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STUDENTS TAKE TOP AWARDS (article first published : 2007-03-30)

Thanks to its Graphic Design Department, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) was recently named the best institution in South Africa. The students took top awards at the Sappi ThinkAhead Competition 2006, established by the South Africa Graphic Design Council, as an aim of showcasing final year students to prospective employers.

The competition is open to all the universities and private institutions in the country and final year students are encouraged to enter. Last year’s competition saw 187 students from 25 institutions submitting their portfolios. Another part of the competition honours institutions and lecturers for assisting students with their creations and DUT came up as the top institution for 2006.

Graphic Design lecturer Dennis Purvis said: “This achievement by students gives us credibility as a department and this year there is already a pile of requests from industry looking for students to employ.”

B tech student Craig Seagreen, named the Platinum Winner for Best Portfolio, the highest accolade of the evening, said that winning this competition has given him a boost and has created opportunities for him.

“This year showed a record amount of entries, with over 1,000 projects consisting of around 4,000 images in total," said Veejay Archary, chairperson of the 2006 judging panel. "The high number of entries we received indicates that the educators are progressively giving more support to this awards scheme as they recognise the importance of its purpose, namely, to bridge the gap between what the industry is looking for in a new designer and what the institutions are teaching their students."

Sponsored prizes included an Apple mini Mac from e.c. Mac, Adobe software from Adobe systems, books from Affinity Publishing and The Loerie Awards, tickets to 2007 Design Indaba, and one-year think memberships. L&K Print was the print sponsor of the event and road show elements.

This is not the only competition that the DUT students take part in. Craig Seagreen and Robin Gombert have been given a stand at the Emerging Creatives. The students are selected based on their portfolio.

BTech student Robin Gombert said: “It is an honour for any student to be chosen and we are glad because it helps us exceed our limit.” Four students have also been chosen as part of the 10 finalists in the House and Leisure competition.

Awards received by DUT included Durban University of Technology (Institution of the year); Craig Seagreen (Platinum Winner for Best Portfolio); Michael Cramer (Finalists for Best Portfolio); Craig Seagreen (Silver award for brochures, craft, posters). Michael Cramer and Craig Seagreen also received Merit Awards in other categories.

More information from Dennis Purvis 031 203 6693 or 031 203 6648.




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