Graphic design students win awards at 2021 UCDA Student Competition

Three seniors from Wayne State University's James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History graphic design program were recognized for their work in AGD 6260: Advanced Typography at the 2021 University and College Designers Association (UCDA) Student Competition.

Chloe Hill earned the Silver Award for the 3D sculptural type booklet Dreaming (interior pages). Hannah Sexton earned an Excellence Award for the 3D sculptural type booklet A Maze, along with an honorable mention for Roller, a typeface and typeface poster. Dakota Perez earned an honorable mention for Windemere, a typeface and typeface poster. Each student will receive an award certificate for their work.

The Silver and Excellence Award-winning work will be on exhibit at the national UCDA conference in Denver in October.

For the 3D sculptural type booklet, students chose a word at least three letters long and developed a 3D sculptural interpretation of the relationship between the letterforms (the form) and the space around the letterforms (the counterform). They then photographed the 3D work and produced a booklet about the 3D sculptural type.

For the typeface and typeface poster, students used FontLab 7 software to design their own typeface, which could be installed on a computer and used as any other font on the computer, whether as text (12-point size or smaller) or display type (14-point size or larger). Students named their typeface and then designed a poster about their typeface.

"My Maze and Roller typeface projects were both challenging, as I ended up using materials and software I had never used before for both of them," said Sexton. "I find that when I challenge myself and push boundaries with materials, ideas, etc., those end up being my favorite pieces of work."

UCDA sponsored four design categories of competitions, including the Student Competition. Across all competitions, there were 632 print and digital entries, with 210 awards given (eight Gold Awards, 24 Silver Awards and 178 Awards of Excellence). In the Student Competition, awards were presented in three categories: Published Work Print, Classroom Work or Assignments, and Illustration. In the Classroom Work or Assignments category, one Gold Award, two Silver Awards and seven Awards of Excellence were given.

"Approaching type as sculpture provides students with new insights into how to creatively use typography," said Professor of Art in Graphic Design Judith Moldenhauer. "Hannah's work turns the word MAZE into a shapeshifter: the straight lines of the letterforms are represented by individual 2x4 lumber lengths which are arranged so that the word only comes into focus by walking around and through the 2x4s.

"Students are excited to create their own computer-based typeface: 26 upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, special characters - all properly kerned (the space between letters). And the typefaces created by Hannah and Dakota are beautiful in their functionality and visual appearance."

To learn more about the UCDA Student Competition, please visit

A Maze

← Back to listing