Santa Clara, CA-based graphic designer Sejal Patel has not one, but two commendable achievements to brag about. Patel recently won the Student Clio Award for Design Excellence and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) scholarship.

The Clio is an award that seeks and recognizes advertising design and excellence worldwide. Patel’s challenge was to create a new package and structure design for a black-and-white disposable camera package for Kodak. Working with the absence of colors and a type-driven design, Patel came up with an eye-catching presentation that made strong use of the graphic black dots infused with lettering. Patel plans to send her award-winning design to Kodak soon. “It would be cool if they bought it and I could see that in the market,” she says.


While the Clio bestows recognition to Patel’s talents, the AIGA scholarship offers valuable impetus to her career.

The scholarship, which is up annually for contest between junior and senior level and graduate level graphic design students of accredited design program schools throughout Northern California, supports and encourages diversity in graphic design education by providing students with the opportunity to expand their educational experience through special programs offered by accredited institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Patel plans to use a portion of her scholarship to attend the national AIGA conference in Vancouver in October, and lectures and seminars that will help design enrichment.

Currently, Patel is freelancing for nationally known graphic artist and illustrator Michael Schwab. Patel however keeps a level head while speaking about her job prospects. “I do have to say that the awards will help get my foot in the door,” she says. However, she strongly believes that it is the whole package—a strong portfolio plus achievements—that lands one a job. As an ultimate goal, Patel would like not only to hold down a full-time job as a graphic designer, but also have creative freedom as a freelancer.