Congratulations to our 2019 Student Award-winners: Awards of Specialty

After receiving over 950 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 Awards of Specialty. An additional 6 Students received National Awards of Excellence.




.design Award for Self-Promotional/Personal Website

Winner: Jonathan Collie, Conestoga College

Jonathan Collie's Portfolio Site

"My recently rebuilt portfolio site is designed to express bits of my personalty and passion for design. The site speaks to potential freelance clients or employers, allowing them to preview my work. Alongside my work I walk through some of my design process, helping to explain the 'why' behind my work."

"It is very effective to put all the design work on the home page. The website is interactive yet simple enough for visitors to navigate. Clean layouts and detailed descriptions of each project. It is a great idea to add LinkedIn, Instagram and Dribbble pages to the website. Extra point for using a .design email address ( Great Self-Promo work." - Summer Fang, Partnership Manager at Top Level Design


Honourable Mentions: Devon Bailey, Niagara College ( and Jessica Pellizzari, Fanshawe College (JP Designs Portfolio)


Tony Jurgilas Award for Logo Design

Winner: Peter Elima, University of Alberta

Edmonton Nordic Ski Club Logo

"The refreshed logo aims to represent winter sport, the Nordic, and the community that it builds. The logo is made up of multiple repeated lines which represent the track skiers create on the snow. The vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines mimic the corner of a snowflake, while the uniqueness of its form can be compared to patterns of a Nordic sweater. The lines intersect because this represents how Edmonton Nordic connects people through winter sport."

This is a brilliantly executed design. It immediately sets a tone and communicates directly with the target audience. The challenge is that this fresh, sophisticated brand is so far removed from the existing typical mark that it’s going to be a hard sell to the client. But, in order to do new things, the client must stop doing old things. This certainly wipes the slate clean.” – Tony Jurgilas RGD, Principal | Chief Design Strategist at 50 Carleton


Honourable Mentions: Sarah Lacasse, Humber College (Northbound Journeys Branding); Sharleen Ramos, Capilano University (Wilder Tales Brewing); Stephanie Hrechka, Cambrian College (Uber)


BOLD Award for Accessible Design

Winner: Valery Marier, York/Sheridan Joint Program

Access Design

"I decided to create an event information booklet for an accessible design lecture series called Access Design that would use English, French, and English Braille. My goal was to create a scenario with which the three languages could play off of each other in an aesthetically interesting yet non-intrusive manner."

"The concept is clean, bold, well thought out and multisensory. The rationale and detailed consideration around the typographical pairing and genre selection are on point, as the humanist style embodies many of the traits that make a typeface legible. I commend Valery for pushing her design consideration by tapping into techniques that help remove barriers and help bridge the communication gaps and make the design process more inclusive from inception." - Carolina Taylor RGD, UX Designer at the City of Mississauga


Honourable Mentions: Anna Moriarty, Conestoga College (Bb Learns); Athanasios Sipsis, Ata Dogan, Kael Bosland, Amy Assabgui, Fares Issa York/Sheridan Joint Program (Tag Along); Nick Stevenson, Conestoga College (Ontario Signage Guidelines)


Entro Award for Placemaking Design

Winner: Stefany Bakelaar, George Brown College

Adidas Unite

"I was challenged with breaking down the physical and mental barriers that stop girls from being a part of the sports world. adidas unite is a mobile community set on breaking down the barriers that keep girls from being a part of the sports world. Using geolocation technology, gamification, and real community leaders, the service breaks down mental and physical barriers to encourage girls to find their confidence by joining, and staying, in sports."

