TDK Awards

TDK Awards '20

November 2020 – January 2021
Worldwide entries
10 Industry judges
30 winners



We are thrilled to announce the winners of our 8th 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 A-Z going into 2021, 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!

Pentagram, Micheal Bierut, NYC
Jade Purple Brown, Chicago/ NYC
Frost* Design, Vince Frost, Sydney
Character, Lauren Wong, NYC
Canva, Sally Woellner, Sydney
Where Are The Black Designers, Mitzi Okou, NYC
Two Times Elliott, James Horwitz, London
Giulia Giannini McGauran (GG McG), Melbourne
Bielke&Yang, Evan McGuinness, Oslo
For The People, Johanna Roca & Jason Little, Tasmania

… and here are our 2020/2021 winners, congrats guys!

Design work by Abel Quental - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Abel Quental

Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon's Faculty of Fine Arts

James’s pick: A clear understanding and grasp of visual synergy and sensitivity to their approach. A diverse portfolio with a variety of techniques with a clear interest beyond the confines of the printed mediums.

See their work here
Design work by Akshita Chandra - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Akshita Chandra

Baltimore, United States
Maryland Institute College of Art

Michael’s pick: Great precision and attention to detail. This designer picks the hard way instead of the easy way, and follows through like a scientist solving a problem. I mean that in a good way.

See their work here
Design work by Alberto Miranda - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Alberto Miranda

Madrid, Spain

Mitzi’s pick: Alberto’s use and layering of contrasting tones is so amazing on top of his beautiful subtly textured illustrations. His style is somehow elegantly comedic while also being approachable yet serious. I commend him for being able to smash opposite sentiments and colors together while also telling great stories. Incredible.

See their work here
Design work by Alex Darbyshire - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Alex Darbyshire

Melbourne, Australia
Swinburne University

Michael’s pick: Discovering Alex’s work was like spotting a friendly face in a crowded room. I have a weakness for condensed sans serif typefaces and so, evidently, does he. Although there’s nothing weak about the way he uses them. The work is clear, confident and strong, typography delivering the message loud and clear.

See their work here
Design work by Alexandria Hall - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Alexandria Hall

Nashville, United States
Self Taught

Mitzi’s pick: Alexandria’s work is super dynamic in the best way. Although these are still illustrations, they seem to be constantly moving. I keep finding more treasures the longer I look at her work. It is like a never ending amazing graphic design story that not only sells the product but contributes to the visual experience.

See their work here
Design work by Antonina Kozlova - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Antonina Kozlova

Berlin, Germany
Hochschule Anhalt

Giulia’s pick: Antonina’s work is just inherently cool. The colour palettes feel ageless the use of type is brave and very well balanced.

See their work here
Design work by Anqi Meng - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Anqi Meng

Melbourne, Australia
Monash University

James’s pick: A really beautiful attention to balance, typography and simplistic use of colour. A wonderful translation from narrative through to creative output that was consistent throughout all executions.

See their work here
Design work by Brigitte Greene - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Brigitte Greene

Sydney, Australia
Billy Blue College of Design

Giulia’s pick: Honestly, I was impressed before I even got to the folio. Brigitte’s introduction was a piece in itself. Super funny, honest and engaging. That fearlessness ran through Brigittes folio too. Brigitte was able to instil a wide range of visual personalities into each project and clearly nail each brief to perfection. Great work.

See their work here
Design work by Chloe Papas - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Chloe Papas

Melbourne, Australia
Monash University

Michael’s pick: This is what clarity and confidence looks like. Pick an idea, eliminate everything that doesn’t contribute, take what remains, and drive it home with everything you’ve got.

See their work here
Design work by Daniel Stuhlpfarrer - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Daniel Stuhlpfarrer

Berlin, Germany
University of the Arts Berlin

James’s pick: A really well laid out and concise articulation of his interests, stylistic approach and balance in all his solutions. Aesthetically pleasing, visually rich and diverse in application.

See their work here
Design work by Dev Valladares - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Dev Valladares

Mumbai, India & Baltimore, United States
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

Mitzi’s pick: I have never seen anyone combine science, interactive design, and graphic design so incredibly and smoothly through physics, texture, and the inspiration of the natural elements. Dev provides such a pleasant and natural experience in his work while also pushing the boundaries of typography. It’s one thing to be multi-disciplinary and it’s just another wonder to make your multi-disciplinary skills work together in such amazing harmony.

See their work here
Design work by Eager Zhang  - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Eager Zhang 

Chicago, United States
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Giulia’s pick: I absolutely love Eager’s work, it feels so bold and playful while still maintaining impeccable detail and balance. The use of colour and gradients is so stunning. Extremely, extremely talented!

See their work here
Design work by Helen Yu - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Helen Yu

Sydney, Australia
Billy Blue College

Jade’s pick: I love her strong use of typography and ability to merge photography with playful illustrations in an eye-catching way.

See their work here
Design work by Imo Crossland - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Imo Crossland

Manchester, England
University of Brighton

Jo and Jason’s pick: We both stopped when we came across her work. Very refreshing and non-conforming. She’s clearly developed a style, a confidence that you gravitate to. There is texture, layers, symbolism that you just can’t ignore. It was an immediate favourite for both of us. We want that “Twister” poster!

