Congratulations to our 2020 Student Award-winners: Awards of Specialty

After receiving over 800 submissions from 400 design students attending 41 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 provide $1,000 cash prizes and have helped the RGD distribute over $343,000 since the program launched in 1998.


Below is a list the winners of our 2020 Awards of Specialty. An additional 10 students received National Awards of Excellence.





BOLD Awards for Accessible Design


American Sign Language Promotion Poster by Kylie Woo, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, 2020 

This series of posters were created for the hearing impaired staff and students of Vancouver Community College Library. The series uses common phrases that contain words like ‘speak’ or ‘say’ and replaces them with ‘sign’ and the relevant hand movement of ASL in the background. The posters make the viewer look at familiar phrases from the perspective of a hearing impaired person and acknowledges ASL as a true language.


Educator Support: Carolina Becerra


This is a very thoughtful campaign. I appreciate the research and thinking behind it. The use of colour, photography and bold typography create intrigue and drama. The scale of the posters also help create interest. - Pia Nummi, Design Director at Canada Goose, Toronto


Honourable Mentions: 

Oonami Sake by Sophie Zhao Student RGD, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville

Access and The Infinite Font by Tyler Hawkins, Emily Carr University, Vancouver

Ellie by Danica Koller, Capilano University, North Vancouver


.design Award for Self-Promotional Website by Anushka Todi, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2020


This personal website characterizes the personality of the designer from content to aesthetics. Instead of choosing a template, certain parts of the website were coded to make it more interactive and playful. The use of colour was kept to a minimum to maintain the focus on the work.


An excellent and unique portfolio website that displays an understanding of how to present work and the strategic importance of design decisions. The design elements of the site are interesting and playful without detracting from the work being presented. Well done. - Craig Medwyduk RGD, Art Director at Creative Fire, Saskatoon
Honourable Mentions: by Anita Zeng, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville by Kelsy Baloch Provisional RGD, Seneca College, Toronto by Davide Dorigo Provisional RGD, Cambrian College, Sudbury


Domtar Award for Print Design


3D Kazuo Ishiguro Book Covers by Lucy Laughland Student RGD, OCAD University, Toronto, 2021 


These book covers for the Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro were created with watercolour and a sewing machine to achieve the desired intricate, Japanese style. The design and communication was enhanced by placing the three books in a handmade wooden Japanese box.


Extremely elegant execution manages to go the extra mile with embellishments while still feeling restrained and understated. Very effective and sophisticated. - John Godfrey RGD, Creative Director at Chargefield, Hamilton

Honourable Mentions: 

2019 Integrated Calendar Design by Crystal Huang, OCAD University, Toronto

Baitme by Shuang Zhan, George Brown College, Toronto

Vancouver Heritage Postcard Collection by Sophie Young Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver


Entro Award for Placemaking Design


Tanisi: Aboriginal Language Learning App for Youth by Rachel Wong Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2021


There are 32 surviving First Nation languages in BC, but only about 4% of Indigenous people in BC fluently speak their language and all 32 languages are endangered. This engaging app for Aboriginal youth revitalizes the education of First Nation languages in Canada. Tanisi, which means hello in Cree, has a simple and intuitive UI and is equipped with several features that make the learning process fun. 


Educator Support: Judy Snaydon


Really nice, accessible design. Important subject executed in a fun and inspiring way. Would love to see this launch! - Kevin Broome, Principal of Wall On The Fly, Vancouver


Honourable Mentions:

Terrane by Sharleen Ramos Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver

DeciphAR by Chase Schrader, Mount Royal University, Calgary

Grad Show by Kelsey Tamura Provisional RGD & Jenna Jaikaran, University of Alberta, Edmonton 


G&S Award for Editorial Design


Being Good Magazine Spreads by Josie Guenther Provisional RGD, Red River College, Winnipeg, 2020 


This article begins with the notion that it may seem easy to know how to be an ethically good designer—that it seems “black and white.” The spread uses this cliché, as a metaphor to design. Spray-painted “design-making objects” are subjects in still-life photographs. While the article talks about ways designers can question moral decisions, using the more dramatic approach of good vs evil/dark vs light draws the reader in.


