#TBT: SPD Throws It Back to 2010 & '11 Student Competition Winner Derek Eng

#TBT: SPD Throws It Back to 2010 & '11 Student Competition Winner Derek Eng 50th-Small.jpgAs part of SPD's 50th Anniversary celebration, we're looking back at our past Student Competition winners (see galleries of past winning work here on the blog each Wednesday). A few of them were kind enough to speak with us about what they've been up to since their wins and how the competition affected them. 

In 2010 as part of our 12th Student Competition, Derek Eng won both 3rd-place AND an Honorable Mention for his work as a student at the Ontario College of Art and Design under instructor Dominic Ayre (see his award-winning work below as well as in the link here). 

In 2011, Derek won again, this time a 2nd-place award under instructor Karen Simpson. (See that work below as well as in the link here.)

We had the opportunity to catch up with Derek who's currently a designer at Travel+Leisure magazine (after internships at W, More and Martha Stewart Living and a designer job at Cooking Light), and get his perspective on his transition into working professionally in the magazine industry. Read on to see where life has taken him since his SPD Student Competition wins only a few years back ...

Image above: A feature spread for Travel+Leisure

Derek's 2010 3rd-place SPD Student Competition winning entry (top) and his 2011 2nd-place entry (bottom)
(Click on image for larger view) 

SPD-U: What are you currently up to and how can you best describe your day-to-day?
DEREK: While I wish I could say that I jet around the world in first class designing stories on-location, most of my days are spent in the office designing layouts, exploring type treatments, choosing photos, commissioning illos, and getting editors to cut text. Each month, I design one feature, our Decoder section, various front-of-book departments and the back page, Tagged. 

Opening spread for Travel+Leisure's Decoder section (top) and the back page, Tagged (bottom).
(Click on images for larger view)

SPD-U: What do you consider the greatest achievements thus far in your career?
DEREK: Being hired by Carla Frank in NYC right out of school; Designing Cooking Light's popular 2012 Taste Test Awards package, from generating the concept to art directing the photo shoot; Getting offered my current job at Travel+Leisure, one of my favorite magazines of all-time; Being entrusted with the design of T+L's groundbreaking Tastemakers feature in this year's September issue by my awesome design director Sandra Garcia!

Feature spread for Travel+Leisure

SPD-U: What advice would you give someone trying to get into the industry now?
DEREK: Don't be afraid to approach art directors, especially those at the top who make the hiring decisions. Good internships can also be useful. Look at them as free education rather than unpaid labor. And enter as many student competitions as you can... the magazine industry has some great ones, like SPD's!

SPD-U: A huge thanks to Derek for talking with us! 

You can see more of his work here: 
PORTFOLIO:  derekeng.com

Be sure to check back in with us every Wednesday this fall for more galleries of past Student Competition work, and every Thursday for more Throwback Thursday interviews with past winners. And look for details about this year's competition here (they'll be updated very soon!).

#TBT series produced and edited by Jamie Feld and Alyssa Clare Hoersten
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