2007 National Scholarship Recipients

These awards have been funded by some of Canada’s most well known supporters of the design industry, including Veer, Adobe, Aquent, and Applied Arts.

Committed to supporting those engaged in design education, the GDC is pleased to announce the results of our National Scholarship Awards 2007 marks the fifth year of this annual competition open to GDC student members completing or returning to continue a program of design study.

The purpose of the scholarships is to recognize emerging excellence in design achievement and encourage a desire in students to go beyond expectations as a natural progression to professional practice. These awards have been funded by some of Canada’s most well known supporters of the design industry, including Veer, Adobe, Aquent, and Applied Arts.

The panel of judges comprised of professional members of the GDC, Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SGDQ), and International Council of Design Associations (ICOGRADA) included: Luce Beaulieu SDGQ (Montreal), Susan Colberg, MVA, MGDC (Edmonton), Pierre Léonard, President, SGDQ (Montreal), Dean McNeill, MGDC, GDC President (Halifax), and Brenda Sanderson, Director, Icograda (Montreal). The adjudication was hosted by Brenda Sanderson, Icograda in Montreal and overseen by May Chung MGD, MGDC (GDC Vice-President Education).

The criteria for eligibility was rigorous with submissions of: grade transcripts, a letter of endorsement from a design educator, a personal letter discussing their experience with design and reasons for applying, and one project that exemplifies their abilities and potential (including a description of project requirements and detailed rationale). Submissions were plentiful and the quality continues to be consistently high overall. Judges were asked to weigh all aspects of the submission in respect to cohesiveness of elements, quality of presentation, innovation and suit to purpose as well as demonstration of strong potential. This competition was initiated to provide a way to recognize Canadian design achievement and to fund deserving students to allow them to expand their understanding of the profession. The personal letters and design rationales enabled judges from different regions, backgrounds, and approaches to work to arrive at a high level of consensus in the results.

Judges were pleasantly surprised with the quality of writing accompanying the projects, and the presentation of pieces that stood out from the rest provided some lively discussion during the adjudication process. An indication of judges' sentiments regarding this year's applicants is expressed in Brenda Sanderson’s remarks, “The range of submissions to this year’s competition showcased the quality of design work being done by students from across the country. The winning submissions demonstrate the caliber of the next generation of Canadian design talent.”

Click here to download the Applied Arts article on the 2007 recipients.

$1,500 Veer Scholarship
Oleksandra Korobova
, York University/Sheridan Institute, Toronto, ON
Design Educator: Mary Ann Maruska, FGDC
Project: Toronto International Circus Festival

The European influence of her early years in the Ukraine coupled with firm resolve and true passion as expressed in Oleksandra’s personal letter is evidence of a force to be reckoned with. This talented individual’s attention to detail and understanding of systems of visual organization with type and image is a pleasure to view.

Her goal to create a look that is artistic, sophisticated, and fun to encourage a wide demographic audience to attend a circus is executed in a highly successful, striking manner with the use of polished environmental graphics. As a student that consistently exceeds expectations, Oleksandra is well on her way to realizing her dream of success in career as a graphic designer.

$1,000 Veer Scholarship
Vincent de Vera, Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC
Design Educator: Carol Aitken, MGDC
Project: Vancouver International Auto Show ’07

A mechanical heart as a metaphor to capture the excitement and enthusiasm associated with an auto show showcases his strong illustration abilities. The judges responded very positively to the skillful presentation that serves to hold the viewers’ attention in the details of various parts of car engines and bodies.

Vincent’s self-taught experience allowed him to develop technical skills and now augment them with a formal design education. The results have garnered him an opportunity this year to art direct the Reflections Vancouver 2008 Calendar project and win the Best of Show for the Vancouver International Auto Show poster contest. As Vincent states in his letter, “I came to the realization, in order to grow as a creative professional, I had to focus on design, ‘from the ground up’.”

$1000 Aquent Scholarship
Ryan Romero
, Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC
Design Educator: Carol Aitken, MGDC
Project: Golden Section Poster

Ryan states his consuming passion for design as, “a hunger for visual satisfaction” with “discoveries leading to quests for aesthetic order.” These and other tantalizing statements in his letter provided the initial catalyst to capture judges’ attention. From there the project showed what one judge considered, “a restraint of execution given the subject matter is surprising and interesting.”

The resulting poster in Ryan’s words, “conveys a calligraphic event” through, “using different typefaces, weights, and other typographic elements, also by adding a nib, I have been able to make the ‘pen’ fully realized.” Ryan demonstrates a strong verbal and visual acuity, undeniably two essential qualities that will serve him well in future endeavors.  

$1,000 Adobe Scholarship
Natalie Olsen, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Design Educator: Sue Colberg, MGDC
Project: FUSE: Typography on the Edge of Readability

This interactive essay to confront conventional reading behaviors is brought about through the integral element of the folding solution and is further reinforced with the thoughtful packaging. Natalie’s solid research results in a piece that judges felt is not only sophisticated but also consistent in referencing appropriately the style of FUSE, a publication launched in 1991 by designer, Neville Brody.

She takes her inspiration from ideas found in the original publications and finesses a solution that does in her own words, “demand a full immersion and struggle with the content in order for the viewer to understand it.” Natalie switched to design from fine arts and sees design, “as a dynamic intersection between art and communication… constantly evolving and challenging preconceived systems of language, perception and form.”

$1000 Applied Arts Magazine Scholarship
Miki Sciana, Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, ON
Design Educators: Steve Quinlan + Jayson Zaleski
Project: ATypI, Type Conference London 2007

Miki’s previous educational experiences in England and Japan bring to her project a strong concept as evidenced in the presentation. The success of the ensemble in connecting with its intended audience is evident in the cohesive and playful nature of the individual components.

Her goal to “shed light on type designers’ lives and personalities’ by illustrating their faces using their typefaces is quite appropriate in light of the packaging and the stickers. Miki’s double duty envelope to house, unfold, and to display the event drew comment from a judge stating, “a definite angle is delivered consistently and thoughtful environmental concern is much appreciated.” The rationale for arriving at her design solution was clearly communicated in her project statement. Miki’s hope, “to be a designer whose work can inspire and communicate effectively between people” is highly attainable given her command of multiple languages and desire to push the limits.