A progression series of images from the Release. Reform. animated social campaign.

Graphic design professor receives honorable mention in international competition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ryan Russell, associate professor of graphic design, was awarded an honorable mention in the Ecuador Poster Bienal 2020 for his animated social campaign design titled “Release. Reform.”

According to Russell, the campaign addresses the need for sweeping police reform in response to the use of violence by police that has caused civil and political unrest across the nation.

Described as “the most important design event” in Ecuador, the competition celebrates international creative works that uphold cultural, social, academic and professional values. Each year designs from professionals are showcased to a global audience.

The 2020 competition garnered more than 11,000 entries from 84 countries in six design categories: advertising; social, cultural and political; students; animated; visit Ecuador; and architecture and city transformations. Winners were determined by a jury of 12 accomplished international designers representing 10 different countries.

For Russell, being among the few selected and exhibited pieces on an international stage is very humbling.

“I think the heart of what graphic designers do is create clear, concise messages through impactful visuals,” he said. “My work has always leaned into creating visual work that is often confrontational — communicating on an intellectual and emotional level, or at least that’s the goal.”

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