Five Samford graphic design students took home seven Addys at the recent Birmingham chapter awards event of the American Advertising Federation. Sophomore Adah Sprinkle, junior Audrey McDonald, and seniors Morgan Biddy and Olivia Griffin each won silver Addys. Sophomore Sarah Gentry and senior Olivia Griffin each won a gold. Olivia Griffin also won the Student of the Year award for her senior project, Thanks for the Verbal Harassment. Griffin interviewed women who had experiences with catcalling and sexual harassment and crafted a book that included hand-lettered words and interviews. A link to that project can be found here. Her work was chosen from 25 top entries.
“I’m extremely proud of my students—it’s a tremendous honor to be recognized with such prestigious awards! But perhaps what evokes even more pride is the fact that all seven awards taken home by Samford students were won for projects done to promote cultural awareness and/or raise social awareness. Graphic Design most often involves commercial clients, but I’ve also sought to incorporate projects that challenge my students to try to use visual communication as a means of impacting social change. And to see their hard work on these projects specifically awarded is truly rewarding for me as well,” said Geoff Sciacca, associate professor of graphic design who accompanied the students to the awards event.
Griffin will graduate in April and plans to return home to Snellville, Georgia to pursue a career in graphic design. Her work at Samford has explored ways to bring a voice to issues she sees in the world. She received her silver Addy for the campaign she created around social awareness of human trafficking, See Something? Say Something. It focused on Atlanta’s airport Hartsfield-Jackson. “It's the busiest airport in the world and Atlanta is a hub for human trafficking,” said Griffin.
“My social awareness campaign holds a special place since human trafficking is something I've gotten to learn about from other outside research I've done for other projects and papers. Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has some signage for human trafficking but it's not great and the message is unclear,” said Griffin.
She enjoys graphic design as it allows her to work in a variety of fields. “Whether it be in marketing, web development, or product design, it gives you a wide variety of ways to be creative,” said Griffin. She credits Samford for preparing her for this career path. “Samford's program has prepared me for a career by pushing me in my projects but also providing real-world contacts to professionals in the field. Samford’s smaller class sizes and availability teachers have makes Samford unique. I like that I'm not in a class of fifty people,” explained Griffin.
Her professors, Geoff Sciacca and Scott Fisk, have allowed her to grow and develop professionally but she noted that her peers at Samford have had some of the greatest impact on her experience. “I think the people that inspire me the most are the 13 other people in my cohort that I've gotten to grow with over the past three years,” Griffin said.