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Graphic Design Graduate Clinches Top AIGA Honors With Socially Motivated Design

The distinguished School of Graphic Design is pleased to announce that recent graduate Carl Bender has been awarded the prestigious 2009 AIGA Enrichment Scholarship.

Known for being a dynamic leader in the world of graphic design, Academy of Art University has had the unique distinction of being named the winner of the prominent AIGA Enrichment Scholarship five times since 2000, clinching all the top honors along the way.

This year's AIGA scholarship format was updated to chose a winner from each school.  Carl not only won the $500 scholarship for Academy of Art University, he also earned the grand prize, The Rick Tharp Scholarship. His work, including the award-winning pieces, can be see online at 79nm.com.

"It was an honor to know that the judges, all from such amazing companies, liked my work enough to award me both scholarships," said Carl.

The School of Graphic Design and the new Academy of Art University AIGA student chapter nominated Carl Bender, Dave Gottwald and Antonio Mah to represent the department in this year's competition.  Each student submitted three projects that embodied their approach to design. The awards were presented during the AIGA Portfolio Day keynote address, given by Joshua Swanbeck, Senior Art Director of Retail Design at Apple, Inc.  Laura Milton, a Graphic Design faculty member, served as a mentor within the AIGA student chapter.

"If I had to take a guess I would say that all of my submissions shared the common theme of attempting to do some good in the world," said Carl when asked about what made his submissions stand out.

He said that while "greasing the wheels of commerce" is an important role for graphic design, it can be utilized for so much more.  "The projects I submitted attempted to either educate an audience about some important topic or simply make them smile and for a second see some unexpected beauty or truth," he added.

With the desire to continue to produce socially motivated design, Carl has landed a full-time position at "I shot him because I love him, damn him," a design firm without clients that works to change hearts, minds, and habits.

"There are so many great designers out there doing stunning work, but if you don't have a voice, a perspective, a reason for doing what you're doing, it's easy to get lost in the crowd."

Congratulations to Carl and all the nominated students!

To see more of Carl Bender's award-winning designs, please visit:


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