Amelia Liarakos of Fairfax, Va., has won a student gold ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation for her work “North by Northwest Titles” in the Elements of Advertising – Visual category. 

Liarakos is a May 2013 graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual communication design from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ School of Visual Arts and a minor in classical studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The annual AAF Student ADDY Awards Competition is open to full- or part-time students enrolled in an accredited U.S. educational institution. Entries in both the student and professional ADDY competitions are first judged at the local level, and local winners then advance to 15 district competitions across the country. Finally, district winners advance to the national finals. The AAF awarded 19 Student Gold ADDY Awards at the national level this year.

Liarakos’ gold was awarded for an opening credits animation, shown in the video below, based on the Alfred Hitchcock classic “North by Northwest.”

“I was completely shocked to win this award. I forwarded it to nationals with the hope that it would get an honorable mention or some other small recognition. I feel very honored to be recognized so highly at the national level. I've always had a passion for movies and telling stories so it's that much more rewarding to have my rendition of the North by Northwest titles win such an award,” Liarakos said.  It was also an excellent note on which to end my college career.”

In addition to the national ADDY, Liarakos received two student gold ADDYs at the local Western Virginia American Advertising Awards for her Kinetic Typography animation and Sugar Bowl integrated campaign piece.

Troy Abel, an assistant professor in the School of Visual Arts and chair of the Visual Communication Design program said, “Amelia is an extremely motivated, talented designer who excels in several areas including motion graphic design, interactive design, and traditional print design. I'm glad she has received national recognition for her hard work and dedication. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Amelia.” 

The high school valedictorian and summa cum laude graduate of Virginia Tech is passionate about interactive design and, in fact, has been designing and coding for 10 years. When Liarakos made the decision to attend Virginia Tech, she did so based on the Visual Communication Design program as well as the university’s broader educational opportunities.

“When I applied to Virginia Tech, I was looking for a school that had a smaller graphic design program with the capabilities of a larger one. I also was interested in taking classes other than purely art classes,” said Liarakos. “I feel that graphic design is a truly multidisciplinary field. While you need to have a creative process and know how to use the tools available to you, it is important to learn and take interest in other fields beyond your own. [Virginia Tech] provided these opportunities to me.”

During her junior and senior years at Virginia Tech, Liarakos worked as an intern for FourDesign, the School of Visual Arts’ faculty-led, student-run digital and print design agency.

FourDesign provides design services and expertise for departments at Virginia Tech, private businesses, and organizations. Its services include product and company branding, logos, concept development, multimedia presentations, printed publications, packaging, and font and web design. Working at FourDesign gives students professional experience working with clients while building their portfolios. During her two years, Liarakos was involved with numerous projects including the Buy, Eat, Live Local campaign for Downtown Blacksburg Inc.

The visual communication design program in the School of Visual Arts is designed to develop students’ conceptual abilities, problem-solving skills, and technical knowledge required for a fast-paced, competitive career. Graduates of the program often work in print design, product and packaging design, multimedia Web page design, and advertising design.



Share this story