"This is a smart idea. You have a good understanding of the target audience - their challenges and motivations (backed with research) and identified a need. I like that this app not only entices users to download it and use it to answer that need but it also gives them a reason to continue engaging with it and the brand." - Lynn Ridley RGD, VP Creative at Jan Kelley


Honourable Mentions: Jennifer Tri Emely, Capilano University (CapU Mental Health promotional poster duo); Nigel Neufeld, Michaela Binda, Sarah Vowles, Sara Holmes, Vancouver Island University (ACE Nanaimo); Shrinidhi Sridhar, Algonquin College (Smart Meal App)


Goods & Services Award for Editorial Design

Winner: Joseph Thoong, Vancouver Island University

TREMOR Magazine

"The class assignment was to design a 20-page magazine for TREMOR, a fictional media company showcasing the biggest news in hip-hop culture. The challenge of this magazine was to mimic the musical style and energy of hip-hop music in order to appeal to the intended audience. I designed a grid to set a solid foundation, however, the look and feel needed to be true to the content—so I introduced a bold, textural imagery and expressive typography style which helped stay true to the genre without compromising impact. The magazine was inspired by the parallels between swiss grid systems and the beats and bar systems within rap music..."

"The grid provides a strong foundation for spreads that feel dynamic and coherent. Typographic details, like breaking titles over the edge of spreads and running text vertically, push the design to the next level. The minimal colour palette is used effectively; spreads feel consistent and have good rhythm and visual pacing from one to the next. Nice work!" - Emma Novotny, Design Manager at The University of British Columbia


Honourable Mentions: Charlotte Latraverse, OCAD University (The Embrace Project); Konor Abrahams, Humber College (A Book About Skateboarding); Minal Adnani, Seneca College (Mock Street Journal Magazine)


Greenmelon Award for Packaging Design (Single)

Winner: Lily Tiffin, Conestoga College

White Raven Beer

"My main goal was to create a beer package that catches the eye with detailed illustration and unique, hand done typography. The biggest challenge was to make sure that the illustration did not overpower the type, or vice versa, and that they flowed together seamlessly. To achieve this, I illustrated the ravens beak holding the w, as well as using the claws of the bird to highlight the alcohol percentage and volume of the bottle. As well, I kept the ravens design somewhat minimalistic, forgoing shading or grey tones to create simplistic, stark line work that stands out against the matte black bottle..."

"Dynamic illustration. the high contrast of a solid black bottle with fine white details, quickly elevates this design into a premium category but the hand drawn nature of the illustration helps to make it more approachable. a great piece." - Michelle Wilkin RGD, Creative Director + Co-owner at Pilot Coffee Roasters


Honourable Mentions: Channon Leathley, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Bee Hotel); Holden Kao, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Go Seeds); Tanner Garniss-Marsh, Conestoga College (Travelers Beer)


lg2 Award for Print Design

Winner: Jominca Engelbrecht, Capilano University

Vancouver Folk Festival Poster

"The challenge was to create a poster that highlights folk music’s rural roots as well as evoke the atmosphere the music creates. This was achieved through the imagery of the moths flying around the light bulb, which represents the friends and family that initially gathered around the fire to sing folk songs. There their music was lively and intimate; and even today you can’t help but be drawn to the music. The type reflects the mood with the typewriter slab serif that echoes to another space in time."

"Clever illustration really captures the spirit of the message and hits the right note for the target audience...(pun intended :)" - Karen Marshall RGD, Senior Document Specialist at The Regional Municipality of York


Honourable Mentions: Annika McFarlane, Capilano University (Collectible City Shopping Bags); Joyce Chan, Capilano University (The Great Gatsby); Tahreem Alvi, OCAD University (All or Nothing)


Pivot Award for Information Design

Winner: Hillary Chen, York/Sheridan Joint Program


"In order to design for the target audience [(children)], I took inspiration from children’s books and animated movies to create illustrations that serve a purpose. The statistics and information use ocean imagery to display the data in a fun and enticing way. The app uses motion and interactions that are simple to use but make learning about overfishing more approachable. I selected the font GT Pressura to pay homage to the "fishermen aesthetic" as it's reminiscent of type found painted on boats or in fishing towns. To balance out the title I chose a more round and clean font for the body text. The colour palette is inspired by the soft pastels and colours found in fishing towns and colours that complement blue as the ocean was a big component of the project."