Educator Support: Oliver Oike


Nice use of white space in the article. Content is concise and easy to navigate. - Stefanie Sosiak, Art Director at Air Canada enRoute Magazine, Montreal


Honourable Mentions: 

Collection of Things by Lara Calucag, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville

Eames Coffee Table Book by Kristin Cornell Student RGD, Durham College, Oshawa

Woo Publication Fall 2019: Extra by Christine Fwu, Triet Pham, Emily Carr University, Vancouver & 2019–2020 WOO Publication Team


Greenmelon Award for Packaging Design (Single)


Bata! by Natalie Almosa Student RGD, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2021


Bata! is a package of crayons for Filipino children. The package, shaped like the Filipino mythical bird of good luck - Sarimanok, contains 7 crayons to signify the origin of Sarimanok from the 7 heavens of the Philippines. 


Educator Support: Albert Ng

Fun. Colourful. Everything we are looking for in this type of package! - Robert Smith RGD, Owner + Creative Director at Greenmelon, Ottawa

Honourable Mentions: 

Hoshi Sustainable Packaging that Invites Creativity by Leah Wei, York University, Toronto

Limited Edition Talisker Whiskey Bottle Design by Lucy Laughland Student RGD, OCD University, Toronto

Dove Deodorant Packaging by Catherine Wilkie Student RGD, Algonquin College, Ottawa

Milestone Award for Digital Marketing Design


Coin: Financial App for Young Adults by Rachel Wong Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2021


Coin is a basic budget assistant app for university students. With a visually pleasing and intuitive interface that contrasts most financial apps, Coin makes budgeting and money tracking approachable and encourages users to continue using the app.


Educator Support: Christina Lee Kim Koon


Very cohesive colour, imagery, design, and typography. Terrific attention to detail. - Lindsay Smail RGD, Owner & Creative Director at Lindsay Smail graphic design, Toronto


Honourable Mentions:

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

The BookBox Project by Sissa Morgado Provisional RGD, Centennial College, Toronto

UMO by Ngoc Dao, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville


Pivot Award for Information Design


Courtney Lamb & Jennifer Power Student RGD (TIE)

Quakeable by Courtney Lamb, Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2020


Quakeable simplifies the process of creating an emergency plan to help people stay safe and connected during an earthquake. The user-friendly format delivers essential information in an easily-digestible format to support safe decision-making and appropriate action in the event of an earthquake.


Educator Support: Leanne Crawford, Christina Lee Kim Koon, Mark Stokoe


I could see using this app. It's well thought out and researched and identifies an easy way for individuals to without much effort have a plan in place for when there's a disaster. - Wendy Millard RGD, Director of Creative Services at Empire Life, Kingston


A Viral Infographic by Jennifer Power Student RGD, Algonquin College, Ottawa, 2021 


This project educates the public about the COVID-19 virus. Scientific literature is broken down into basic components while still retaining important information with illustrations that are scientifically-accurate. The infographic is simple, clean with a cohesive colour scheme and theme. 


Illustration work is excellent, appropriate style and colours, good depiction of diverse people, the typeface for body text is well chosen. - Dianne Semark, Creative Director at Hootsuite, Vancouver


Honourable Mentions: 

A Guide to Sensory-Processing Sensitivity + The Highly Sensitive Person by Elise ZiYuan Wang Student RGD, York University, Toronto 

Lrrrics: A Music App for Learning Language by Cheston Sin Provisional RGD York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville

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


Polyester Award for Motion Design


Our Solar System by Hillary Chen Provisional RGD, York University /Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville, 2020 


This video provides an overview of our solar system with simplified concepts understandable for the target audience, the children. Engaging and personable graphics, created using stop motion, explain complex concepts. The use of everyday objects, like a milk jug pouring out the Milky Way, gives it a relatable feel. 


