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Typography ‘Oscars’ Win for Wanganui Students

Typography ‘Oscars’ Win for Wanganui Students

Two Whanganui UCOL graphic design students have won placings in the international typography industry’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.

Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design, Honours student, Trudie Dutt, and recent graduate Tyrone Ohia both picked up Certificates of Typographic Excellence in the New York-based Type Directors Club’s annual exhibition competition, TDC55.

Academic Manager of the UCOL Whanganui School of Design, Betsy Berger says it is a small coup for a student to win one of these awards, competing against professionals. “This is like an equivalent to winning an Oscar award in the industry. This is such an honour.”

Both students completed their entries as part of the third year Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design programme at Whanganui UCOL’s Whanganui School of Design, last year. Their work was selected from a pool of 1800 entries by mostly professional designers from 33 countries.

Trudie’s winning entry is a poster entitled Frutiger Theater Presents: Univers Vs. Helvetica, and Tyrone won his placing with an 80-page black and white book of graphics and text, called the Duo Dynamica.

Tyrone describes the Duo Dynamica as “a curious manifesto that dives deep: What is life? Why don't chicken chips taste like chicken? Is a home-boy a kid who owns a house? The Duo Dynamica is a saga, it's a space saga.”

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Trudie and Tyrone’s winning entries are now being exhibited as part of the TDC55 international tour starting in New York, and visiting nine other prominent international cities. A hardcover annual publication, Typography 30, is also produced each year and sold worldwide.

Betsy says the Whanganui School of Design is exceptionally strong in its teaching on typography, offering four papers on the subject, compared to one at many other design schools. “Skillful use of typography is a very strong basis for design. It is the study of not only font design but also how words are used in a visual way to communicate a message.”

In 2008, Whanganui School of Design graduate Kris Sowersby also received international recognition from the Type Directors Club. Kris was one of only eight people worldwide to win a prize in the competition last year, for his font National. National was also named the Judges Choice by Sara Soskolne, a designer at Hoefler & Frere-Jones, one of the world’s most influential type foundries.

Pictured above: Trudie Dutt’s entry, a poster entitled Frutiger Theater Presents: Univers Vs. Helvetica.


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