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Packaging Honors Go to Graphic Design Alumni

Prestigious international packaging site The has announced winners in its 2015 “Concepts We Wish Were Real” competition, and two students from the Academy’s School of Graphic Design, Aaron-Harper Lee and Zoey Chung, have received top awards for their outstanding graphic design portfolio.

In other news from The Dieline, Yuya Yoshida placed second in the Student category in the site’s 2015 Dieline/HOW Design Conference awards, capping a remarkable year for Yoshida, a 2015 MFA grad who’s now employed as a designer at the Bay Area studio Volume.

Lee & Chung: Concepts We Wish Were Real Competition
Among the winning submissions from top global packaging agencies like Karim Rashid and Charles S. Anderson, entries to the competition from Lee (MFA 2015) and Chung (BFA 2015) were singled out.

Lee’s concept for Two Spirits mezcal earned first place in the Spirits category. Her package designs are based “on a hybrid of polar worlds where the dead meet the living.” One world is the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead); the other is the contemporary tradition of craft distilling. The brand’s two types of mezcal—añejo and dorado—represent “legendary twin warriors reincarnated as the sun and the moon.” The project was  developed for Package Design 2 class under instructor Tom McNulty, School of Graphic Design undergraduate associate director.

Second place in the Beer, Malt Beverages & Tobacco category was awarded to Chung for her Shadow Beer package design. Inspired by black magic, Lee says the design “symbolizes the supernatural power that cannot be seen with naked eyes.” The eye logo in her design references that unseen world. Lee created the project for Package Design 3 class with instructor Christine George.

Yoshida: Dieline/HOW Design Conference Awards
Yoshida received the second place award for his Backhouse Bourbon project, for which he was also named a finalist in the Adobe Achievement Awards. In addition to being awarded scholarships at 2014 Winter Show and 2015 Spring Show, Yoshida was named the winner of the 2015 AIGA San Francisco’s Michael Cronan Scholarship.

Commenting on the Backhouse project for the Concepts We Wish Were Real Competition, Yoshida observes, “My approach was to create a Wild West-themed shot glass packaging inspired by the shapes of revolver barrels. I created an imaginary story about a guy named Bill Backhouse, who was notorious for defeating his challengers by a drinking duel instead of a gun fight back in the Wild West. I generated a protective and reusable packaging structure that transforms into a roulette table for the drinking game based on this hypothetical story.” Yoshida also created a label for an exclusive whiskey inspired “by the one Bill Backhouse loved.”

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