The 2015 SPD-U Spotlight Shines on Hieu Tran

The 2015 SPD-U Spotlight Shines on Hieu Tran Today we're starting to showcase our 2015 SPD-U Spotlight Online Gallery Show winners, and we're so excited to start off with the first of 5 Gold Medal winning entries (like the SPD professional competition, we award Gold Medals, Silver Medals, and Merit Awards).  

We'll be featuring one Gold Medal winner each day this week -- in RANDOM order, they are all equal winners -- and today we're shining the SPD-U Spotlight on Hieu Tran. Click through for his full entry and to read a short Q&A with him...

(click on the images above for larger views)

2015 SPD-U Spotlight Online Gallery Show :: Gold Medal Winner*
NAME:  Hieu Tran
SCHOOL:  Maryland Institute College of Art
CURREN STUDENT LEVEL:  Rising second-year MFA student
INSTRUCTOR:  Isaac Gertman

SPD-U: While our judges saw and judged all the entered work without any information about the pieces, we'd now love to hear what type of publication or project this piece was created for, and what your process was.
HIEU:  Outcast is a project that conceptualizes the drama within Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice" into a newspaper. While the play itself deals with various themes and issues, I chose to emphasize the topics of antisemitism and homosexuality within my publication. While the former is addressed explicitly in the play through the relationship between Antonio and Shylock, the latter is addressed implicitly through the friendship between Antonio and Bassanio. Given the experimental nature of the project, I wanted to design a newspaper that only utilizes typography and infographics, without the use of photography. In doing so, I wish to demonstrate the complex character and overlapping layers of Shakespeare's play.  

SPD-U: Did you learn anything about editorial design from this project that other students might benefit from?
HIEU: At the beginning of the project, I wanted to challenge myself by not using photography, which is very common in editorial design. Instead, I created some of the content (little charts and infographics) of my own to take place of photographs, which was very fun since most of the contents were really funny. I learned that sometimes editorial design can be purely typographic.

SPD-U: What's your major/course of study? Do you do any extracurricular design-related activities?
HIEU: I am a rising second-year M.F.A. student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) studying graphic design. Outside of school, I do some freelance work for a few tech companies. However, I am going to be spending most of my time this upcoming year on my thesis project.

SPD-U: What are you up to now? Do you plan to pursue a career in editorial design of any kind?
HIEU: Currently, I am a visual design intern at Code and Theory in New York City, where they do a lot of cool and exciting product design. I definitely want to pursue a career in editorial design for men's fashion or technology magazines. My dream job would be either at GQ or Wired.

Find more of Hieu's work online at:
Twitter: @hieutran42
Instagram: @hieutran42

Congrats to Hieu! And come back tomorrow to see the next Gold-Medal-winning piece.

*All of our top 5 Gold Medal winners are equal winners. They are being announced in random order. Silver Medals and Merit Winners will be shown next week.

And lastly, a HUGE thanks to our 2015 judges: James Maikowski, José Reyes, Renee Rupcich, Ivylise Simones and Michael Wilson.
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