2019 Design Scholarship Winner & Runners-Up

About Our Scholarship:

Over the last several months, Thomas Group Printing has been accepting applications for our inaugural print design scholarship, a $1,500 award we’ll give annually to a promising design student. In order to apply, students sent us a project they felt exemplified their best print design work and wrote an essay on the topic “Why is Print Design Still Important in Today’s Day & Age.” 

We were overwhelmed with excellent applications and the process of selecting a winner was difficult. At the same time, It was humbling and inspiring to see firsthand some of the excellent print designers that will be entering the workforce soon. Judging by the quality of our applicants, the future of print is a bright one, with a wealth of excellent emerging talent working hard to create meaningful, impactful and tangible printed materials. After much deliberation, our scholarship committee selected a winner as well as three runners-up, who we’d like to take the opportunity to spotlight below. Congratulations to our 2019 winner, Anh Tran, and to all of the excellent design students who applied to our scholarship this year! 


Our 2019 Winner: Anh Tran of Minneapolis College of Art & Design

Thomas Group Printing is pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Chelsy Tomashoff Memorial Scholarship for Print Design Excellence, Anh Tran of Minneapolis. Tran is a junior at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and will receive $1,500 toward her education. 

Tran designed an illustrated calendar titled “Fruits on the Counter,” taking inspiration from the physical character of print to create bold, beautiful designs for each month. While her work alone is excellent, her winning essay on the importance of print design helped convince our scholarship committee to award her our scholarship. Her essay is presented here in her own words.

“Today’s digital age is fast-paced, instantaneous, and flashy. screens infiltrate everywhere into our everyday lives: our homes, our pockets, our watches, and even in our cars. retrieving information or contacting someone far away can only take a matter of seconds. 

But with such instantaneity, what do we leave behind? we are not just leaving behind inconvenience, but wholesome, entire experiences. browsing the library stacks is abandoned to type in a google search. turning of pages is replaced by scrolling with a finger. what is lost is the physical pursuit of information that has already led to so many great discoveries. and what is important is not just the answer, but how to find the answer.

The physicality of the pursuit of information comes from the handling of books, papers, pamphlets, and more. that is why print design can go beyond even visual arts—its tactility contributes to a more engaging, rounded-out experience than digital media, which is often visually overwhelming. consequently, factors such as paper weight, paper types, and size play significant roles in print design. the stimulation of the sense of touch causes the viewer to slow down their pursuit; the experience then is more immersive for the viewer. 

Even with visual stimulation everywhere else, print design stands strong because it has more to offer than just information: it brings a physical journey of experiencing to the viewer,” wrote Tran.

Anh maintains a portfolio of her design work at www.anhtranart.com


Runner Up: Grace Yang of the School of Visual Arts

Grace Yang’s entry, “The Dead Lecturer Poster Series.”

Three runners-up also were chosen. Grace Yang, a junior at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, created a set of posters called Dead Lectures, showcasing what a lecture series of some of the great artists of the past might look like. She describes print design as an effective communication tool to reach a wide audience in her essay.

“[Print design] has a sculptural aesthetic, broad spectrum of locations that it can be placed, and strong visual effects. People can physically interact with prints which increases the possibility to deliver certain information more effectively,” writes Yang.


Runner Up: Abby Zigelmeyer of the University of Cincinnati 

Abby Ziegelmeyer’s entry, “Noteworthy.”

The second runner-up is Abby Ziegelmeyer, a junior studying at the University of Cincinnati. Her entry, “Noteworthy,” fused digital and print technology, gathering data on music listened to over a 24-hour period, then transformed the information into a striking visual display. In her essay, Ziegelmeyer says there’s nothing irrelevant about print design in a digital world.

“Having the ability to touch and feel the paper, canvas or vinyl between your fingertips. To smell the pages of an old book found deep in the back of the store. To hold a card and see the image shift back and forth right in front of you,” writes Ziegelmeyer. “All of these sensations can be lost on a screen, and though there are amazing things online, nothing can replace the experience of having the physical piece right in front of you.”


Runner Up: Lauren Vanessa Gonzales of Arizona State University

Lauren Gonzales’ entry, “Don’t Run Out of Time.”

The third runner-up is Lauren Vanessa Gonzales, a senior studying visual communications at Arizona State University. Gonzales used statistics from the 2018 World Cup to create stunning infographics that bring the games to life. She says her goal in her future career is to reach people with messages that can improve well-being on a personal and societal level. 

“Inclusion and good design is what draws people in and unconsciously, I was always trying to achieve this goal. Keeping it simple yet impressive to bring everyone together,” says Gonzales.


We’re Accepting Applications:

The Chelsy Tomashoff Memorial Scholarship for Print Design Excellence accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, and will be awarded to another student each year. More information can be found on the scholarship here


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