Ray Hrynkow Thinking Designer Scholarship Awarded

Amnesty Write Campaign demonstrates design thinking

The GDC Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2013 Ray Hrynkow Scholarship of $500 was awarded to Aaron Campbell  (pictured left) of Capilano University, North Vancouver BC for his “Amnesty Write Campaign.”

The Scholarship was founded last year in memory of GDC Fellow Ray Hrynkow, a remarkable Vancouver designer and teacher who wanted the scholarship to support the “thinking designer.”

The final judging was done April 29, 2013 at Tetro Design in Winnipeg, following the GDC National AGM. The process was overseen by Karin Jager, CGD, GDC National VP Education. Judges were impressed with the quality and variety of the submissions. GDC President, Adrian Jean CGD said that the Hrynkow Scholarship submissions contained “a very  interesting range, from packaging to advertising to social responsibility and change!”

Matt Warburton CGD, FGDC, National Communications VP commented, “The Hyrnkow category submissions had some really good ideas. Very, very good work and I am impressed with the quality.”

Brenda Sanderson CGD said, “The students are tackling tough problems.”

GDC Foundation: Ray Hrynkow Scholarship Winner

Aaron Campbell, second year student
Capilano University, North Vancouver BC
Submission:  “Amnesty Write Campaign”
Educator: Vida Jurcic




Students were asked to choose an organization and write their own brief for a social cause campaign. The campaign had to include:

    • Choice of transit shelter, poster, guerilla marketing or t-shirt; and
    • An online component (banner advertisement, website, app, or strategic social media campaign).

The project rationale:
“My initial concept began with the comparison between the lead in a bullet and the lead in a pencil. The two seem to be opposite; one has power to kill and destroy, and the other has the power to create and spread a message. In this campaign I used the pencil as a metaphor for people's opinions and voices, which are essentially, stronger than a bullet ever could be.

I noticed the Amnesty International Forum was very small and not very emphasized. Internet forums are a popular way of communicating with like minded people so I thought it would be appropriate to bring this feature to the spotlight. This, combined with the pencil metaphor, brings the campaign name, “Amnesty Write”.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness for freedom of speech, freedom of the press and overall world issues that are up for discussion. It aims to mobilize users to donate, discuss and take action to do their part to contribute to the organization.”

Acknowledgements:  Amnesty International brand identity belongs to their organization.

Judge's comment: “The thinking behind this project identifies an existing asset that Amnesty International has in terms of content and conversation, and brings it to the surface, and gets their message out in a new way.” – Brenda Sanderson, CGD

GDC Foundation: Ray Hrynkow Scholarship
Honourable Mentions

Kim VanderHelm, third year student
University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
Submission: “Design for Safety”
Educator: Gillian Harvey

“Imagine a blizzard strong enough to cover main highways and roads with it’s main damage in Edmonton. The blizzard knocks out all power and no one can get to a grocery store for food.”

Students were tasked with creating a survival kit to meet the basic needs of two-people stuck in their car in a blizzard for 24-hours. Kits had to include a basic first aid kit, water, ice scraper, booster cables, shovel, reflective vest, matches, survival candle, flashlight, emergency blanket, list of contents/instructions, and all text in English and French. The target audience was Northern Alberta residents.

The project rationale:
“In my solution, I chose to create a package that would be easily utilized within a vehicle, thus the fold-out binder format. This format allows the objects inside to be clearly seen, retrieved, and sits comfortably in the user's lap. The kit would be used during a blizzard where visibility is decreased. To account for decreased visibility, bright neon yellow and orange colours are used consistently throughout the packaged along with reflective material. The SOS belly band around the package tears off so it can be utilized in the rear window of the vehicle as a reflective SOS and visibility marker. The instructions are bilingual and guide the user through a stressful emergency situation in an easy-to-understand way that reassures the user. I included instructions on each object's label to increase clarity and usability of the kit. The mental health of users is addressed through the inclusion of a game of checkers, which provides mental diversion during a boring or stressful situation.”

Acknowledgements:  Repurposed binder and Alberta Emergency Services telephone numbers.

Judge’s comment: “A very clever and effective piece.” – Adrian Jean, CGD


Max Hurd, third year student
University of Alberta, Edmonton AB,
Submission: “Let's Just Be Friends” Campaign
Educator: Judy Armstrong

The objective for this project was to identify and explore social design. Students had to identify a problem or issue and then create visual communication that educates and raises awareness.

The project rationale:
“In the Summer of 2012, a man named Isaak Kornelsen was killed while riding his bicycle on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. Isaak was a student at the University of Alberta, a Golden Bear athlete, and a personal friend of mine. I, too, use Whyte Avenue daily to commute by bike and feel the known animosity and general negative disposition towards cyclists from Edmonton drivers. The same animosity is felt towards drivers by fellow cyclists. Lately, with the addition of bike lanes and bike boxes across the city, there has been a public outcry and the hatred for cyclists has intensified. By consulting with Councillor Ben Henderson, as well as those who worked on the city's “One Road” campaign, this campaign aims to ease the general sentiment between cyclists and automobile drivers in the City of Edmonton. In embarking on this project, I hope to prevent accidents in the future like the one that took Isaak from me.”

Acknowledgements:  City of Edmonton logo, Alberta Transportation logo.

Judge’s comment: “The core idea is succinct. A great design for a guerilla marketing approach.” – Toby Bartlett, CGD


Donations to the Ray Hrynkow Scholarship Fund can be made at.....