VFS Digital Design wins at the 2017 Salazar Awards!

On May 3rd, we had the pleasure of hosting the annual Salazar Awards at the VFS Digital Design campus. The Salazar Awards, presented by the GDC (Society of Graphic Design of Canada), awards prizes to talented and inspiring students currently enrolled in design programs in British Columbia. There are four award categories: Print Design, Interactive Design, Brand Identity, and Video and Motion, and there were over 150 submissions this year. A judging committee of top professionals of the GDC/BC reviewed the student work based on the strategy and rationale of the piece, as well as the level of visual execution.

GDC/BC President Johnathon Vaughn Strebly opened the night with an inspiring and thoughtful speech about the importance of design, and the importance of inspiring and recognizing the talented design students across the province. Then came the awards! First, all of the nominees for each of the four awards were recognized – amongst them were VFS Digital Design graduates Dylan Endicott, Kelly Kurtz, Melissa Choi, Nikki Yujin Ji, Ziwei Wang, and Brandon Kim. Now, time for the winners…

Out of the four awards, VFS Digital Design graduates took home two of them! Mihaela Kandeva won the Best Interactive Award with her graduate project Iona – an augmented reality app that teaches chemistry to school students through a fun and engaging experience. Lawrence Teng took the win for the Best Video + Motion Award with his graduate project “Mr. Owen Goes to Mars” – a 90-second animated motion graphic trailer for a fictitious film set in the 1800s told through animated letters and numbers.

The formal part of the evening concluded with a special presentation by guest speaker, Ale Paul. Ale Paul is one of the founders of Sudtipos, a project that has helped place Argentina firmly on the global map of Graphic Design. Ale’s career as an art director landed him in some of Argentina’s most prestigious studios and, with the founding of Sudtipos, he has shifted his efforts to typeface design, creating fonts and lettering for several agencies, medias and magazines along with commercial faces. He has received four Certificates of Excellence from the Type Directors Club NY, eight from the CommArts Type Competition, and several awards at the Tipos Latinos Biennial of Typography. His work has been featured in publications around the globe, he has been designated ATypi’s country delegate, and is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale – the first one for Argentina.

The event ended with a lots of bubbling and engaging conversation in the hallway where audience members, presenters, students, and industry folk all had the opportunity to mingle. We’re grateful to the GDC for giving Vancouver Film School the opportunity to host this year’s Salazar Awards, and congratulations to both the GDC for a great event, and to all of the nominees and winners!

 

THE ROOKIES: WEB & MOBILE WINNER

Ainara_Rookies

We had a chance to speak to Ainara Sáinz Gutierrez about winning the Web & Mobile category of The Rookies, an international competition for young designers, creators, innovators, and artists.

Can you briefly summarize what your project is about?

FRAME is a space that showcases artisans in Vancouver, presents an intimate look into their creative process and strengthens the local art community. It keeps you updated about upcoming events, local businesses promotions, and encourages you to translate the digital experience into a tangible one by promoting art crawls around the city.

What was your 1st thought after finding out you won the Rookie of the Year in the Web & Mobile category?

I got super excited, and my first thought was that all the hard work paid off.

What do you think set your project apart from the rest of the nominees?

That’s a tough question… I want to believe that it was because the project was born from a real need inside a small community in Vancouver. Besides, I tried to stay focused on delivering a feasible solution that would really strengthen and spread the word about our local art scene.

What inspired you to create Frame?

FRAME is a project that was born from the difficulty of discovering Vancouver’s local art scene. I moved from Mexico, a country with strong folklore culture, and found that looking for artisans here wasn’t easy. After talking with them, I realized that they are more focused on creating their pieces than in advertising themselves and that opportunity is what made me create FRAME.

FRAME Case Study from Ainara on Vimeo.

What is your approach to solving a design problem?

I believe that it depends on the goals of every project but my general approach is to start with research, competitive analysis and interviews in order to understand the user needs. After that I will start exploring different solutions, I will test and refine until the design offers a clear solution.

How did you define success for the project and how did you measure it?

Success for me in this project meant to learn as much as I could while I was presenting high quality deliverables of every stage of the project. I went out and learned from my user research, implemented strategy and logical thinking in the user experience and had a lot of fun with the branding and the interface design.

Did you, at any point during the making of Frame, felt lost and unsure on how to proceed? If so, what helped you get back on track?

