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Skald Wins 2015 National Award for Design

Villa Maria College’s annual literary and arts magazine Skald was awarded the 2015 National Program Directors’ Prize in the Design category from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). This is the first year the journal produced by students, faculty, and staff at Villa has received this honor.

Judging the competition in the design category was Reece Quinones of George Mason University, who praised the publication for its large format, and utilization of grid, hierarchy, and white space, allowing the reader to deeply engage with each piece of content.

“This journal shows exceptional creativity and originality. The bold cover illustration balanced by negative space draws the eye to the title and into the publication. The overall design is clean, clear, and beautifully produced,” Quinones wrote in a summary statement.

Developed in 1977, Skald features work from nearly every academic discipline at Villa, including graphic design, creative writing, fine arts, animation, and photography.

“We are honored to receive such a prestigious award,” Bob Grizanti, graphic design professor and one of three faculty advisors of Skald said. “This recognition is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of not only our Skald production and design team, but of the entire student body, faculty, staff and administration at Villa Maria College who support our efforts.”

Professor Joyce Kessel who has advised the magazine since 1978 also praised the efforts students put into the magazine, while graphic design instructor and fellow advisor Julie Zack noted that the collaborative production process helps create a vibrant and differentiated publication each year.

Earlier this year, this issue of Skald received a 2014 Silver Crown in the College Magazine category by The Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and a Gold ADDY award from the Ad Club of Buffalo, the Western New York affiliate of the American Advertising Federation.

Award winners will be formally announced in the September 2015 issue of the Writer’s Chronicle a national magazine published six times each academic year by AWP. Winning journal receives a $1,000 cash award for their institution. Previous award winners in design include Totem from Gannon University, 12th Street from The New School, and Quatro from Columbia University.

AWP supports thousands of writers, over 500 college and university creative writing programs, and 130 writers’ conferences and centers in fostering literary achievement, advancing the art of writing as essential to a good education, and serving those involved with contemporary writing.

A private, co-educational, Catholic college, Villa Maria provides the premiere student-centered experience in Western New York. Students learn and grow with a culturally diverse population and a culture that lives its ideals of truth, charity, and unity.