USM Graphic Design Student Wins Award at National ADDYs

Tue, 06/07/2022 – 04:54pm | By: Ivonne Kawas

A former graphic design student ​​in The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Art and Design program, housed in the School of Performing and Visual Arts, was honored at one of the advertising industry’s largest creative competitions — the National American Advertising Federation ADDY Awards — at a Gala and Celebration held recently in Nashville, Tenn.

Sydney Beech, a recent Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design graduate and native of Ellisville, Miss., won a gold ADDY in the Out-of-Home and Ambient Media: Poster Campaign category for her “St. Pete Conservation Festival” poster set.

“This was a great year for the graphic design program and our students,” said Jacob Cotton, associate professor in the Art and Design program. “They’ve won countless awards at the national level and have been featured in numerous national publications for their work. These awards help to show potential employers the caliber work our students are capable of and they help our students to see where their hard work can take them.” 

“Every year our student’s work is well represented at the National ADDYs competition having made it through district level to reach this stage of the competition,” Cotton added. “But this is only the second time in USM history that one of our students has won a National ADDY. Beech is well-deserving of this award as she is one of our very best students — her work ethic and ability to grow during this pandemic is unmatched and we’re extremely proud of her.”  

Beech shared how she felt about representing USM at the competition and thanked everyone in the Southern Miss Art and Design program for positively influencing her development through ongoing support.

“It was such an honor to be able to represent USM at Nationals this year and bringing home a gold award was quite a pleasant surprise,” she said. “This is an opportunity that only a small number of students in the country get to experience and I could not be more grateful!”

“I am also thankful for the support I have received from the Art and Design program,” she added. “For me, this award not only represents my hard work, but also the hard work and passion of all the people behind the program. Southern Miss made a huge impact on my life and winning this award was a wonderful way for me to close out my time as a student.”

Some of her award-winning work
Some of her award-winning pieces

For this project, Beech was tasked with developing a brand, style guide, and collateral for a conference or event of choice. The location selected from a list served as the primary inspiration for her brand. It was important that the brand and theme be in context to the subject of the conference and the area and history of the chosen location. Beech selected St. Petersburg, Fla. for her project and created the St. Pete Conservation Festival, a two-day festival all about ocean conservation geared towards teens to educate them on the issue in an engaging way.

For the design, Beech was inspired by the tiles utilized in Mediterranean architecture that can be seen in the city. The square format of the tiles brought forth the idea to create organized patterns that can fit into square and rectangular formats. You can see some of Beech’s designs by visiting her portfolio.

The American Advertising Awards, home of the ADDY® Award, attracts nearly 35,000 professional and student entries each year. The three-tier competition begins at the local level and winners then compete at the district level. District winners move on to the third tier, the national stage of the American Advertising Awards.

Learn more about the Southern Miss Art and Design program.