It was a riot of colours at the Dubai Media City offices. Bright oranges, yellows, pinks and purples merged almost effortlessly with the more sedate blacks, blues, greys and whites. But every colour and every word conveyed a message, ...

By Moiz Rajkotwala (Contributor)

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Published: Wed 7 Jul 2004, 10:46 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:46 AM

straight from the heart of its creator. The Gulf Pack Gulf Print Design Awards, hosted by the region's largest packaging and printing exhibition, Gulf Pack and Gulf Print, has had entries flooding in from the seven participating colleges.

The 76 entries were judged by a panel of graphic design and packaging experts at the Dubai Media City offices. The exhibition of entries included work in five categories, namely Poster Design, Book Design, Typography/Font Design, Corporate Image and Packaging Design. The winners will be announced at a gala award ceremony to be held at the Gulf Pack and Gulf Print event at Dubai's Airport Expo between September 19 and 22.

The judging panel was headed by Professor Maureen Wayman, Pro Vice Chancellor, Dean of Faculty of Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University. The other judges have been drawn from the key sponsors and associates, including Mohammed Binghalib, Project Director of Dubai's International Media Production Zone, Ahmed Al Sheikh, Chairman of Dubai Printers Association, Sherifa Hady, Marketing Manager of HP, Virginia Kern, Chairman of Fairs & Exhibitions Ltd, Joe Karkour, Area Manager of Layout Middle East, Guy Taylor, Managing Director of Momentum, and Dominic McGill, Project Manager of Gulf Print among others.

Professor Wayman, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, adviser to several universities and an experienced external examiner, brings with her over 30 years of experience in he field of designing. 'At first glance, I can say I am quite impressed by the entries. This is my second visit to Dubai - my first one was almost four-five years back - and the changes in the city are quite outstanding. Dubai is an architect's dream, and it's only fitting that other forms of art should mirror that,' she said.

While impressed by the quality of entries, she was also careful to judge them in the context they are set in. 'I was in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai before I flew down here, and in every city the work was unique. You have to view it in its entirety, and it's quite amazing to see how the setting influences the work. Sometimes, I stand in front of a piece of art and just wonder 'why'', she smiles.

It is this very uniqueness and creativity that the Gulf Pack and Gulf Print Awards aim to uncover - the stated aim is to motivate home grown talent, local art and graphic design. 'The last time that I was here, I had the chance to interact with some art colleges, and I can see such a difference now. It's very heartening to see that the interest in art and design education is growing in this region,' says Professor Wayman.

This interest was more than represented by the number and quality of entries in the competition. The choice of themes, colours and design concepts gave the viewer an idea of the talent pool in the region. To ensure consistency in the judging process, the panel had to adhere to a pre-decided judging format. The entries were judged on the following key aspects:

If the student has followed the brief

Innovation and creative interpretations

Communication and content

Standard of presentation and finish

Use of colour

At the end of the day though, the final decision was made on the impact of the design. 'After all, all local influences aside, design is an international concept. Whatever your idea, it has to grab the attention of the viewer with as little use of words as possible,' she said

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