Digital Design Student Wins a Salazar Award

Digital Design student Stefan Ramirez Perez recently won a 2009 Salazar Award for Web Design and Interactive Media with his short, “Venice.” Congrats, Stefan! The Salazar Awards honour and recognize “the cream of the crop” of each year’s graduating student designers.

Be sure to check out the works of Salazar Finalists Jorge R. Canedo Estrada – a current Digital Design student – and the Iran: A Nation of Bloggers team, including grads Aaron Chiesa, Hendy Sukarya, Lisa Temes, and Toru Kageyama. Their project has received a ton of attention online.

You might recognize Jorge’s and Stefan’s names as two of the winners of VFS/YouTube Scholarships. We knew you guys would be making a big splash!

Congrats to all!

An Interactive Designer’s Reinvention

Foundation and Digital Design grad Tyler Egeto
Tyler Egeto‘s come a long way from the Prairies. The Foundation Visual Art & Design and Digital Design grad’s trajectory has taken him from, well, essentially flipping burgers in Saskatchewan to Vancouver, where he now works as a designer at visual communications and interactive design agency Mod7.

Tyler exemplifies an unsung part of the Digital Design curriculum – interactive design. So much more than just ‘design for coders’, it’s actually an incredibly broad, forward-thinking, and experimental stream that marries the technical and creative sides of design, with results that are often astonishing.

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Dark Igloo : Branding the World

Some of Dark Igloo's recent work Pepsi. Doritos. Target. MTV. They’re some of the world’s biggest brands, and in recent months, they’ve all turned to VFS grad Mark Miller‘s Dark Igloo.

Since graduating from the one-year Digital Design program in 2005 — as part of its very first graduating class, in fact — Mark hasn’t had much in the way of downtime. He headed straight to New York and signed on with Firstborn Multimedia, where he spent a year creating Flash interfaces. From there, thehappycorp global.

Now, with momentum on his side, he’s slingshotted into a new challenge altogether — running the Brooklyn-based Dark Igloo with co-founder Dave Franzese. And in less than a year, they’ve worked with an all-star roster of clients. All the while, Mark’s somehow managed to continue his daily design exercise, stretch daily.

We’ve written about Mark before – notably to touch base on his work with thehappycorp. But we were craving an update on his new projects, and caught up with Mark to talk Dark Igloo, the bliss of MTV-fed nostalgia, and what the future holds for this designer on the rise.

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Chasing the DreamWorks Dream

The Shrek films are produced by DreamWorks Animation What more can we say about Cesar Alejandro Montero Orozco? The Digital Design grad has parlayed a talent for clear, effective storytelling and great animation – to say nothing of boundless enthusiasm – into his dream career.

Sex and the Socket – a fictional ad for compact fluorescent light bulbs that was his final project in the program – might sound dry. In practice, it’s a clever concept flawlessly executed, and Cesar was rewarded for his efforts when the project took Gold at the MI6 Advertising Awards for Best Student Marketing as well as a Davey Award.

When we caught up with Cesar after the MI6 win, we asked him what future accomplishments he’d set his sights on. His reply? “I would love to work at a place like Pixar, DreamWorks, or ILM, since they care about storytelling. I will do whatever is necessary to get there.”

Last year, in the animation equivalent of Babe Ruth’s called shot, he made good, signing on with DreamWorks Animation in Los Angeles to work as a Surfacing Artist on Shrek Goes Fourth. “I get to apply textures and surface properties to anything that appears on screen,” he explains.

We’ll let Cesar tell the story of what he’s been up to since graduating from VFS in 2006 and how he landed at his dream company.

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