Congratulations to our 2020 Student Award-winners: National Awards of Excellence

After receiving over 800 submissions from 400 design students attending over 35 post-secondary schools across Canada, the RGD is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2020 Student Awards.

Thank you to our generous industry supporters who have provided our winners each with cash prizes of $1,000 and have helped the RGD to distribute over $343,000 since the program launched in 1998.


Below is a list the winners of our 2020 National Awards of Excellence. An additional 15 students received Awards of Specialty.




52 Pick-up Award for Typography (Print)


The Folk Ales Beer Series by Liam Kennedy Student RGD, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, 2021


The branding for Folkhouse Brewing Cooperative, a fictitious brewpub, is derived from BC’s folk music culture. The Folk Ales are based on some of the wackiest characters in BC’s folk songs from mid-1800s to early 1900s. The quirky brand voice and illustration style tells a local community story and can be evolved with the brand. 


Educator Support: John Belisle, David Younge


The typography and illustrations marry well for this project in a clean and sophisticated manner. I really enjoyed the execution of the “Folkhouse” wordmark on the packaging as the letterforms are built within the illustration in a seamless fashion. The dancing letterforms for each beer name also makes a nice visual metaphor for celebrating good times with a cheers. I would definitely buy this beer if I saw it in store. - Nik Firka RGD, Art Director & Senior Graphic Designer at Ryerson University, Toronto


Honourable Mentions:

Pop-Up Type Museum 2019: Type...Revealed! by Triet Pham, Wan-Ya (Megan) Chen and Sahil Mroke, Emily Carr University, Vancouver

Left Coast Brewery by Sydney Toews, Capilano University, North Vancouver 

SOLOBACE Brand Design & Strategy by Aby Abraham Provisional RGD, George Brown College, Toronto


Bell Media Award for Typography (Digital)


2face by Jan Ly Student RGD, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2021


By using facial recognition imagery, digital identifiers and tracked movements on a map, this video paints an image of a disembodied person through the eyes of data surveillance. The typography and motion graphics are tied together to illustrate the topic with a sense of rigidity and fluidity at the same time. The soundtrack is by Ryoji Ikeda. 

Beautiful effects. Intriguing. Good mastering of the animation. - Nathalie Cusson, Creative Director, Design at Juniper Park/TBWA, Montreal


Honourable Mentions:

Historia by Andrew Del Rizzo Student RGD, Jasper Tu, Kiran Patel Student RGD, Paco Lui, York University, Toronto

Left Coast Brewery by Sydney Toews, Capilano University, North Vancouver

A Medium Platform by Deborah Khodanovich Provisional RGD, OCAD University, Toronto


Forge Media + Design Award for Story-telling


Muse by Brynn Staples Provisional RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2020


Through interactive design, this project aims to help Canadians better acknowledge the Indigenous land and stories around us, to engage in reconciliation on an individual level while fostering dialogue and connection. The app brings learning to life through augmented reality and location data, highlighting Indigenous artifacts at the user’s location to create teaching moments outside of a traditional museum setting. 


Innovative way to raise awareness of Canada’s history of colonialization through use of technology. Expressive storytelling through a seamless app experience. - Meg Lynch RGD, Design Director at Forge Media + Design, Toronto

Honourable Mentions:

Lightfarm by Ata Dogan, Peter Lu, Tibi Leonov, William Lu, Sukhraj Johal, Sheridan College, Oakville  

Ghost by Hillary Chen Provisional RGD, York University, Toronto

Cree Star Blanket App by Coralie Mayer-Traynor Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver


Gravity Inc. Award for Social Good Design


Standard by Madison Dumas Provisional RGD, York University /Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2020


To counter the false sustainability claims in the fashion industry, this project introduces the concept of a distinctive ‘Standard’ garment label that provides credibility to truly responsible fashion brands and aims to increase consumer confidence. 


Educator Support: Renee Alleyn


This is a nice system that allows for ample flexibility across multiple applications. I like how the logo elements are used in multiple ways to create an identity that is consistent without being redundant. - Don Cleland, Brand Director & Co-Founder at Pendo, Vancouver 


Honourable Mentions:

The Runaways: Residential School Booklet by Liam Kennedy Student RGD, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey

Lightfarm by Ata Dogan, Peter Lu, Tibi Leonov, William Lu, Sukhraj Johal, Sheridan College, Oakville   

Know Vaping Mobile Website by Cameron Giles Provisional RGD, Vancouver Island University, Vancouver


Haft2 Award of Colour


Vineon Guide by Silvia Cordero Provisional RGD, George Brown College, Toronto, 2020 


Locally produced wine amounts to only 11% of total wine sales in Ontario. Vineon is a wine guide and kit created to encourage residents of Ontario to purchase locally produced wine. The concept of Vineon revolves around the type of grapes grown in Ontario and their tasting notes. The size, shape, taste and smell each together determine the quality of the grapes and the guide explains this to the reader in a simple yet dynamic manner.


