Ward Recognized for Western Australian Film Festival Design

Devon Ward's design work for The Other Film Festival

Graphic Design USA recently recognized Devon Ward, assistant professor in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design, for his outstanding branding and logo work on behalf of The Other Film Festival: Western Australia. The recognition is part of Graphic Design USA’s 59th annual showcase competition. More than 14,000 projects were entered in this year’s competition, which awarded 750 projects in 21 different categories. Ward’s work was recognized in the Branding, Identity, and Logos category.

The Other Film Festival: Western Australia is a film festival that puts people with disability at the center of storytelling and filmmaking. This year’s festival featured 30 short films created by, for, and about people with disability and was held for one weekend, from July 15–17, 2022, in Fremantle, Western Australia. The festival was organized by DADAA, a leading arts and health organization that provides cultural activities for people with disabilities and mental illness.

“In early 2022, I began working on the festival design with Ricky Arnold, the special projects manager at DADAA, and Sarah Collins, the festival program curator,” Ward said. “Sarah Collins selected 30 films that subvert typical stereotypes about people with disability. So, this idea of ‘upending pre-conceptions’ became the driving design concept for the visual identity and led to the creation of an animated logo that continually rotates. After the visual identity was established, we worked together to create the film program and social media materials that were distributed to advertise the event. Ultimately, my hope is that the visual identity helps promote an event that showcases exciting films made by talented individuals.”

Ward’s design work for the festival included a new logo and animated visual identity featuring a series of ovals that symbolize a camera lens and the subversion of stereotypes; a 48-page program showcasing the 30 films in the festival; several social media posts; and a motion graphic that ran prior to each film set. In addition to the award from Graphic Design USA, Ward’s work for The Other Film Festival: Western Australia was also recognized with a Gold Award by Graphis, an international publisher of books and awards for the visual communications industry, as part of its 2023 Advertising Awards.

Ward lived and worked in Perth, Western Australia, for several years, during which time he developed a working relationship with some of the organizers at DADAA. “In 2019, we worked together to create a catalog for the exhibition of paintings from Noongar artist Des Woodley. Then, in 2020 we created the catalog and promotional materials for A New Calibre, an art exhibition,” Ward said. He said The Other Film Festival: Western Australia was the biggest collaboration to date.

Ward, who began teaching at Auburn this past fall, works across multiple disciplines including print design, interactive media and experimental art. His research explores the concept of the expanding field of design, a design approach that is interdisciplinary, future-focused, and inclusive. He received a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Florida and a master’s in biological art from the University of Western Australia.

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Devon Ward