Two students at Ringling College of Art and Design have been selected as 2023 Students to Watch by GDUSA. Samm Grimm and Nickela Winfield, both seniors in the Graphic Design program, are being recognized by the well-known industry publication.
The “Students to Watch” feature is widely recognized within the design industry and allows for well-deserved student recognition, as well as a regular refresh to the professional creative community. This year’s nominees come from graduate and undergraduate programs at leading art and design schools including Carnegie Mellon, Parsons, Pratt, Syracuse, Savannah College of Art and Design, School of the Visual Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Ringling College, and many more.
“The Ringling students who appear in GDUSA‘s Students to Watch are not just recognized for their technical, conceptual, and compositional skills, even though those are visible in their portfolios,” explained Ringling’s Graphic Design Department Head Jeff Bleitz. “It is their consistency, professionalism and leadership that has made them positive examples among their peers.”
“Graphic Design is applied across a broad spectrum of business and entertainment formats. Through their performances in the classrooms and at their internships, our 2023 Students to Watch have demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that indicates future success for themselves, their clients, and their employers regardless of the specific professional opportunities they accept after graduation.”
Grimm said she was always drawn to art and design when she was growing up, but it wasn’t until college that she found her passion for graphic design. Her love for the design process and ability to fuse design with strategy brings her projects to life with the intention to invoke thought and action.
“I find my inspiration all around me but especially in nature,” said Grimm. “There is nothing like going outside and experiencing all the textures, smells, and views nature has to offer.” After graduating, Grimm hopes to put her skills to work on a variety of projects at an advertising agency.
Winfield grew up in North Carolina and learned about graphic design from a YouTube video. She dove head first into exploration of the medium which led her to apply to Ringling College.
“Someone I look up to in my field is Cheryl D. Miller. Miller, an activist, designer, writer, theologian, and a decolonizing historian,” Winfield said. “She wrote “Black Designers: Missing in Action” in 1987 for Print Magazine, and within that article, she posed the question, ‘Where are the Black designers?’ That question still rings true today, but it inspired me.” For her senior thesis, she will explore and answer that question through environmental graphics and branding for an annual conference while incorporating visual aspects of Afrofuturism.
Read Grimm’s and Winfield’s full bios and interviews in the digital publication of Students to Watch 2023 by GDUSA.
The Graphic Design program at Ringling College provides students with a deep understanding of the design thinking process and teaches them to apply it to a broad spectrum of 2D, 3D, and screen-based media. Graduates go on to work as graphic and product designers, creative and art directors, visual and interactive designers, and freelancers.