Educator Support: Borxu Talaie 


Well, now I know the criteria for a planet. This is a great piece of work. I love the hand wipe, it adds to the fun. Nice work. - Munro Cullen, Senior Creative Director at CBC, Toronto

Honourable Mentions:

How Accents Work by Alexis Shuffler, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville

RISK by Jean Tu, York University, Toronto 

Indebted: The Untold Story of Sikhs in Ontario (1960-1999) by Simreet Kaur Sandhu Provisional RGD, OCAD University, Toronto
q30 design Award for Brand Design
In Dogs We Trust by Samantha Mok Provisional RGD, Centennial College, Toronto, 2020 

This hypothetical e-commerce retail brand creates hand-crafted treats and hard goods for dogs. The packaging for each product was designed with unique names and colour schemes and is made from recycled, fully-biodegradable material. All of the mailer packages are designed to have multi-use applications. 


Educator Support: Derek Lea


Simple but really effective! Beautiful use of illustration and photography. Good use of type. Primary colour palette is great and the supporting palette on packaging stands out. Great case study, mockups are solid. - Petra Cushieri, Design Director at Leo Burnett, Toronto


Honourable Mentions:

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

Shirt and Pant by Joseph Thoong Student RGD, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo

Vuseum: The Vegetarian Museum by Rami Shouk Provisional RGD, George Brown College, Toronto

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


SLD Award for Packaging Design (Series)


El Poder Beer Packaging by Sara Veronica Alas Alvarez Student RGD, Mohawk College, Hamilton, 2021 


This beer packaging uses Aztec mythology to capture attention with visually appealing illustrations that showcase Quetzalcoatl (the white good snake) and Tezcatlipoca (the black evil skull).


Honourable Mentions:

Ditto Skincare by Kristi Sprague Student RGD, Conestoga College, Kitchener 

Smart Alek by Rebekah Maurice, Capilano University, North Vancouver

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


Tony Jurgilas Award for Logo Design


Club AM by Deborah Khodanovich Provisional RGD, OCAD University, Toronto, 2020

This a pop-up shop creates a morning dance party that allows any passerby to join in on the groove before starting their day. CLUB am gives people a chance to de-stress by dancing their hearts out for as little as 2 minutes in the morning and feel energized throughout the day.


Educator Support: Timothy Belanoux


This submission is remarkable for several reasons. Firstly, because the concept for the pop-up store itself is a great idea and the strategic thinking behind the project is strong. And secondly, because the entire project shows how multi-talented the designer is. Well done! - Monica Martinez RGD, Owner & Creative Director at Monolab, Ottawa

Honourable Mentions:

Mayday by Haluka Yagi Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver

Typefriends by Sara Nguyen Student RGD, Capilano University, North Vancouver

ARMA Corporate Identity Redesign by Diana Tzinis Provisional RGD, York University/Sheridan College, Toronto/Oakville 


Works Design Award for Web Design

Human Activism Campaign by Myah Stover Provisional RGD, Conestoga College, Kitchener, 2020


This campaign gives victims of trafficking a platform to tell their stories and to raise awareness of the issue. The campaign is called ‘human’ to embody the reality that the victims are just as human as us and to address the theme of identity. 


Educator Support: Nicole Beno, John Baljkas, Molly Hill RGD
I like the storytelling focus of this campaign. It does a great job of humanizing the issue and nicely balance the bold, clean and impactful design.- Kevin Broome, Principal of Wall On The Fly, Vancouver 
Written content source:
Honourable Mentions:

LLAYLLA Web Design by Kris Kay Student RGD, George Brown College, Toronto

Great Lakes Port Collective Website Design by Kara Morey, St. Lawrence College, Kingston by Davide Dorigo Provisional RGD, Cambrian College, Sudbury

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


Zulu Alpha Kilo Award for Advertising Design


Let the message wait by Binh Luu Provisional RGD, Humber College, Toronto, 2020


This campaign of billboards and ambient advertisements is designed to maximize interaction and dissuade drivers and pedestrians from using phones on the road.


Unique and innovative execution of including the message context and type in an impactful way. Creative use of space on corner walls. Overall an impactful and creative solution for an important topic. - Chrystale Thompson, Principal & Creative Director at Ecstatic, Vancouver

Honourable Mentions: 

Google - Privacy Campaign by Min Kyu Choi and Joshua Gonzales, George Brown College, Toronto

Traffic Jams by Samantha Beauchamp and David Ratcliffe, Humber College, Toronto

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


Click here to see the 2020 Awards of National Awards of Excellence


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