[At its core, CMYK is an archive of top-level graduate work in advertising, design, photography and illustration. Every issue's portfolio encompasses nearly 100 selections of bonafide "fresh" creative, chosen by leading professionals in all fields. The CMYK design annual is judged by a solo judge, to whom the magazine sends all entries. The following was the blurb that was written to accompany this year’s annual.]
I consider myself fortunate when it comes to the profession I have chosen: For one reason or another I find myself in the position of surveying bodies of work asked to represent a city, a state, a region and even a nation. On each occasion I'm asked to "pass judgement": thumbs up/down, in/out, succeeds/fails, et cetera. With students and student work, I would like to think I make more of an effort to encourage those who have found a way to truly communicate. Why? Because students are the future of the industry.
In this particular instance, it was most difficult keeping pieces out, rather than finding those worthy of inclusion. In short, what made reviewing this work so satisfying was seeing pieces as good as any professional work out there. At it's best the work showed utility, beauty, humour, intelligence and outstanding control of typography (always the first thing to get past the gatekeepers - or not). Representative pieces from either end of the spectrum would be __________'s "Tasty Type" ((double check title/designer)), a lecture series poster juxtaposing wonderful photography, great type, and a clear concept, and the "Human Nature" poster by __________, with its sly and simple illustration, with - again - appropriate typography.
The other pieces? Take a look and you'll see ideas and their executions that are literally all over the map. But the one thing they have in common is their authors have found a way to rise above mediocrity.