"Lovely illustrations and colour palette that would be engaging for the target audience. Typography is unobtrusive and you've broken down complex information well." - Jennifer Cook, Creative Director at Science World British Columbia


Honourable Mentions: Aleksandra Isakov & Haily Gao, Conestoga College (Etigo App); Gurleen Hansi, York University (Who's Popping Pills?); Hannah Drynan, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Cash Crop: A Global Crisis)


Forge Media + Design Award for Motion Design

Winner: Luxvna Uthayakumar, York/Sheridan Joint Program

You are Here

"You are Here is a book trailer for Thich Nhat Hahn's book of the same name. The trailer embodies the calmness of the self-help concepts that are described by the Buddhist monk, through simple yet abstract audio and visuals. It was imperative to create a trailer that described the words of the monk through abstract means, rather than literally..."

"Very creative, nice flow with variations and visual surprises keeping the viewer focussed on the video." - Christian Castel RGD, President & Creative Director at Tango Media Group


Honourable Mentions: Dominika Grzesik, OCAD University (Flux); Hailley Furkalo, Red River College (Yummly Explainer); Yasmin Mukino, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Second Student Centre)


q30 design Award for Brand Design

Winners: Charmaine Cheng, Capilano University & Jominca Engelbrech, Capilano University


Charmaine Cheng

Zafrane Spice & Tea

"Zafrane is a Moroccan inspired spice and tea shop that focuses on delivering authentic products and experiences. The brand focuses on welcoming newcomers into Moroccan culture, which is why the logo is based off of the silhouette of a door. It symbolizes Zafrane's owners inviting newcomers into their homes, and showing them a glimpse of Morocco through cuisine. Inspired by Moorish architecture and design, I also created a patterning system that anchors the brand’s visual language."

"Stunning! Absolutely stunning work. Colour choice is unexpected and fresh. The mix and match patterns are applied in a very sophisticated and elegant way. Shows a breadth of brand application for packaging that is engaging and evocative. Love the limited colour palette, and the concept behind the open arched door, evoking both a sense of place and place of welcoming. Would love to see how this system would be applied within the shop itself!" - Kathy Sigstad RGD, Brand & Graphic Design Specialist at Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC


Jominca Engelbrech

Vancouver Folk Festival Poster

"The challenge was to create a poster that highlights folk music’s rural roots as well as evoke the atmosphere the music creates. This was achieved through the imagery of the moths flying around the light bulb, which represents the friends and family that initially gathered around the fire to sing folk songs. There their music was lively and intimate; and even today you can’t help but be drawn to the music. The type reflects the mood with the typewriter slab serif that echoes to another space in time."


Honourable Mentions: Madison Dumas, York/Sheridan Joint Program; Oscar Aldana, Humber College


Shikatani Lacroix Award for Packaging Design (Series)

Winner: Bonggu Kang, LaSalle College Vancouver | Applied Arts & Design School

Saintly Flavours

"Saintly Flavours is a gourmet food gift set to be sold in the deli section of high-end shops. Along with the trend that food and the act of eating have become fashionable, the inspiration for the project comes from 2018’s Met Gala fashion theme of Catholicism."

"High quality illustrations, creative idea, memorable and smart logotype make this series very special and aesthetically attractive. All aspects of the design are very good." - Yurko Gutsulyak RGD, Art Director & Graphic Designer at Gutsulyak.Studio


Honourable Mentions: Haluka Yagi, Capilano University (En Sake); Maria Teresa Cantu Villalobos, Capilano University (Scotch & Ginger); YuFan Tian, LaSalle College Vancouver | Applied Arts & Design School (MAKUUCHI)


The Works Award for Visual Web Design

Winner: Valeriya Kim, Capilano University


"My goal was to spark interest in the truth about the Indigenous culture and fight prejudice. The name of the website comes from the idea of bonfire storytelling. Bonfire associates with being welcomed and invited which is suitable for the target audience - the newcomers..."

