Congratulations to our 2019 Student Award-winners: National Awards of Excellence

After receiving 973 submissions from 462 design students attending 34 post-secondary schools across Canada, RGD is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2019 Student Awards.


Thank you to our generous industry supporters who provide our winners each with cash prizes of $1,000 and have helped RGD to distribute over $320,000 since the program launched in 1998.


Below is a list of all the winners of our 2019 National Awards of Excellence. An additional 22 Students received Awards of Specialty.




Clear Space Award for Story-telling

Winner: Mohit Gupta, York/Sheridan Joint Program


"The product is aimed to be used in a hospital/clinic setting by doctors or nurses for children. Storytime is an app that transforms existing picture books into immersive storytelling experiences. The app allows children to tag along with their favourite characters and unfold the journey together. The VR experiences are designed in a way so that patients are not required to move around and can watch the story from one place."

“What irony it is that this award is going to an entry that’s titled Storytime, with the sole goal of providing a rich storytelling experience! This project is outstanding because it balances the power of technology with the creativity of art and design to solve a specific problem." - Will Hum RGD, Principal & Creative Director at Clear Space


Honourable Mentions: Jessica Peng, Capilano University (Elm & Glen Annual Report); Jessica Tang, University of Alberta (Book Redesign: James & the Giant Peach)



52 Pick-Up Award for Typography

Winner: Judith Aldama, Alberta University of the Arts


"Brooks is perceived as old-fashioned and out-of-date. I chose to embrace their retro vibe with an 80s inspired typographic treatment without making them feel like they are out of style - it's about embracing you and showing it off."


Honourable Mentions: Simerdeep Haer, University of the Fraser Valley (Found); Emi Takahashi, OCAD (fettle); Nick Theodorou, Georgian College (I'm OK Mental Health Awareness)


Gravity Inc Award for Social Good Design

Winner: Patrick Carter & Reid Plaxton, Humber College

CAMH: Altered

"Social media isn't going anywhere any time soon. As it becomes more integrated into our daily lives, its potential for having a negative impact on our mental development grows considerably. We wanted to raise awareness of this and promote self-reflection amongst those who may be worried about their social media usage and how it makes them feel about themselves."

"This project manages to focus on one of the prevailing social issues of the day and effectively communicate its impact in a creative and innovative way. The installations are eye-catching and speak effectively to the target audience. The dark tones, mood and rigid movements convey the negative aspects of the subject. The messaging is simple and impactful. A great example of powerful messaging and a simple visual approach." - Sophie Lacerte RGD, Head of Design at Canada West Foundation


Honourable Mentions: Annika McFarlane, Capilano University (The Calm Commute); Channon Leathley, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Bee Hotel), Hillary Chen, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Overfishing)


john st. Award for Strategic Design

Winner: Stefany Bakelaar, George Brown College

Adidas Unite

"I created a prototype of an integrated app and gave it to people to test. This ensured that the prototype helped answer the brief. I used geolocation and gamification to provide insight and ease of use for these users, and gathered research from parent groups to ensure the app was safe and trustworthy for this age group to use. My explorations, research, and iteration testing led to my solution, which I then communicated through a case-study video."

"This is a cohesive understanding of the motive behind the design. I am impressed with the integration of the X" into longstanding Adidas demands an investigation; a double-take to learn more. The collateral pieces have strong visual hierarchy delivered in well timed peels of information. Please pitch this to Adidas!" - Laura Piché RGD, Manager, Global Marketing at The Redpath Group


Honourable Mentions: Haluka Yagi, Capilano University (Braille Literacy Canada Annual Report); Jordan Yep, Elena Hsu, Kristina Kim, Elizabeth Lo, Macguire Rintoul, Isabelle Soares, Simon Fraser University (Vancity MyCredit), Theresa Carbonaro, Durham College (Stories. Art. Design. - Magazine Reimagined)


Quarry Award for UX Design

Winner: Kori Skeffington, York/Sheridan Joint Program

Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Resort Mobile App Re-Design

"Using the primary and analytical research, personas were created to represent the users this product is being designed for. This helped to understand and empathize with those who might engage with the product, who might benefit from using it, and to also ensure that multiple user groups were taken into consideration."

"Excellent new design (vs the existing site). I really liked the presentation website, outlining the design process. Great job with the UI kit, inclusion of personas, a prototype and other user research that is so important in a true redesign project. Great job!" - Michael Palmer, Executive Creative Director at Quarry


Honourable Mentions: Gurleen Hansi, York University (Collab); Shanil Patel, Sheridan College (Mosaic)



Zync Award for Concept Development

Winner: Charmaine Cheng, Capilano University


"Rosedive was created because I wanted to empower girls during a vulnerable point in their lives. I decided to create a skateboarding school because skateboarding is an incredibly male-dominated sport, and it felt like a great space to try to disrupt and make waves. The basis of the concept is the juxtaposition between femininity and grit. Every touchpoint of Rosedive aims to challenge the preconceived notions that girls are weaker or lesser than."

"The synergy of the pieces is excellent - together and each piece supports the concept very well. Love the use of the petals and typography. Excellent work!" - Robin Honey RGD, Brand Consultant


Honourable Mentions: Laura Pummel, Capilano University (Richter Days); Maria-Tatiana Pauna, University of the Fraser Valley (Coryphaeus Chilliwack Community Theatre re-branding); Tim Yeung, Vancouver Island University (The Healthy Dick)


Click here to see the 2019 Awards of Specialty winners

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