Looking Back: Our 2013 Student Design Competition First-Place Winner

Looking Back: Our 2013 Student Design Competition First-Place Winner SPDStuComp2014-Logo.jpgTo help you brainstorm ideas for your 2014 Student Design Competition entries (get all the details here!), we're taking a look back at this past year's winners and getting some inside scoop on how they came up with their winning work and some tips for you. Today we're revisiting our first-place winning entry, so read on to hear from winner Jenny Savage ...


First Place 
and Winner of the $2,500 Adobe Scholarship in honor of B.W. Honeycutt

SCHOOL: Portfolio Center
LEVEL: 6th Quarter
INSTRUCTOR: Hank Richardson

SPD-U:  What was your inspiration in creating your entry?
JENNY:  From the different category choices, the "How To" seemed to have the most wiggle room in terms of possible aesthetics. So I asked myself, what would I want to know how to do? I'd want to read about how to lie! And lying is a pretty slimy thing so I looked to vintage "snake oil" advertisements for stylistic reference. So the screen printing, palette, wild claims and decorative lettering all speak to that.
     Strangely, now my name is forever connected with being a skillful liar, which is a weird problem to have, for sure.

SPD-U:  What was the biggest challenge in creating your entry?
JENNY:  I had so many puns and jokes about deception that it was hard to pick. It took some real effort to design on that line between informative and becoming a goofy mess.

SPD-U:  Any advice for students entering this upcoming competition?
JENNY:  Dear other students, 
     Here is what my class learned working on this competition: I think with magazine design, there's a perception students have of there being all these unwritten rules that you need to play by. Special "magazine things" that exist outside the normal considerations of composition and nice typesetting. That feeling can be intimidating and inspiration-squashing! It makes you want to just play it safe, and safe can be pretty boring. 
     If you have seen it 50 times before, what is the point?
     What I learned was to not worry about being "right" and just try to be interesting. Design something you would want to read. Base your decisions off of what's right for your story, not what you think a magazine needs to look like. And show it to lots of people, especially non-designers. Your classmates will tell you that gradients are gauche, but it's your mom that will tell you it's totally illegible.

SPD-U:  What magazines do you turn to most for design inspiration?
JENNY:  I'm a bit of a magazine junkie. I was in NYC last month for a portfolio review and when the other grads took a trip out to MoMA, I hit the bookstores. I packed light to ensure I'd have plenty of room for my glossy and uncoated bounty.
     Bloomberg Business Week might be my number one, honestly. Not because it's particularly designy but because it's so nice to see things done well. It's very easy to read. I try to stay away from looking at design magazines for inspiration and prefer to read them as more of a "state of the union" sort of deal. 
     I also find Milk, Gratuitous Type (a classmate brought one back and we were all instantly smitten), Bon, Teen Vogue & Paper very inspirational. Teen Vogue is really great. Design students, check it out! It's like the best things from Nylon and the best things from Elle together in one lovely, polished tiny magazine. It's fun sized!
     Of course I need to mention Apology and Lucky Peach but is there anything more comforting than reading O, the Oprah Magazine? Nope.

SPD-U:  Do you participate in any publication- or design-related campus activities while in school?
JENNY:  I worked on a new publication project last month, actually!
     I had the opportunity to work on a team (with fellow designers Meredith Morten and Elizabeth Kelley and amazing writer Amy Barrus) to create a new publication for Portfolio Center. It's called The Half Quarterly and we wanted to showcase all the beautiful student work coming out of the school alongside the culture and what it takes to actually reach that level of work. So it's not just for prospective students; it's also for alumni and the industry. 
     You can view it for free on Issuu. See if you can find the two hidden unicorns.

SPD-U:  What are you up to now?
JENNY:  I'm currently interning with a group of "Iconoclasts" at design agency Iconologic here in Atlanta. There's four of us from both PC and SCAD Atlanta. We've been given the opportunity to work on some amazing client projects as well as our own. It's going to be really exciting when it comes out. 

You can see more of Jenny's work at:  http://www.behance.net/JennySavage
And check out this Tumblr on her and her fellow interns' experiences there at Iconologic:  http://iconoclasts2.tumblr.com/

We'll be talking to some of our other winners in the coming weeks, plus sharing some tips and answering all your competition questions (email us at spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com), so stay tuned and get working! 
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