"Beautiful illustrations, story-telling, interactivity and emotional impact. Great attention to the colour palette and consistency of illustration. The theme was great, including in the written rationale. The idea of bonfire storytelling and "higher chance to spark empathy…" got my attention. Significant research went into this, and it shows. Good job!" - Nelson Silva, Creative Director at The Works Design


Honourable Mentions: Kori Skeffington, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Resort Mobile App Re-Design); Stephanie Conner, Humber College (Fulfill App)


Zulu Alpha Kilo Award for Advertising Design

Winner: Yasmin Mukino, York/Sheridan Joint Program

Code + Create 2018 Design + Dev Conference

"Straying away from visually expressing ‘design and tech’ in clichés, the event booklet and website display the theme through an abstract approach by consisting the main design elements of a unified pattern created by custom typography juxtaposed with different textures of circular elements. The design follows a theme of unity through consistency: each language has its own distinct characteristics through typographic contrast of weight and form."

“The clean design creates lovely visual interest with the use of colour and shape, capturing the tech nature of the conference in an unexpected way. A very nicely designed system that handles multiple languages in an easy to understand, concise manner. Great work!” - Amanda Phillips RGD, Art Director at Generator Strategy Advertising


Honourable Mentions: Patrick Carter, Reid Plaxton, Paula Dopuda, Humber College (ColourFull); Maaike Kuypers, University of Alberta (Change the Narrative); Sirine El Baba, Humber College (Unseen World)


Workhouse Award for Book Design

Winner: Charlotte Latraverse, OCAD University

The Embrace Project

"The Embrace Project explores how storytelling and photography can be tools to help women feel sexually empowered. It is primordial for the photographer to let each participant choose how their body is being photographed, and therefore, tell their story. The photographer wants to rethink the concept of the subject-object in order to make her subjects active in the creation process of her images."

"A beautifully designed series on an important topic. The covers are captivating; they work well as a series and draw the viewer in. The inner spreads have a nice balance between the photographs, typographic pages, and full bleed colour backgrounds. The smaller inserts are a nice detail, adding a level of discovery and intimacy to the book design itself. Well done!" - Emma Novotny, Design Manager at The University of British Columbia


Honourable Mentions: Jay Lintag, York/Sheridan Joint Program (Alphaburp); Katarina Perkovic, Cambrian College (Feeling Good); Shuyi Zhang, York/Sheridan Joint Program (What Is Your Name)



Premise Award for Promotional Web Design

Winner: DoHyun Kim, York/Sheridan Joint Program

Control OS

"Smartphone addiction is affecting thousands of kids and adults to the point where it negatively affects their life, both mentally and physically, and that's because smartphones are designed to be addictive. Control OS eliminates distractions and gives users the push they need in order to untether themselves from the phone. It's intentionally designed to look bland and have an unintuitive user experience."

"This is a terrific concept web site that delivers a compelling story for a product concept. The design, storyline and content are terrific and would make for an excellent sales tool, investor pitch, or product onboarding. I read with building anticipation of buying the app. Nice work!" - Julia Grady RGD, Principal at Barking Dog Studios Inc.


Honourable Mentions: Alex Blechta, York/Sheridan Joint Program (; Anastasia Gordinschi, Georgian College (Clean Organic Market Website); Tess Heinricks, University of Alberta (Dyscorpia)



Milestone Integrated Award for Digital Marketing Design

Winner: Candice Zhou, Leah Wei, Cheston Sin, Ian Orden, York/Sheridan Joint

Eat Together

"Eat Together creates a new way of meeting new people through partaking in the communal eating experience. To solve the problem of loneliness, you can join a group or club if you’re really keen on a particular topic.
 Attend a networking event or social gathering in attempts to find one meaningful connection. Or like most people, download a socializing app for a specific type of relationship like dating."