I like the idea of using symbols this wine guide. The colours and shapes have a nice modernist inspired look that convey the a nice look through out the piece. I like the simple use of typography and layout, pacing out well from spread to spread. - Mike Kwan RGD, Design Director at Haft2, Toronto


Honourable Mentions:

Mountain Dew: Flavors by Atrin Yazdani-Biuki Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver

BonBonne Nuit by Ka Wai (Rae) Tsun, LaSalle College Vancouver, Vancouver

Homesick Concert Series by Nicole Shewchuk, Capilano University, North Vancouver


Premise Award for Strategic Design


An editorial experience; taking a look at systemic racism by Jessica Lau Provisional RGD, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2020


This book explores systemic racial discrimination through cases sourced from the National Registry of Exonerations. The project presents an empathic experience of the years lost by individuals who were convicted of crimes that they did not commit. 


Educator Support: David Cabianca


I like the restraint of the design. Very high impact on the concept of this piece. - Kevin Hoch RGD, Principal & Creative Director at Premise Design Communications, Toronto


Honourable Mentions: 

Table Talk App by Emily Huynh, Capilano University, North Vancouver

Vineon/Wine Bottles by Silvia Cordero Provisional RGD, George Brown College, Toronto

Give reefs a chance by Emily Gilmore, OCAD University, Toronto


Quake Award for Creative Innovation


Traffic Jams by Samantha Beauchamp + David Ratcliffe, Humber College, Toronto, 2020


To encourage people to switch from listening to radio to Spotify in their cars, Traffic Jams. Users upload videos on Tik Tok of themselves singing in the car with Spotify for a chance to win cash and a record deal. The out-of-home billboards double as distance indicators and tell the viewers that they are a certain song away from their destination encouraging them to keep signing and listening. Aspects of the project not designed by the entrant: Spotify logo, Tik Tok logo, Typefaces, stock photography.


Educator Support: Liz Dempster, Richard Bingham

The concept is playful and evokes curiosity. Design is clean, smart and aligns with partner brands. Well researched and executed. An insightful application of design thinking, effectively achieving the goals of the project both in interest and context. - Chrystale Thompson, Principal & Creative Director at Ecstatic, Vancouver


Honourable Mentions:

Wanderwall by Brynn Staples Provisional RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver 

Miimi by Jan Ly Student RGD, Kiran Patel, Paco Lui, Yasmin Mukino, York University, Toronto

Greener by Aashi Richhariya, Centennial College, Toronto


Quarry Award for UX Design


Jasmine Acebes & Cheston Sin Provisional RGD (TIE)


The Well by Jasmine Acebes, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2020


The Well is a smart coaster that lets users become their own bartenders at home. With the paired app, the coaster is a scale that allows you to pour with ease to ensure that you create perfectly crafted drinks. The final output is a website that showcases the products and explains why it is relevant to up-and-coming mixologists.


Educator Support: Jamie March


Truly unique idea. While recipe apps are a plenty, this takes it to the next level. Excellent rationale and research. Great mock-ups and interaction design and a fantastic video. Great job! - Michael Palmer, Executive Creative Director at Quarry, St. Jacobs


Lrrrics  A music app for learning languages by Cheston Sin Provisional RGD, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2020

Lrrrics is a concept app that aims to streamline the process of understanding foreign-language songs, allowing for a smoother language learning experience. By leveraging a language learner's intrinsic interest in music, Lrrrics presents a unique opportunity for users to engage in the language they are learning. While listening to music is often a passive task, Lrrrics offers a robust experience that encourages active listening. While the main target audience is for language learners with an interest in foreign music, it also extends to translators/content creators that can use the platform to engage with other users.


What a great idea for an app that I could see being widely used if available. I am happy to see the problem solving and smart layout design behind this project which makes for an easy to understand design despite other languages being used. More colour use could help make this project stand out more. - Mélissa Deschênes RGD, Principal Designer at Design de Plume, Sudbury


Honourable Mentions:

YorkU Maps by Anita Zeng, York University, Toronto

Cree Star Blanket App by Coralie Mayer-Traynor Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver


Zync Award for Concept Development


Ellie by Danica Koller, Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2020


Ellie is a multi-device app for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients to track the symptoms and development of the disease. The caregiver can enter all the data and observations into the app to have all the important information on hand. 


Educator Support: Leanna Crawford and Mark Stokoe


Having come from a clearly personal experience, there is a level of knowledge that has helped this person understand what caregiver's really need and what patients go through on a daily basis. From calming colours to navigation, these have been very well-considered and executed. - Pia Nummi, Design Director at Canada Goose, Toronto


Honourable Mentions:

Nimi Minds by Liza Akhmed, OCAD University, Toronto

Lightform by Ata Dogan, Peter Lu, Tibi Leonov, William Lu, Sukhraj Johal, Sheridan College, Oakville

American Sign Language Promotion Poster by Kylie Woo, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver


Click here to see the 2020 Awards of Specialty winners