At a recent national graphic design competition, Cal Poly stunned some of the nation’s best graphic designers by taking five of the six awards.

Students were instructed to design a logo for Fox Atomic, a new division of 20th Century Fox. According to a press release on the competition, Fox Atomic wanted students to come up with a name that embodies the company’s vision of an “edgy, funny and entertaining brand.”

Harvey Levenson, head of the graphic communication department at Cal Poly, has always known that there were some very talented students in his department. However, he never would have thought that they would dominate a competition against such prestigious universities.

“I was blown away by it,” Levenson said. “Never would I expect us to compete so favorably against schools like Parsons and the Pratt Institute.”

Levenson said that The Parsons School of Design in New York and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn are two of the country’s most respected universities when it comes to graphic design.

Cal Poly student Heather Sison was able to take home second place at the competition; Nolan Henderson took third; and Jason Jones, Neven Samara and Cindy Feng all received honorable mentions. Andrew Johnson of San Francisco’s Academy of Art won the competition’s first-place prize.

All of the Cal Poly students that competed are a part of the graphic communication department’s design reproduction technology concentration, which teaches students to combine art and technology. Professor Lorraine Donegan is the coordinator of this concentration.

“I’m just constantly impressed by my students. They impress me in their level of expertise in both design and technology,” Donegan said. “Some of the students have gone above and beyond the basic curriculum to refine their talents. I’m extremely pleased at how well they performed.”

Those who chose to enter the competition did so on their own time. The competition was not a part of any of their graphic communication classes.

“We’re just tremendously proud of our students to take five out of six top awards in a national design competition against some very reputable universities,” Levenson said.

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