"Really smart idea. Excellent UI design and good thinking has gone into the functionality within the application. Well done." - Lynn Ridley RGD, VP Creative at Jan Kelley


Honourable Mentions: Hannah Drynan, York/Sheridan Joint (NASA App Redesign); Janelle Zhao, Nick Brown, Amber Bailey, Algonquin College (First Day Kit); Samantha Mok, Centennial College (WALTER)


Thank you to the outstanding group of judges who worked to select the winners of this year's RGD Student Awards this year:

.design Award for Self-Promotional/Personal Website

Laurissa Barnes-Roberts RGD, Socially-minded Experience Designer, Toronto

Summer Fang, Partnership Manager at Top Level Design, Portland

Joel Harding RGD, Art Director at Critical Mass, Calgary


52 Pick-up Award for Typography

Sarah Di Domenico, Partner, Creative Director at Wedge, Montreal 

Nick Monteleone, Principal at 52 Pick-up, Toronto, 

Kevin Moran RGD, Designer at Kira Systems, Toronto 

Linna Xu, Principal Designer & CEO at Studio Wulf, Toronto


BOLD Award for Accessible Design

Tom Browne RGD, Information Officer [Art Director] at the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario [ADO], Toronto

Jessica Murray, Intermediate Visual Designer at Akendi, Toronto 

Michael Ortelli RGD, Founder of BOLD, Toronto

Carolina Taylor RGD, UX Designer at the City of Mississauga, Mississauga


Clear Space Award for Story-telling

Ania Czupajlo RGD, Senior Designer at Catholic Principals' Council, Toronto

Will Hum RGD, Principal & Creative Director at Clear Space, Toronto

Wilson Wong, VP Creative Services at Everbrave Branding Group, Calgary


Entro Award for Placemaking Design

Marie-Élaine Benoit, Creative Director at Sid Lee, Montreal 

Jennifer Cook, Creative Director at Science World British Columbia, Vancouver

Edmund Li RGD, Associate/Design Director at Entro, Toronto 

Christine Phalen RGD, Creative Lead at Membertou Band Office, Sydney, NS


Forge Media + Design Award for Motion Design

Christian Castel RGD, President & Creative Director at Tango Media Group, Toronto 

Jay Grandin, Partner + Creative Director at Giant Ant, Vancouver

Geoff Lee, Director, Design and Brand at Bell Media, Toronto

Meg Lynch RGD, Senior Designer at Forge Media + Design, Toronto


Goods & Services Award for Editorial Design

Carey George RGD, Partner & Creative Director at Goods & Services, Toronto 

Emma Novotny, Design Manager at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Linden Sculthorpe RGD, Art Director at AN Design Communications, Ottawa


Gravity Inc Award for Social Good Design 

Wendy Gray RGD, Owner & Creative Director at Gravity Inc, Toronto

Sophie Lacerte RGD, Head of Design at Canada West Foundation, Calgary

Cole Nicks RGD, Graphic Designer at BC Children's Hospital Foundation, Vancouver

Pascal Tremblay, Creative Director & Co-Founder at Good Kind, Vancouver


Greenmelon Award for Packaging Design (Single)

Gord McLean RGD, Creative Director at Gordon McLean Creative, Winnipeg

Robert Smith RGD, Owner + Creative Director at Greenmelon, Ottawa

Michelle Willkin RGD, Creative Director + Co-owner at Pilot Coffee Roasters, Toronto


john st. Award for Strategic Design

Caroline Bruckner RGD, Director, Design Strategy, at Ove Brand | Design, Toronto

Jennifer Karton, Creative Director at Suckerpunch Creative, Winnipeg

Jacqueline Lane, Design Director at John St, Toronto 

Laura Piché RGD, Manager, Global Marketing at The Redpath Group, North Bay


lg2 Award for Print Design

Robyn Colangelo RGD, Director of Creative at Broken Fence Communication, Toronto 

Ryan Crouchman, Creative Director, Design at lg2, Toronto

Janice van Eck RGD, Freelance Art Director/Graphic Designer, Guelph

Karen Marshall RGD, Senior Document Specialist at The Regional Municipality of York, Newmarket