Yes, and it becomes very difficult to have an objective point of view about the project’s different stages when you’re working on it every day during 4 months. Every time I felt lost I tried to take a step back to ask for feedback, look for design inspiration and review the earlier stages on the project to understand how I needed to move forward.

Where do you find inspiration for your creative design process?


Everywhere. I’m an art addict so I constantly go to museums, art galleries, conferences and read a lot about artistic movements. I listen to design podcasts and get lost in Behance, Pinterest and Vimeo.

What are some of the tools you used? Are there any tools you would recommend?

I mainly used Adobe Creative Suite software: Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects. I highly recommend to use a prototype tool to test the project throughout the entire process such as Axure or Invision and, if I could go back, I would definitely use Sketch to create the entire interface design because of its precision and efficiency.

Looking back, what would be one part of your project you would have done differently?

I would have devoted more time interviewing potential users and testing low fidelity prototypes instead of adding precise and refined details on every wireframe I created.

Do you have any advice for current students when it comes to choosing a topic for their grad project?

Choose a project that comes out of a real need and that challenges you. A topic that you love and that reflects the passion that you have for what you do.

What is next for you?

Right now I’m working as an interactive designer at Unbounce and I love it! At the same time, I’m in search of joining a non-profit to help the community through my career. I would really like to stay in Vancouver for a couple of years and then move to another city to continue improving my professional skills.

Thanks, Ainara!

 

The Rookies: Web & Mobile Winner

FRAME

The accolades for Ainara Sáinz Gutierrez continue to pour in. Her graduate project, FRAME, was named the winner of the Web & Mobile category yesterday by a judging panel of The Rookies, an international competition for young designers, creators, innovators, and artists. Judging criteria were based on Overall Impression, Creative Skills, Technical Skills, Range of Skills, Complexity, Presentation, and Industry Employability. Congratulations also to Ignacio Flórez and David Rivera for being selected as finalists in the Motion Graphics and the Web & Mobile categories respectively. 479 schools from around the world (77 countries) were also ranked, and Vancouver Film School was named the School of the Year in the Web & Mobile category and the Runner-Up for Motion Graphics.

 

APPLIED ARTS 2016 STUDENT AWARDS

Five Digital Design graduates were named winners of the 2016 Applied Arts Student Awards competition yesterday. The work was judged by a panel of senior communications professionals, and the winners were selected based on creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use. The following is a list of the six projects and names of the winners:

FRAME
Ainara Sáinz Gutierrez

Dear Stranger
Hanna Cortés

Poiesis
Ignacio Flórez

Quintessence
Jay Lee

Bikeit
Maggie (Juei-Hsuan) Wang

Rune Branding
Maggie (Juei-Hsuan) Wang

The winners will receive the following:

  • Their work published in the November/December 2016 Student Awards annual
  • Their work published online in November
  • A complimentary copy of the November issue
  • Digital tear sheets of their published work
  • A personalized award certificate signed by the founder of Applied Arts, noted graphic designer Georges Haroutiun
  • Their work displayed at the Creative Futures Expo, November 8-9 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where more than 1,500 aspiring creative artists, high school students and their teachers will visit

Congratulations to all the winners!

2016 ADOBE DESIGN ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Early-bird Semifinalists

The Adobe Design Achievement Awards celebrate student work in disciplines of interactive experience, motion/video, and traditional media from the world’s top institutions of higher education. Prizes for this competition include Adobe software, mentorship from creative professionals, trophies, and a trip to San Diego for the winners. Early-bird Semifinalists for 2016 have been announced recently, and a number of Digital Design projects have been selected. They will receive an official digital certificate from Adobe, as well as an online badge for LinkedIn and Facebook issued by Credly and authorized by Adobe.

Congratulations to the following alumni:

AERO
David Rivera

KITH | HEALTH ECOSYSTEM
David Rivera

HANDS OF COMPASSION | EMPOWERING DREAMS CAMPAIGN
Karam Mahmood, Adriana Ogarrio, Maggie Wang, David Rivera, and Jay Lee

APOTHEOSIS
Jay Lee

REMIND
Jay Lee

QUINTESSENCE
Jay Lee

FRAME
Ainara Sáinz

FOXY MATTER
Ignacio Flórez

POIESIS
Ignacio Flórez

THE POWER OF MY CHOICE
Vania Ayala

DEAR STRANGER
Hanna Cortés

The winners will be announced in September.