The University of Newcastle, Australia

Global design competition honours UON excellence

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Four outstanding University of Newcastle (UON) visual communication students will have their work exhibited as part of a prestigious global design exhibition after winning a New York Type Directors Club Award.

The success came as a shock to the students – Katarina Gerritsen, Lauren Moulton, Genevieve Read and Emily Sneddon, who missed the initial submission deadline.

“We were incredibly deflated after missing the initial closing date. As a longshot I checked the website hoping the closing date had miraculously been extended and to our amazement it had!,” said Ms Sneddon.

“We didn’t have time to actually send our design to New York so we quickly rallied to photograph our work and complete the submission. It was all worth it when we got the email to say we had won!”

The exhibition will open in New York and then tour Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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Ms Sneddon said she will travel to New York for the opening night in June.

“Attending the exhibition opening night in New York will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Previous winners include Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh who are some of the world’s most notable designers. It will be mind blowing to get to meet and network with designers who are at the top of their field.”

“Fundamentally, this award really validates our work and as graduates, allows potential employers or clients to have confidence in our work,” said Ms Sneddon.

Head of the discipline of Design, Professor Mario Minichiello said the accolade was indicative of the quality of the UON learning experience and the way that students and staff approached their roles in the new Creative Industries degree program.

“This prestigious and well recognised award will enable these talented students to be even more competitive as they transition from University to working life.”

“This program is designed to equip students to engage in lifelong learning for a long term sustainable career that is designed to appeal to employers and to develop the entrepreneurs of the future,” said Professor Minichiello.

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Lecturer Ralph Kenke initially encouraged the students to apply and will also receive an award.

“The Type Directors Club receives thousands of applications from talented designers around the world and offer only 300 awards each year. It is rare enough to win one, much less two of these highly coveted awards,” said Professor Minichiello.

Currently working as a freelance designer for a Sydney based firm, Ms Sneddon said the practical industry insights and mentoring by teaching staff during her degree had helped her to break into the professional design industry.

“My teachers were really well connected and had actually worked in the design industry so were able to coach students in the right direction and prepare us for working life. It’s a competitive, highly evolving industry so this commercial wisdom is vital for students.”

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