Five County College of Morris (CCM) graphic design students – Jacobo Aristizabal, of Columbia; Steven Greene, of Dover; Christopher Hamfeldt, of Wharton; Darius Osorio, of Budd Lake; and Paul Sanford, of Parsippany – recently won “Best Presentation” at the 19th Annual Art Directors Club of New Jersey Design Derby Competition.
The Design Derby is a yearly competition that challenges art students to develop on-the-spot presentations to pitch to a client. Students are split into teams and have three hours to generate hand-drawn concepts and successfully present their ideas. The competition stresses creativity over technique, therefore, the use of computers is prohibited. This year’s Design Derby was held on November 1.
The “Best Presentation” category acknowledges exceptional public speaking skills as well as design.
“The ability to quickly and effectively communicate a concept to a client is an important lesson to take away from the Design Derby,” said Aristizabal, a graphic design major at CCM.
Professor Stephen H. Longo, special project manager for the Graphic Design program at CCM and overseer of the Design Derby since its start in 1995, was elated by his students’ victory.
“My hat is off to these young men,” said Longo. “This winning team was comprised of what you would technically call freshmen, so for them to beat out the four-year colleges and universities at the level that they are at is quite remarkable.”
This year, students from eight other New Jersey colleges (Fairleigh Dickinson, Kean, Montclair, New Jersey City University, Ramapo, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Sussex County Community College) gathered at Fairleigh Dickinson’s Florham Park campus and were asked to create a poster and t-shirt design promoting a 5K race fundraiser for Market Street Mission, a nonprofit organization devoted to assisting the homeless of northern New Jersey.
The five winners walked away with honorary student memberships to the Art Directors Club of New Jersey, a glass trophy and concepts to add to their portfolios.
“CCM’s Graphic Design program is strong enough that it allows us to be capable of competing against the four-year colleges,” said Longo. “I hold it to the professors who are teaching them and the students themselves.”
Other faculty advisors present from CCM’s Graphic Design department were Professor Kathleen McNeil and Professor William Yermal.
“I felt we were very well prepared by our professors,” said Hamfeldt, a graphic design major at CCM. “Considering how much experience the professors have here at CCM, they could easily teach at big universities, yet they choose to teach here at CCM. That shows how much they really care and why the Graphic Design program here is considered among the best in the state.”
Photo: (l-r) Christopher Hamfeldt , Paul Sanford, Jacobo Aristizabal, Steven Greene, Darius Osorio, New Jersey Design Derby winners, with CCM Professor Stephen H. Longo.
Photo Credit: Talia Smith