Type Directors Club award for AUT grad

28 May, 2024
Type Directors Club award for AUT grad
Abbey Luong Artwork

A typeface exploring her Vietnamese heritage has won AUT graduate Abbey Luong an award at the Type Directors Club Young Ones Student Competition.

In the process of creating the Hương Display for her final year project at AUT’s School of Art and Design, the Bachelor of Design student explored Vietnamese orthography, folk art, and her own family’s traditions.

Abbey, who majored in communication design, says the project pays respect to her family and her Vietnamese community in Aotearoa, which played a significant role in her upbringing.

“To have this work recognised at this level is truly special. Hương Display is representative of my culture, my heritage and my identity as both a person and as a designer, so I am thrilled to receive this award,” she says.

The Type Directors Club Young Ones competition is an acclaimed advertising, interactive and design student competition, which enables young designers like Abbey to cement themselves in the type design community.

Since 1986, the typography, lettering, and type-centred competition has been run by the Type Directors Club, an international organisation devoted to typography and type design, founded in 1946 in New York City.

Abbey’s work, which won the TypeDesign/SingleTypeface category, consists of two fonts - Đẹp and Béo - which were inspired by the Tết Lunar New Year and aim to highlight and celebrate the Vietnamese written language.

“It’s a visual reminder that the Vietnamese culture can be experienced from wherever you are in the world,” says Abbey, who has recently moved to Christchurch to work at Studio Pask.

AUT Senior Lecturer Dr George Hajian, who oversaw Abbey’s project alongside Meighan Ellis, says type design is meticulous and requires a lot of focus and dedication.

“This award is a commendable achievement for Abbey and a great outcome for the School of Art and Design,” he says.

AUT's Head of School of Art and Design, Professor Mandy Smith, says the win for Abbey is testament to her skill and creativity, as well as that of the University's teaching staff.

"Abbey is the second AUT student to win an award at the Type Directors Club Young Ones competition," Professor Smith says.

"Seeing our students' work recognised internationally is something we should all be proud of."

In 2023, Abbey Barlow won the experimental typography category for her three sets of 3D typefaces, AB3D, inspired by the work of Samoan-New Zealand type designer Joseph Churchward.

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