A bright future lies ahead for DUT Graphic Design granduand Tanya Shunmugam who had a string of victories last year (2013).

Shunmugam won two awards at the Student Gold Pack Awards, an annual competition for graphic design students run by the Institute of Packaging South Africa (IPSA) in October last year. She then received one of three highly-coveted awards in the World Packaging Organising (WPO) WorldStar Student Awards.

Apart from making a big name for herself and putting DUT on the map, Shunmugam also managed to secure a position as a packaging designer at a reputable packaging company in Durban after her triumph.

According to the 21-year-old from Montclair in Durban, winning all these awards was overwhelming yet it was a great experience. “It was a great experience for me, especially getting insight into the packaging industry and meeting important people who specialise in packaging. It definitely influenced my career path as a graphic designer, also influencing me to learn more about packaging not just from a graphic design perspective,” she said.

Shunmugam studied her third year in Graphic Design at DUT last year when entering the Student Gold Pack Awards was open for all students in her level. But due to the limited number of entries accepted per university, lecturers in the third year Graphic Design class had to shortlist only the best designs to be entered into the competition. Amongst these was Shunmugam’s entry.

Tasked with designing the packaging of either bread, bubblegum or a new South African wine, Shunmugam outshined other entrants with her Charles Dickens inspired design: a new South African wine named ‘A Tale of Three Cities’. The packaging incorporated three white wine bottles, each bottle telling a story through the design about South Africa and three of its 11 cities, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. “I was inspired by the book, ‘A tale of Two Cities’ written by Charles Dickens,” she said.

For her design, Shunmugam took first place in the new South African wine category as well as in the overall competition. She received a cash prize of R8 500 and a Golden Egg Trophy.

Her wine packaging design was also entered into the WorldStar Student Awards, a prestigious international packaging competition which sees entrants from all over the world competing for three top awards. Here too, Shunmugam’s talent shone as she was among the three WorldStar Student Award recipients. She said winning this international award gives her immense confidence in her work adding that it made her realise her true passion: specialising in package design.

She is currently studying towards a one-year packaging diploma this year in order to expand her knowledge on the field. She says her goal is to become a Creative Director, specialising in package design.

– Naledi Hlefane

Pictured: DUT alumnus Tanya Shunmugam (centre) with two other awardees at the Student Gold Pack Awards. Also pictured is Tanya Shunmugam’s award-winning design for the packaging of a hypothetical new wine brand called “A Tale of Three Cities”.

Article issued by DUT