Congrats to recent DCA graduate Naomi Hotta!

Award-winning package design by Naomi Hotta

Exciting news – recent DCA graduate Naomi Hotta has received the GD USA 2012 American Graphic Design Award for the Student category for her submission: “Les Yeux Noirs” Chocolate packaging, a project Naomi completed in Shirin Raban’s Package Design (online) course.  

Naomi answered a few questions for us:

What was your inspiration for this project?

I titled my brand “Les Yeux Noirs”—dark eyes, with a main quote, “You know you are in love when you see the world in her eyes and her eyes everywhere in the world”. These are chocolates that are precious like diamonds, a joy to open like unraveling a gift, and special like the sparkle in the eyes of someone you love. Sophisticated, passionate, and romantic. Inspired by 1940s Paris, the love story of Frank Lloyd Wright, and his architecture style. 

Can you tell us a bit about the design process?

As a chocolate aficionado, it was one of my dreams to be able to design identity for a chocolate brand. I took this opportunity in Shirin’s packaging design class. I wanted this brand to have the 1940s Paris/Europe feel with something that had an architectural feel. I love Frank Lloyd Wright’s geometric yet decorative style, and his use of wood in his prairie style architecture. The class proposed the question, “but… how does Frank Lloyd Wright, an American architect, and 1940s Paris come together?”. During class discussion, I found out that Frank Lloyd Wright had a lover from Europe and they spent some time in Europe, including France. I took this love story and decided to make this the back bone of my brand. Love, dark eyes, sparkle of the eyes, diamonds… I used the idea of lines, forms, and colors of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. I created the logo, a circular form representing an eye, with a small diamond speckle shape as the sparkle in it. I tried repeating the diamond icon in my graphics on the packaging, as well as engineering the folds/dieline so that the diamond shapes will show up in the form of my packaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this design process and am very happy that I had this opportunity for this creative freedom.

How did you decide to submit the piece to the GD USA contest?

A designer friend suggested that I submit my work to this contest. I thought, “Why not? I’m only a student once (for now…). There’s nothing to lose”. I am glad I did! It was a great way to get validation of the work that I did at the UCLAx DCA program and it keeps me motivated to do more work that could communicate something to the viewer.

Congratulations, Naomi!

DCA students, be sure to get your work out there as well, submitted to contests, shared at AIGA student portfolio reviews, and other such events. You never know what opportunities may arise!

One Response to “Congrats to recent DCA graduate Naomi Hotta!”

  1. Shirin Raban September 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Job well done, Naomi! I like to suggest that you submit your design to other awards as well for even more exposure. Winning design awards is very important, not only because it validates that our work is well received and understood, but it also creates the opportunity for the design community and clients to become familiar with your work.

    Shirin Raban

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