Glyphix wins big at Akron ADDY Awards

Leslie Cusano

Student-run design studio takes home five prizes

When the Hudson Montessori School needed to raise money for new playground equipment and green space, they called upon a design studio to create a four-color, three-dimensional, professional-looking appeal brochure.

But the brochure wasn’t created by a professional design firm — it was designed by Glyphix, the student design studio in the School of Visual Communication Design, and was just one of the many projects that brought home awards at the 2008 Akron ADDY Awards Wednesday night.

“(The ADDYs) are a good opportunity to let people know what we do here,” said Valora Renicker, creative director of Glyphix.

“There’s not a good understanding of what graphic design does in general,” she said. “It helps to let people see what it is that we do and how our students can perform when put to the test.”

In the professional category, Glyphix won Silver awards for its members’ work on both the Hudson Montessori School Appeal Brochure and for the School of Visual Communication Design’s Web site.

In the student category, Glyphix won a Gold award for its members’ Alumni Relations Membership Campaign and Silver awards for their work on both the Intergenerational School Annual Report and the Ohio Renewable Energy Guide.

“The students work very hard,” Renicker said. “They take a lot of pride in their work.”

VCD graduate student Lee Zelenak won ADDYs for his work on both the Hudson Montessori brochure and the VCD Web site.

He said he was especially proud to have been a part of the Hudson Montessori project.

“I really love this piece,” he said while folding and unfolding the colorful, three-dimensional brochure. “It’s something that represents the school really well. To know it’s helping them is something I really take pride in.”

He said winning an ADDY was more a reflection of the quality of the VCD program.

“It’s a good promotion for Glyphix and the school as a whole,” he said. “That’s where the value of the awards comes in.”

Renicker also attributed some of their success to the program.

“It validates what we’re teaching here and the quality of the education,” she said. “The continued support of the school and the college is really important. Having these awards is a nice bonus.”

Dusty Steinbrink, senior VCD major, was a first-time winner at the ADDYs for his work on The Intergenerational School Annual Report.

The annual report was the main project he worked on last semester, and though it “took a little longer than it should have,” Steinbrink said it was a big learning experience.

“Winning was a relief,” he said with a smile. “It was a long project to finish, so it definitely made it worth it.”

Steinbrink said he was especially pleased with the win because of the piece’s entry into the professional category.

“I’m impressed that a lot of the work we submitted was just as good as the professional work that was submitted,” he said.

Though this was his first win in the professional category as well, for Zelenak, winning an ADDY was merely the “icing on the cake.”

“I never go into something thinking ‘I hope this wins an award.’ I just try to have fun in the design process,” he said. “So when other people say that they like it, it gives you a warm feeling in the soul.”

Contact School of Art and VCD reporter Leslie Cusano at [email protected].