental when needed, something different than what you see out there. I think her use of typography as patterns and photography framing in the project STORM KING ART CENTER is a clever way of creating a unique solution and brings the identity together as a whole.

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