Kingston Graphic Design graduate Saiko Mukai recently pipped hundreds of hopefuls to the post to carry off one of the industry's most prestigious awards. Saiko, whose portfolio included Fruitea - an original concept for fruit tea packaging - won the John Gillard Award for the most outstanding young creative at the British Design and Art Direction (D&AD) New Blood Awards. He shared the prestigious prize with fellow Kingston graduate Toby Bradbury, who specialises in interactive design.
Judges' spokesperson Paul Briginshaw, a creative director at Miles, Calcraft, Briginshaw, Duffy, said the two Kingston entrants had demonstrated outstanding ability and inspiration. "I've never seen a better student graphic design portfolio than Saiko's or a more promising newcomer than Toby," he said.
Saiko, who has landed a job at package design company Jones, Knowles, Ritchie, believes his Kingston course provided an excellent platform from which to launch his creative career. "There is no doubt that some of my biggest influences have been the people I studied with," he said.
Toby, whose interactive greeting card grabbed the judges' attention, is also forging ahead in the industry and has been signed up to work on new media projects at the BBC. He has strong views on the role of design in modern society. "I believe that, far from breaking down stereotypes, designers reinforce them to make the world we inhabit easier to digest," he said.
Saiko and Toby collected their Â£1,000 prize at the D&AD President's Lecture last month.
Bridge - The Kingston University magazine