Graphic Design students win at prestigious advertising festival
Cathy Semaan and Dalia Hilal successfully compete at the annual Dubai Lynx festival.
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For the second year running, LAU graphic design students have returned with several prizes from the annual Dubai Lynx advertising festival. “Such an achievement really indicates that our students stand out in the region’s creative industries,” says Melissa Plourde Khoury, associate professor of design and associate chair of the LAU Department of Art & Design (Byblos campus).
Held earlier this month, the event is “the most celebrated advertising festival in the region,” says Joumana Ibrahim, instructor of graphic and information design at LAU. Dubai Lynx brings together jurists and speakers from all over the world to judge the work of Middle Eastern agencies. “Winning at the Lynx is the most prestigious prize regionally, especially as you are competing with the giants of the industry,” Ibrahim adds.
Cathy Semaan won second place in the STC Student Integrated Award, which involves creating an ad campaign in response to a brief from a leading charity or NGO. “At LAU, we are trained to be witty and to create a new solution for every problem we encounter,” she says. Semaan received a brief from a foundation that supports children with cancer asking her to encourage university students to raise money for the cause.
Titled “Hero of the Day,” her campaign concentrated on the power students had to change a sick child’s life. “With the smallest donations, they could become heroes in the children’s eyes,” says Semaan, who utilized both online (website, snapchat filter, and a facebook page) and offline media (posters) to get the message across.
Her colleague Dalia Hilal also tackled the ANA brief, bringing home fifth place in the category, as well as third place in the Masar print competition which entailed “designing a poster urging Dubai citizens to donate money toward adopting a school,” explained Hilal. “My poster, called ‘Simple Equation,’ sparked the onlooker’s curiosity in its simplicity and font usage.”
Hilal points out that the awards ceremony included interesting talks on advertising given by experts in the field. Far from being intimidated, she “felt that LAU had equipped us with the right education, since I was able to grasp topics that were meant for people in the advertising industry rather than students,” she enthuses.
For Ibrahim, who worked with both Semaan and Hilal on their winning projects, the students’ victories reflect the rewarding teaching approaches of LAU’s design program. “I heard echoes from advertising professionals at Dubai Lynx that LAU students stood out because their work was conceptual, strategic and aesthetically pleasing,” she says.
Such praise from industry professionals augurs well for the students’ careers after graduation. As does the mere fact of participating in the Dubai Lynx festival itself: “The Lynx are not only about the award shows. They are a great way for students to be exposed to the world of advertising, and to start creating networks for their future careers,” emphasizes Ibrahim.