2 Shillington Winners of TDK Awards ’19

The Design Kids Awards Winners

Big congratulations to our two Shillington winners of the TDK ’19 Awards! The competition was competitive this year, with entries coming from around the world and only 30 winners. Full-time Manchester graduate Juan Villascusa Candela was selected by Tess Robinson of Smack Bang Designs in Sydney and part-time London graduate Juliette van Rhyn was selected by Craig Parsons of Parsons Branding from Cape Town.

The Design Kids invited 10 top industry leaders to judge. They were told to “pretend they were hiring for a junior role and to pick 3 people they would get in for an interview based on all the applications.” The judges were chosen on their high industry involvement and incredible standard of work. More than half of them have been involved in teaching design in some capacity and understand student limitations, but also know the standard and what to look for. The TDK 2019 judges include Annie Atkins (Dublin), Paul McKie, Autumn Studio (Brisbane), James Gilmore, DesignStudio (Sydney), Daniel Martínez, Futura (Mexico City), Craig Parsons, Parsons Branding (Cape Town), Lester Cruz, Serious Studio (Manila), Chris Ballasiotes, Siotes (Seattle), Tess Robinson, Smack Bang Designs (Sydney), Tony Brook, Spin (London) and Hagit Kauffman, Wix (Tel Aviv).

Read on to meet the Shillumni winners and hear their stories!

Juan Villascusa Candela, Shillington Manchester Full-Time Graduate

Juan headshot

Tess Robinson’s pick: “Juan’s work has great versatility of style and the thought behind his brand identities and conceptual works is evident. His choice of colour and typography is eye-catching and cohesive within each piece.”

His choice of colour and typography is eye-catching and cohesive.

How does it feel that Tess Robinson from Smack Bang Designs studio selected you as a winner of the TDK Awards ’19?

It feels really good to get recognition, especially from an experienced designer such as Tess.

Could you share your process behind the Untapped branding identity project?

This project was the first one I developed on my own during my time at Ensemble Studio in Manchester, the brief was to create a visual identity for Untapped, a pricing business. At first glance, the project could look a bit bland but the idea of something “untapped” was really visual and exciting so it turned out to be quite energic and vibrant without losing a contemporary and corporate feeling. The project grew very organically thanks to Steve & Martin’s advice (Ensemble) and I created a visual system that translated the untapped concept through every brand aspect—from the logo to the tone of voice.

Juan's TDK Untapped project Juan's TDK Untapped project Juan's TDK Untapped project

Before Shillington you were a painter. Why did you decide to study design full-time?

Creativity has always felt interesting to me, painting is my passion but I always felt attracted to any visual form of communication.

Graphic design is a great blend between concept and aesthetic so it made sense to start learning the fundamentals so I could improve my creative skills and therefore be able to make a living doing what I love.

How has your career changed since graduating from Shillington?

To be fair, Shillington not only helped me to learn what graphic design was really about, but it was also the door I needed to get into the design industry.

Where do you find creative inspiration?

It sounds cliché, but I take inspiration from everything.

In terms of creativity, I think I was more experimental before the Instagram era—I enjoyed searching for random things on Google and different sources out from the secluded world of Instagram. Instagram make things really easy and you can end up taking inspiration from the same sources all the time.

Check out Juan’s website and Instagram for more.

Juliette van Rhyn, Shillington London Part-Time Graduate

Juliette headshot

Craig Parson’s pick: “What stood out most for me was the depth of execution in each case presented; from illustration to colour to typography—each element is purposefully placed to produce connected and visually pleasing brand assets. Each case is supported with rationale and as a business founded in strategy we believe any candidate we work with needs to be able to communicate their unique point of view and their reasons behind the concepts they produce. Juliette demonstrates a sense of play within a structure and a fluid ability to work with the landscape each new medium offers her ideas. LOVE the structural signage executions.”

Juliette demonstrates a sense of play within structure and a fluid ability to work with the landscape each new medium offers her ideas.

How does it feel that Craig Parsons from Parsons Branding studio selected you as a winner of the TDK Awards ’19?

It feels amazing! I’ve admired Parsons Branding for years, so to get positive feedback from this studio is a huge honour for me.

Could you share your process behind one of your award-winning Shillington projects?

I learnt a lot while working on my non-alcoholic spirit brand, NO-KA. The name is a play on No ‘Kater’, which is German slang for hangover. I had fun coming up with a detailed background for the brand: a fictitious Berlin club owner has an enlightening Ayahuasca experience, decides to stop drinking and promotes sober clubbing instead. I learnt that developing a distinctive backstory could be the key to creating an engaging brand identity.

The concept really fed into the visual language and tone of voice and also the type of rollout that would work for a brand rooted in club culture.

Juliette's Shillington projects

Juliette's student work

Before Shillington you studied textile design and were a print designer. Why did you decide to study design part-time?

I’ve worked as a textile designer in London for 10 years, but I started to feel like I was slightly missing something creatively. I realised I was becoming increasingly excited about design that had scope for more concept and depth. Graphic design was always on my mind, but I didn’t have the confidence to just start doing it. When I saw the Shillington part-time course advertised, I realised I could retrain while keeping up with my textiles freelance. After going to an info session, I knew instinctively it was the right thing for me to do.

What was your full-time job while studying at Shillington? How did you find juggling the course work and your freelance job?

During the course, I was freelancing for a few key textiles clients who I work for on an ongoing basis. I was incredibly fortunate as they are wonderfully understanding people! I could be flexible with my hours and as a result, could spend as much time as possible on the course work. My bank balance was low, but it was worth it! I seriously respect pals on the course who were working full-time throughout.

How has your career changed since graduating from Shillington?

I now freelance for graphic design as well as textiles and I’ve also set up a design studio in London with my Shillington teacher George Simkin. We’re called GOOD SHAPE, check out our website!

Where do you find creative inspiration?

Working with printed textiles sparks my ideas about colour and composition and I’m also most inspired by modernist design and visiting cities.

Being in new places where you can see a real mix of cultural and historical influences is always creatively recharging. Also the museums! Seeing the Wim Crouwel and Japanese Poster exhibitions at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam has inspired new ideas for months. I think living in London is also a part of that; there’s always something interesting going on here, I love this city.

Check out Juliette’s website and Instagram for more.

Huge congratulations again to Juan and Juliette! If you’d like to study design and win awards like this, learn about the Shillington course in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

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