Eloise McCullough and Grace Falvo were finalists in Australia's peak awards program for graphic designers; the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) Student Awards.
McCullogh and Falvo, recent graduates of the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) program, were flown to Sydney’s Luna Park for the annual AGDA Awards Dinner.
They entered the awards with the encouragement of their lecturer, and were shocked to be declared finalists.
“I really enjoy what I do, but being recognized for my work is a bonus and shows that hard work actually does pay off,” McCullough said.
“Being a finalist has really made me take pride in what I do and has definitely made all the stress and lack of sleep feel worth it,” Falvo agreed.
Open to students enrolled in a tertiary Visual Communication or Graphic Design course, the awards provided an opportunity for McCullogh and Falvo to showcase the work they had done in their university program.
Both students entered their designs for a Hermès publication, meant to accompany a hypothetical exhibition held for the brand at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Falvo’s publication ‘The Eternal Life’, was inspired by Hermès’ fine craftsmanship, rich heritage and timeless style.
Similarly, McCullough wanted to create a contemporary publication whilst still respecting the brand’s rich history and old fashioned values.
McCullough was also shortlisted for another project, involving the design of a publication set for the ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ written by the ancient Greek poet Homer.
Inspired by the violent nature of ‘The Iliad’s’ storyline, the book’s dust jacket was ripped to represent destruction.
Gold foil, the exact shape of the rip, was applied to the cover of ‘The Odyssey’ to represent the theme of restoration.
“Each book was painstakingly bound by hand, a process which really tested my patience and determination,” McCullough said.
Neal Haslem, Program Manager of Communication Design, was excited to hear the student’s achievements.
“Our students work very hard and it is fantastic to see their talent recognised in this national award,” Haslem said.
“This sort of recognition gives Eloise and Grace a real kick start into their future practice as communication designers.”
Both McCullough and Falvo are grateful for the experiences they’ve had as part of their communication design program.
“Studying the communication design degree at RMIT was probably the best decision I’ve made!” Falvo said.
“I have learnt so much over the last three years and it’s amazing to see how much my skills have improved.”
“This program has also helped me to grow not just as a designer but also as a person; it definitely brought me out of my shell.”
“I was fortunate to be in an environment surrounded by such passionate and talented creatives who inspired me every day,” McCullough said.
“Although I will miss university, I feel ready to enter the next phase of my life. I am excited to continue learning, and to see what the future brings.”
Story: Emma Morgan