Chris Brown, a recent graduate of Conestoga’s Graphic Design program, has been named a 2023 Applied Arts Student Awards winner for an animated title sequence project submitted to the digital and motion category.
2023 Conestoga Graphic Design graduate Chris Brown (top) was named an Applied Arts Student Awards winner for an animated title sequence project titled Nocturnal (bottom).
Open internationally to secondary and post-secondary students, the Applied Arts Student Awards recognize work across the visual communications spectrum, from image-makers to advertising, marketing and graphic designers. The awards program aims to celebrate innovative creativity and capture the current visual arts landscape in Canada and beyond. The magazine is a national leader in visual communications.
The piece was designed for a fictional, mind-bending television series Brown titled Nocturnal and uses an animation style inspired by the abstract, symbolic sequences of Saul Bass, a famous graphic designer who created title sequences for several iconic films. Brown added digital effects that mimic the imperfections of old film transfers combined with bold type and modern design sensibilities to simultaneously evoke contemporary and nostalgic feelings.
“The task for this project was for each student to create a one-minute title sequence for a fictional television show. All other creative decisions were left up to us,” said Brown. “I wanted to create a piece that was personally challenging, visually compelling and reflected my interests in classic films, motion design, and visual storytelling. The style challenged me to tell a compelling visual story solely through the use of simple geometric forms and text, relying on the animation to capture the viewer’s attention and create an implied narrative.”
The project was created as part of typography curriculum in the college’s Graphic Design program, where students develop and refine solutions for complex and challenging design projects that build on typography skills with a focus on professional standards for print and screen. Students are encouraged to submit work from a broad range of learned skills to design competitions throughout the program.
“Opportunities like these are so important for students -- by putting your work out into the world like this, you push yourself to be confident. It also helps you realize what makes certain projects strong and compelling and allows you to grow as a designer and a person by taking chances that you may not normally take,” Brown continued. “It’s been a great honour to have my work recognized at this level and to be given the opportunity to show others how the creative freedom and expert guidance our professors provided can result in impactful works worthy of outside recognition.”
Entries were judged by a panel of industry experts and professionals who scored independently on creative merit, technical excellence and medium suitability. Winning pieces were revealed online in the magazine’s awards gallery in early July and will appear in print in Applied Art’s Winter Advertising & Students Awards Annual later this year.
“I chose the Graphic Design program at Conestoga because my high school art teachers and several industry professionals had spoken about the quality of education and how many working professionals in the industry were graduates of the program,” Brown said. “My professors in the program were some of the greatest teachers I have ever had and provided invaluable experience and advice that I will take with me throughout my career. Winning an award that was up against tough competition from across the country has given me a sense of confidence in my work as a designer and has validated how I feel about my own creative goals and decisions so far.”
Conestoga's three-year Graphic Design advanced diploma program is recognized as one of the top design programs in the province. It employs a project-based learning approach that addresses design, digital content creation, communication, inter-personal, mechanical, technical and enhanced employability skills.