OSU Institute of Technology student Vivian Prescott won third place and $1,000 in the national 2020 Student Design Competition presented by Association for Print Technologies in partnership with Konica Minolta.
Prescott, a Graphic Design Technology student from Bixby, was challenged to create a unique personalized tangible mail piece, complete with a call-to-action, for this year's competition theme "Mail Matters."
This piece was not only for the contest but also required as part of the curriculum for her Branding Identity class. Instructor Mary Miller encouraged students to create a piece to enter for the competition, of which five were entered.
"My piece was for a hypothetical fencing company," said Prescott. "Potential customers would receive this in the mail, but I had to make it intriguing enough so that they wouldn't just throw it away. Since some people are not familiar with the sport of fencing, I needed to explain why it would be enjoyable and beneficial to take classes. I decided to create a short pop-up storybook telling how the owner got into fencing as a child. I tried to make it easy for kids to understand but interesting enough for parents to open and appreciate."
This fulfilled the major branding project for the class. Each student was required to learn about and design direct mail pieces as one of the necessary advertising elements to be entered into the national contest. There were precise requirements and guidelines for the contest, which required students to really do their homework to craft their designs.
"It's good to push students to enter contests because you just never know what judges might choose," said Miller. "Creativity and design are so subjective. There are no simple, black & white answers. There can be multiple, creative solutions for any design challenge; in the real world, it's ultimately decided by what resonates with the intended consumer."
Prescott said she was surprised to hear she had won third place.
"When I entered the contest early this summer, I thought it would be a good learning experience, but I did not expect to win," said Prescott. "Learning I won made me feel more confident about this project because it is in a different style than I typically use."
Having taught at OSUIT for almost 24 years, Miller is accustomed to seeing OSUIT Graphic Design graduates win national awards for their work as professionals.
"We have a lot of very high caliber graduates in the industry producing the exquisite branding, advertising and design work for huge national and international brands," she said. "Vivian Prescott, undoubtedly, will be one of those graduates. Her research abilities, design and concept skills, and work ethic will result in many more awards on her shelf. It's very gratifying for faculty to see the students succeed in this way. Vivian is the first OSUIT student to win the APTech annual contest. I'm so proud of her!"
Although Prescott's expected graduation date isn't until this fall, she has recently been hired as a full-time graphic designer for Hobby Lobby corporate offices.
"I'm very blessed that this worked out in my favor, and I was able to start working sooner than I normally would have," said Prescott. "The high job placement rate is one of the things that brought me to OSUIT."