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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Design buff poised for international stage

    David Holt, a visual communications senior, has wanted to design ad campaigns since he was in high school and has created two pieces that will compete in the American Advertising Foundations ADDY Awards, one of the largest advertising competitions in the world.
    David Holt, a visual communications senior, has wanted to design ad campaigns since he was in high school and has created two pieces that will compete in the American Advertising Foundations ADDY Awards, one of the largest advertising competitions in the world.

    Unless it’s during the Super Bowl, most people change the channel or flip the page to bypass advertisements.

    For one graduating senior, however, it’s worth turning on the TV just for the commercials everyone skips.

    David Holt, a visual communications senior, knew he wanted to design advertisement campaigns since he was a junior at Arcadia High School in Phoenix.

    “”I like making art for a purpose,”” Holt said. “”I like the challenge of someone bringing me a problem that they need solved visually and creatively.””

    Since enrolling at the UA, Holt has produced award-winning posters, co-designed this year’s Persona Magazine for the English department and worked with a team of UA students in a Southwest ad competition, in which he and 19 peers took third place.

    Two pieces created in a critical issues class last semester will be in Atlanta next month competing in the American Advertising Foundation’s ADDY Awards, one of the largest advertising competitions in the world.

    The pieces won silver and gold in the district competition and two golds in regionals to advance to the national level.

    One of the two pieces will also be in a traveling show in Europe this summer. Holt created and submitted the work to the Swedish Shahneshin Foundation’s Shrinkage International Awards.

    Holt’s poster is the only piece from the United States to be chosen for the art show.

    While Holt is being recognized on both the national and global levels, classmates and teachers have come to appreciate both his artwork and his contributions to the class.

    Acacia Betancourt, also a visual communications senior, has had Holt in at least one of her courses over the past two years and worked with him to design Persona magazine – a project, she said, that wouldn’t have been half as good without his help.

    “”He’s probably the person I look up to most in our program,”” Betancourt said. “”I think he’s the best out of all of us. I admire all his attention to detail and willingness to work hard.””

    Betancourt said Holt’s work is “”clean, edgy and modern,”” and that, while shy at times, his contributions to class are passionately given.

    “”Dave challenges me and makes me want to be a better designer,”” Betancourt said. “”He and I have a healthy competition that has made us both grow as artists in the last few years.””

    Kelly Leslie, an associate professor for the UA School of Art, had Holt in multiple classes, including the critical issues class in which he produced his award-winning posters.

    “”Being in the same class with him really elevates the quality of work from the other students,”” Leslie said. “”It’s quick, it’s smart and it’s funny. Humor and intelligence in design is a really wonderful combination, and he’s able to balance that.””

    On the home page of his Web site, Dcholt.com, he has a quote that reads, “”To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.””

    The quote comes from Milton Glaser – the graphic designer who came up with the “”I Love New York”” T-shirt campaign – but both Holt and Leslie said the idea is reflected in his work.

    “”The biggest part is to just have a concept in the work,”” Holt said. “”That’s what U of A’s school is based on, kind of a concept-based program. That’s the best thing I got out of the U of A, is how to think creatively to solve problems.””

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