Up Close with Our 2011 Student Competition Third-Place Winner

Up Close with Our 2011 Student Competition Third-Place Winner Our 2012 Student Design Competition is officially open! To help get the creative juices flowing, we're taking a closer look at this past year's winners.

Claire Eckstrom, who recently graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology and now works at Fast Company magazine, was our thrid-place winner in the 2011 competition. She literally had us "hooked" with her creative subject matter and great sidebars and secondary coverage, earning herself a $500 prize, the Adobe Creative Suite and an internship at Inc. magazine. Click through for her second spread and for some insight into how she came up with her winning entry. 


Third Place

SCHOOL: Rochester Institute of Technology
LEVEL:  Senior
INSTRUCTOR:  Chris Lyons

What was your inspiration in creating your entry?
I chose to tackle a "How To" piece because I knew that approach would lead to lots of fun sidebars and illustrations. I chose "How To Gut A Fish" with the intention of making this gruesome topic seem more appealing & approachable. The topic may seem unconventional, but I love to fish on the lake at home and I had always been curious to learn the proper gutting method! It took some research, but the what I learned helped me imagine the visuals for this project.

What was the biggest challenge in creating your entry?
My biggest challenge with this topic was to steer away from making it gross. It was very tempting to show the process using images, but I chose to illustrate the steps instead to avoid disgusting my audience.

Any advice for students entering next year's competition?
My best advice would be to take a risk with your topic! Don't go with the first thing that comes to mind - a good concept takes some research. Also, find a good teacher that will help push your boundaries!

What magazines do you turn to most for design inspiration?
I am a huge fan of Fortune magazine. Its design is innovative yet subtle - a perfect match for their audience. I also love flipping through Elephant, Interview, and GOOD.

Did you participate in any publication- or design-related campus activities while in school? Or have any design-related jobs?
At the Rochester Institute of Technology, I designed for the weekly school magazine Reporter. The magazine is entirely student run, written, illustrated, photographed, and designed. That experience was invaluable - it taught me a lot about the editorial process. I was also co-Design Director (along with the charming Jackie Donner) for Positive Negative, a 100+ page collaborative magazine between Photo and Design students at RIT.

For your prize internship, where did you intern? What was your favorite part of it?
My internship at Inc. Magazine was a life changing experience! I got the chance to work with such a diverse group of talented people and I was truly inspired by the creative team. The best part of the job (besides the beautiful office, pizza parties, and 10am start time) was being able to make contributions to the magazine. Seeing my work in print & online and imagining people around the country looking at it still gives me chills!!!

What are you up to now?
I currently work as a designer at Fast Company magazine in New York.

Find more of Claire's work on her website: www.claire-eckstrom.com


Wanna know how you can enter the 2012 competition to win money, cash and an internship like Claire?
Click here for all the details. And comment below if you have any questions.

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