July 10, 2011
On June 9th, I received an AIGA BoNE award for my Contradiction Poster Series, and I like to tell you a little about the application process, when I found out I had won something, and the event itself.
I’ve been a member of AIGA since 2009, was involved as an officer for my student chapter at RIT and have continued to volunteer, most notably for the Matthew Carter AIGA even last fall. In January, I opened my mailbox to find a call for entries for the 2011 BoNE show. “Where does my poster series fit in?” I thought. I perused through the entry guidelines and categories, and ultimately determined that there wasn’t an appropriate category for my poster series and pushed the mailer to the corner of my desk and the back of mind.
A few weeks later, my Creative Director, Laura O’Connell, called me over to her desk one day and had the 2010 BoNE Show website pulled up on her computer screen. “You should really consider entering your promotional poster series,” she told me. I recounted to her how I had thought about it, but couldn’t find a place it would fit in. We looked at the website together, and found there was a promotional category, perfect for my posters.
With a little confidence boost from my boss, I decided to take a chance. That same night I pulled the materials out from the previous Spring to see what I would have to do to get the application ready to send. I had one out of four posters made, and just enough Hahnemühle German Etching paper to make the remaining three.
Three days before the deadline, my posters were made and my application was complete. Off it went to be judged, and I was sure, tossed in the “pass” pile.
About a month later, my boyfriend asked me, “Hey, whatever happened to that competition you entered?” “Oh, well…I entered,” I answered, “But it’s likely I won’t hear anything or win anything.”
Two days later, my heart jumped into my throat as I listened to a voice mail telling me, “Congratulations! Your work has been selected for the 2010 BoNe Show!”
I had to wait two agonizing months until I could tell anyone – well besides my office, my family, some close friends and influential professors from RIT – the news.
On June 9th, Laura, my boss, Gogi, co-worker Scott, as well as my boyfriend Steve, joined me at the 808 Gallery at Boston University as I accepted my BoNE. (Yes, literally a Bone!)
This award means so much to me. It means I belong in the ranks of the best New England designers, including the ones I most admire and who gave me advice and guidance as I searched for my first job last summer. This award gives me satisfaction and proof that I not only enjoy being a designer, but that I’m kind of talented too. I am very proud that this award was awarded to a very personal project, one that continues to define my work and my personality.
I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in this project. My classmates and professors at RIT, who helped me develop my vision into something tangible, and were both skeptical and surprised when I proved that Yes, you can sew on paper; My Mom (How clichè – but true!) and Don who both helped my brainstorm on the beach in Florida for the exact right words to describe my idiosyncrasies; and Laura, and everyone at Gupta Media, for taking a chance on a print designer like me!
Read my submission
How does a young designer get noticed in a competitive job market? How do they showcase their talent? How do they introduce themselves to the seasoned veterans of cities across the country? Design a promotional piece/series/mailer that showcases your talent and personality and that will catch the attention of creative directors, design directors and principals of the firms you admire and respect.
Every designer is in charge of his/her identity, philosophy and craftsmanship. The concept behind this series is the idea of a positive contradiction. A contradiction is opposition, one positive thing negated by a negative and vice-versa. But what happens if two positive qualities contradict?
In the process of defining myself as a person and as a designer I found that some of my best qualities contradicted one another. I am organized but I am a free spirit. I am pragmatic but innovative, classic yet eccentric, and experienced but definitely a rookie right out of school.
The tactile, tangible posters showcase my best qualities with my favorite tools – typography, pattern and texture.
The Contradiction Poster Series were a successful tool in initiating conversation with some of Boston’s most talented designers, and eventually helped me land my first job.