Milestone Integrated Award for Digital Marketing Design

Noah Ortmann RGD, Creative Designer at Noah Ortmann Design, Toronto 

Joanna Poon, Digital Design Specialist at Context Creative, Toronto

Lynn Ridley RGD, VP Creative at Jan Kelley, Burlington


Pivot Award for Information Design

Miki Arai, Design Director, Information Design, Strategic Analytics & Modelling at Deloitte Canada, Toronto 

Ian Chalmers RGD, Design Director & Principal at Pivot Design Group, Toronto 

Sharmini Thiagarajah, Creative Director at Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver 

Edie Wawrychuk RGD, Creative Director at Traffic Design, Ottawa 


Premise Award for Promotional Web Design

Julia Grady RGD, Principal at Barking Dog Studios Inc., Guelph

Colin Payson, Associate/Senior Designer at Premise Design Communications, Toronto

Rebecca So RGD, Graphic Designer at Colliers International, Vancouver


q30 design Award for Brand Design

Rahul Bhogal RGD, Founder & Creative Director at Nothing Design Studio, Brampton

Tara O'Reilly RGD, Brand Strategist & Designer at O'Reilly Design Co., Calgary

Natalia Reis, Brand Consultant/Graphic Designer at q30 design, Toronto

Kathy Sigstad RGD, Brand & Graphic Design Specialist at Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC, Chilliwack 


Quarry Award for UX Design

Michael Palmer, Executive Creative Director at Quarry, St. Jacobs

Richard Plantt RGD, Senior Designer at SchoolBundle Inc., London 

Peter Pimentel, Design Director at Engine Digital, Vancouver

Daria Shepelenko, UX Manager at Canada Post, Toronto 


Shikatani Lacroix Award for Packaging Design (Series)

Shinead D'Souza, Managing Senior Designer at Saje Natural Wellness, Vancouver

Catherine Didulka RGD, Creative Services Manager, Arterra Wines Canada, Mississauga

Yurko Gutsulyak RGD, Art Director & Graphic Designer at Gutsulyak.Studio

Gary Oakley, Creative Director at Shikatani Lacroix, Toronto


The Workhouse Award for Book Design

Erin Craig RGD, Creative Director of Trade Publishing at Harlequin, Toronto

Sandy Jakkavanrangsri RGD, Senior Art Director at TrailerWorks in Toronto

Gilbert Li RGD, Principal + Creative Director, The Office of Gilbert Li, Toronto


The Works Design Award for Corporate Web Design

Larry Burke CGD, Principal & Creative Director at BURKE + BURKE, Halifax

Reesa Del Duca RGD, Founder & Design Director at Ballyhoo Design, Windsor

Nelson Silva, Creative Director at The Works Design, Toronto


Tony Jurgilas Award for Logo Design

Tony Jurgilas RGD, Principal & Design Strategist at 50 Carleton, Sudbury

Monica Martinez RGD, Principal & Creative Director at Monolab Design, Ottawa

Amanda Schutz CGD, Owner & Creative Director at CURIO STUDIO at Edmonton

Zulu Alpha Kilo Award for Advertising Design

Ryan Booth RGD, Creative Director, Design, at Zulu Alpha Kilo, Toronto

Amanda Phillips RGD, Art Director at Generator, Thunder Bay

Pamela Rounis, Associate Creative Director at Rethink, Vancouver


Zync Award for Concept Development

Tim Hoffpauir, Creative Director of Design at Cossette, Vancouver

Robin Honey RGD, Brand Consultant, London

Marko Zonta RGD, Principal & Creative Director at Zync, Toronto



Click here to see the 2019 National Awards of Excellence winners