See their work here
Design work by Jenny Seo Yoon Kim - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Jenny Seo Yoon Kim

from Seoul, Korea living in Chicago, United States
Washington University in St. Louis

Lauren’s pick: Jenny’s attention to detail brings each project to life. “Whirlwind” about a South Korean superstition, for example, is beautifully laid out on the page, but little design decisions are what make it truly sing—like using each chapter to slowly strip myth away from the truth.

See their work here
Design work by Jordi Ng - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Jordi Ng

Brooklyn, United States

Jo and Jason’s pick: There is a lot of craft and attention to detail, invested in each project. Jordi has a lot of flex in style that goes against some of the more common trends we’ve seen of late. Susume and Bruin Brash stood out as both joyful, expressive and very refreshing. If she hasn’t been hired already … shotgun!

See their work here
Design work by Kaitlyn Chai - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Kaitlyn Chai

Melbourne, Australia
RMIT University

Jade’s pick: Each project is very thoughtful and intriguing and you can tell that she prioritizes the small details in everything she creates. Her work is very intentional and confident, which I love!

See their work here
Design work by Katie Spak - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Katie Spak

Washington DC, United States
University of Michigan

Jo and Jason’s pick: You had us at page two. By page 5 we were positively swooning. There is so much emotion conveyed through the poses and compositions of each character. The colour combinations are exquisite, and the final mural (last page) takes it to another level. We would love to see more of the world through her eyes.

See their work here
Design work by Maggie Witherow - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Maggie Witherow

Kansas City, United States
University of Kansas

Jade’s pick: Her diverse range of work shows that she isn’t afraid to experiment and choose the best approach for each project. I love how I can see glimpses of personality as I look through each project.

See their work here
Design work by Mikki Janower - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Mikki Janower

NYC, United States
Washington University in St. Louis

Evan’s pick: A lovely balance of clean, considered typography and playful composition that embrace a level of spontaneity across digital and print. Mikki makes the content of each case engaging and most importantly easily consumed by a broad audience, her approach gives more than it takes which is a level of confidence that is always refreshing to see in young designers.

See their work here
Design work by Monelle Aimée Kanza - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Monelle Aimée Kanza

London, United Kingdom
UAL Central Saint Martins

Lauren’s pick: Gorgeously focused projects. Each takes a single thought and gives it room to breathe. Every aspect of Monelle’s work feels like the right mix of opposites—rigorous and effortless, deeply restrained and endlessly intriguing.

See their work here
Design work by Scarlett Starling - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Scarlett Starling

Wollongong, Australia
Shillington Education

Sally’s pick: Elegant and restrained, with a beautifully warm and human touch that makes each project relatable and inviting. Along with brilliant use of illustration, this portfolio is such a joy.

See their work here
Design work by Shivani Chugh - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Shivani Chugh

Delhi, India
Coventry University

Sally’s pick: Beautiful, bright and bold colours—creating a heap of variety in brand rollouts, where every piece is as strong as the next. Would stop on the street to stare at these for sure!

See their work here
Design work by Sydney Su - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Sydney Su

Brisbane, Australia
Shillington Education

Vince’s pick: I would hire her tomorrow. Everything I look for in a designer, great thinking, strong ideas and art direction. A lovey breadth of work ‘crafted’ with a careful eye.

See their work here
Design work by Taylor Peters - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Taylor Peters

Winnipeg, Canada
Red River College

Vince’s pick: Confident, creative and diverse. Nice to see a range of projects that were unique and sympathetic to the target audience.

See their work here
Design work by Thomas Chan Tsz Fung - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Thomas Chan Tsz Fung

Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design

Vince’s pick: Some very cool physical typography ideas here, l(oved the bubble gum skateboard). I liked the diversity and avoidance of current trends.

See their work here
Design work by Tom Campion - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Tom Campion

Dublin, Ireland
TU Dublin

Evan’s pick: A real breath of competencies on show here, Tom as illustrated a dexterity in how he can communicate in a variety of contexts with specific attention given to the distinct needs of each brief. If it’s the meticulous detail to express the encoded messages of The Spy with No Name or to communicate clearly and concisely with his animation for The Circle of Life. Tom’s ability to work like this across identity, animation, print, wayfinding and the energy he clearly puts into research is something that would make him a great fit for us.

See their work here
Design work by Wilson Leung - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Wilson Leung

Sydney, Australia
University of Technology Sydney

Lauren’s pick: Wilson clearly uses a central idea to ground every aspect of each project, making each one captivating to dive deeper into. In “Please Watch Your Tone,” everything from the typeface choice to the workbook-style system (and even the little stickers in the back) all reinforce the idea of a new standard of language.

See their work here
Design work by Wych “Richard” Hendra - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Wych “Richard” Hendra

Milan, Italy
Raffles Milano Istituto Moda e Design

Sally’s pick: A gorgeous breadth of work, moving confidently between multiple styles, with excellent use of colour and typography to create an instant mood. Impeccable polish and attention to detail!

See their work here
Design work by Olivia Budiono - TDK Awards '20 Award Winner

Olivia Budiono

Los Angeles, United States
Art Center College of Design

Evan’s pick: It’s refreshing to see a student who can break all the traditional “rules of design” which are drilled into many. That being said, the real skill Olivia has exhibited here is to break these rules with a solid foundation in concept and a systematic, methodical process and implementation that results in a consistent, yet distinct, identity for each project. In an industry where blanding is a word becoming more and more synonymous with identity design, we need more Olivia Budiono’s.

See their work here

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