Auburn Family

Renowned Designer Ty Wilkins Evaluates Auburn Graphic Design Students' Work at Annual Show

Each year, the Graphic Design Juried Student Show features the year’s best work by graphic design students in Auburn University’s Department of Industrial and Graphic Design. This competitive show allows students to enter their work in a broad range of categories to be showcased to the public and judged by a renowned designer.



Ty Wilkins of Ty Design & Illustration in Austin, Texas, juried the 2012 show and spoke at the opening reception and awards ceremony on Monday, Feb. 27, at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center.


“Having Ty Wilkins jury the show was a great opportunity,” said Spencer Huddleston, senior in graphic design. “We get a lot of feedback from our professors, but it was great to have an external source come and judge our work and tell us the pros and cons he sees in what we’ve created.”


The show consisted of works from all facets of graphic design. Students submitted work in typography, identity, publication design, poster design, interactive design, package design, illustration, photography and collaboration/environmental design.


“It was a very well rounded competition because it incorporated so many different categories,” Huddleston said. “I entered pieces in illustration, identity and interactive design. I actually won an award for the interactive piece I entered, which is basically Web design. It was a huge honor to win that award and to know that someone that I look up to like Ty Wilkins actually liked my work.”


Students submitted a certain number of pieces for the show depending on their level in the graphic design program. Beginner designers could submit three pieces, intermediate designers could submit four, and senior level designers could submit five. Auburn’s graphic design professors chose which pieces would make the show out of the work that was submitted. Designer Ty Wilkins then chose the top submissions in each category out of the pieces that made the exhibition.


“One of my pieces didn’t make the show, but three of mine did,” Huddleston said. “Narrowing down the selections is actually beneficial because it’s kind of a reality check. The pieces of your own work you may have thought were great may not be the same for industry professionals. It was a great opportunity to dive into Ty Wilkins’ mind and see what is really popular right now in the industry.”


The Graphic Design Juried Student Show is one of many opportunities Auburn graphic design students can take advantage of to help them transition into professional life. As well as receiving beneficial critical evaluation of their work, the students have the opportunity to establish professional relationships with the designer who comes to jury the show.


“What I love about graphic design is that it’s constantly changing,” Huddleston said. “You’re constantly evaluating what looks good and what looks bad and getting inspiration from outside sources. You’re constantly building relationships and reaching out to other people, and you grow from that both as a person and as a designer.”

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