#TBT: SPD-U Throws it Back to 2009 Student Competition Winner Raul Aguila

#TBT: SPD-U Throws it Back to 2009 Student Competition Winner Raul Aguila 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 2009 as part of our 11th Student Competition, Raul Aguila won both 2nd AND 3rd-place for his work as a student at the School of Visual Arts under instructor Jeff Glendenning (see his award-winning work below as well as in the link here). 

We had the opportunity to catch up with Raul -- who's just made the move to Wired from The New York Times Magazine -- and learn about his tips for navigating the industry. Having also worked at New York Magazine, he thrives from data-driven content which is clearly apparent in his design work. Read on to see where life has taken him since his SPD Student Competition 2nd- and 3rd-place wins only several years ago ...

Image above: The New York Times Magazine cover. Designed under Design Director Gail Bichler. Photographer: Victoria Diehl.

Top: Raul's 2nd-place winning entry in the 2009 Student Design Competition. Bottom: His 3rd-place winning entry.
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SPD-U: What are you currently up to and how can you best describe your day-to-day?
RAUL: At The New York Times Magazine, my responsibilities ranged from front-of-the-book pages to feature stories and special issues. My approach to design is holistic, I see it as a process that involves the designer from the beginning to the end of a project. For the "Who Made That?" issue, for instance, I conceptualized not only the design and typography but also the style of the photography and illustration. I see all these elements as part of a whole. This is something that WIRED's art department has excelled at, and I look forward to doing more work in this philosophy.

Feature spreads/pages for the New York Times Magazine.
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SPD-U: What do you consider the greatest achievements thus far in your career?
RAUL: One of the biggest challenges was working on the visualization of 40 years of "All My Children" for New York Magazine. It consisted of a 6-page timeline and dense info graphic of the character relationships in the past forty years of the show "All My Children." Let's just say I didn't sleep that week.  

First of 3 spreads from "All My Children" feature in New York Magazine. 
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SPD-U: What advice would you give someone trying to get into the industry now?
RAUL: Try to intern as much as possible before you graduate, and focus on having strong conceptual thinking and good typography.

Front-of-book pages for New York magazine. 
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SPD-U: A huge thanks to Raul for talking with us! 

You can see more of his work on: 

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 available by Nov. 15!).

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