#TBT: SPD Throws It Back to 2012 Student Competition Winner Christopher Allen

#TBT: SPD Throws It Back to 2012 Student Competition Winner Christopher Allen 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 2012 as part of our 14th Student Competition, Christopher Allen won the 1st place B.W. Honeycutt Award and TWO Honorable Mentions (as well as another Honorable Mention in 2013) for his work as a student at the University of Maryland at College Park under instructor Damien Franze (see his award-winning work below as well as in the link here). 

We had the opportunity to catch up with Chris who's currently a Brand Strategist and Designer at Brave UX. Chris has combined his mix of print and digital skills to give personality to his work. Read on to see where life has already taken him since his recent SPD Student Competition wins...

Image above: Postcard design for D.C.'s Drink the District's Hoppy Holidays event.

All of Chris' SPD Student Design Competition winning entries: At top is his 1st place 2012 win, in the middle are his 2 Honorable Mentions from 2012, and at the bottom is his 2013 Compeition Honorable Mention. (Click image for larger view.)

SPD-U: What are you currently up to and how can you best describe your day-to-day?
CHRIS: I'm currently a Brand Strategist & Designer at Brave UX in Washington, D.C. I work alongside a team of eight rad folks designing and building interfaces. We work out of a co-working space that's pretty neat; there's beer on tap and tons of chatter about 'hacking', 'hustling' and all things startup, which makes me exponentially more hip and creative. I spend most of my time designing applications and creating brands to accompany them. I've been learning as much as I can about the development side of things and getting more into strategy, so every day is different.

Profile page at BraveUX.com

SPD-U: What do you consider the greatest achievements thus far in your career?
CHRIS: Man, that's a tough question to answer. I've had such a lengthy and illustrious career I don't even know where to begin! In all seriousness, I'm proud of a site we just launched at Brave called For The Badge. It's a side project that's entirely for fun, but it's one of the first things I've designed where I can really see my own personality in the work.

I'm really happy with the mix of design work I've gotten into. Most of my early experience was with editorial design and illustration (yea, magazines!), and that's still some of my favorite stuff, but I've been getting really into interface design and UX to complement my branding work.

Brand and design campaign for For The Badge

SPD-U: What advice would you give someone trying to get into the industry now?
CHRIS: I'm supremely under-qualified to give advice to anyone about pretty much anything, so I'll defer. Dan Cassaro said it really well in an interview with The Great Discontent a while ago: "Work hard at whatever you do and make it personal--don't try to please this imaginary audience that's out there because it doesn't exist...If you're doing work that you love, then other people are going to see that, and they are going to love it too. It's as simple as that."

Logo for the University of Maryland's Strategic Design and Innovation program

SPD-U: Anything further you'd like to add?
CHRIS: You guys rock.

You can see more of Chris' work here: 
PORTFOLIO:  cp-allen.com (CHRIS: I'm in the same boat as most designers in saying I'm working on getting more recent work up on my site.)
DRIBBBLE:  dribbble.com/cp_allen 

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 get the details on how to enter this year's competition here!

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