Nova Craft Canoe Design Challenge Winners Announced
Left to right: Third-year Graphic Design students Dana Dobbie, Jenna Gregory and Erik Ruetz were thrilled to learn they're the winners of the Nova Craft Canoe Design Challenge.
The Nova Craft Canoe Design Challenge was a unique competition that challenged Fanshawe Graphic Design students to create original artwork for a canoe. The contest attracted entries from 75 students, each vying for one of three $500 cash prizes and the chance to see their designs printed on an actual Nova Craft canoe.
"Graphic designers are often asked to work with odd shapes or in awkward mediums," said Fanshawe College Graphic Design instructor Rob Chilvers. "This contest forced our students to deal with some difficult specifications and a very different kind of canvas. They rose to the challenge impressively, and their work is just fantastic."
All three winners were ecstatic when their names were announced. Each submission was accompanied by a piece of music the designer felt was an appropriate reflection of his or her concept. The three winning canoes were unveiled at the event last night.
Jenna Gregory grew up canoeing in the Wasaga Beach and Barrie area. "Kempenfelt Kelly," a Loch Ness-type monster said to live in Lake Simcoe, was the inspiration for her design. "In the water it looks like the octopus is attached to the canoe and if the canoe is on your car it looks like it is traveling with you," explained Jenny. She plans to pay off her OSAP or maybe buy a laptop with her $500 cash prize.
Dana Dobbie, a full-time student and hardworking part-time employee in Fanshawe's Marketing and Communications office, took her inspiration from surfing. "What I feel like when I'm on the water surfing…you can forget about all of your daily worries." Dana plans to put her $500 cash prize toward a trip to California and Hawaii.
Erik Ruetz took a more radical approach to his design incorporating both nature and his love of snowboarding. When asked how he planned to spend his cash prize, Erik said, "I think I'll probably spend it on a combination of some school and some fun expenses."
Erick Ruetz, left, and Fanshawe President Howard Rundle discuss the winning canoe designs.
The contest gave students a chance to develop real-world skills. Each participant had to imagine a concept based on a brief from Nova Craft, and then formally present it to a panel of judges, which was great training for life as a graphic designer in the workplace. Nova Craft produced canoes featuring the three winning designs at their London manufacturing facility.
"Nova Craft is very happy to partner with Fanshawe College on this project," said Roch Prévost, sales manager at Nova Craft. "The students definitely impressed us with their ideas and their professionalism. The judges had an incredibly difficult time choosing three winners from such a remarkable pool of entries. All of them displayed a lot of skill and talent."
Nova Craft will display the canoes at industry events and trade shows across North America. The winning students will have an open invitation to appear at those events to answer questions about their designs.
"School should be fun, and this project was definitely enjoyable for our students," Chilvers said. "They also learned valuable lessons about working with clients and providing rationale for their concepts, which I think is a great benefit of this competition. I want to thank Nova Craft for providing such a memorable and worthwhile learning experience."