Our 2012 Student Design Competition First-Place Winner

Our 2012 Student Design Competition First-Place Winner We had an awesome group of entries in our 2012 Student Design Competition and we've finally made the hard decisions as to who won. See our first-place winner's full entry after the jump and read our short interview with him to see how he came up with his winning entry.

Then come back over the next few days and weeks to see all the rest! Thanks to everyone who entered, you gave us a hugely-difficult task! But now without further delay, congratulations to...

First Place 
and Winner of the Adobe Scholarship in honor of B.W. Honeycutt
SCHOOL: University of Maryland, College Park
LEVEL: Sophomore
INSTRUCTOR: Damien Franze
CATEGORY: Entertainment Profile

Chris's first-place win earned him the $2,500 Adobe Scholarship in honor of B.W. Honeycutt, the Adobe Creative Suite and an internship! 


SPD-U: What was your inspiration in creating your entry?
CHRIS: I originally created the illustration of Aziz's face in the fall to advertise Student Entertainment Events' (the University of Maryland's student programming board) Homecoming Comedy Show featuring Aziz Ansari. Aziz's agent didn't approve the artwork, though, and I ended up using a photograph of him for the advertisement. When I decided to enter the competition and noticed there was an entertainment category, I looked for a way to incorporate the illustration into a design. The vintage black-and-white look was inspired by Jimmy John's sandwich bags, which say "EAT!" on the side in a similar style.

SPD-U: What was the biggest challenge in creating your entry? 
CHRIS: Getting over my fear of being unoriginal. It's sometimes a challenge with editorial design to create something unique and original because there are so many magazines out there and only so many ways you can lay out a page. I kept reworking my entry and trying to make it stand out from a typical spread you would see in Time or Newsweek.

SPD-U: Any advice for students entering this next competition?
CHRIS: Start early! I didn't work on an entry until the last minute, so I didn't have much time to refine my work. But since you're reading this and you already know about the competition, that shouldn't be a problem for you next year. (EDITOR'S NOTE: He's right! Our categories don't change much from year to year, so start brainstorming now. The 2013 Competition rules will be announced in early fall.)

SPD-U: What magazines do you turn to most for design inspiration?
CHRIS: I guess Sports Illustrated would be a good pick, right? (See Question 6). But in all seriousness, I think that's a great magazine. Other than that, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and Fortune are magazines I'm constantly looking to for inspiration.

SPD-U: What's your major? Do you participate in any publication- or design-related campus activities while in school? Or have any design-related jobs?
CHRIS: I'm a Marketing major, so I haven't taken any design courses here at school (hopefully I will in the future). I've never had any formal training or education in design, it's been something I've learned more though trial and error. On campus, I'm the Design Editor for The Diamondback, the University of Maryland's independent school newspaper, and the Advertising Director for SEE, the student programming board. At The Diamondback I work mainly with page layout, whereas I get to be more creative working for SEE. I've had the opportunity to design advertisements and various promotional art for people I'm a huge fan of (Aziz Ansari, Seth Meyers, B.o.B., etc.). 

SPD-U: If you're accepting the prize internship, where are you interning?
CHRIS: This summer I'll be working at Sports Illustrated, which I'm thrilled about. I've been reading SI as long as I can remember, and I'm psyched to work for a magazine I'm so familiar with. I'm a pretty big Boston sports fan, so hopefully I'll be alright in New York for the summer.

Find Chris elsewhere online:
Behance: behance.net/cpa  (Just started to post some of my work here.)
Twitter: @cp_allen  (No guarantee my tweets are of any value.)

Don't forget to keep checking back in with us as we announce the rest of 2012's competition winners!

  • Ian

    Nice to hear the inspiration.

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