Taylor’s University graduate wins Pencil in New Blood category at D&AD 2017

Yap Yoong Ruey, from Taylor’s University, wowed the judges with his creative talent to reimagine the future of education
A recent graduate from The Design School at Taylor’s University, Yap Yoong Ruey, bagged an award at D&AD 2017 (British Design & Art Direction) during its annual awards event in London, United Kingdom. Yoong Ruey was the only Malaysian entry this year to take home a Wood Pencil in D&AD’s New Blood Category for his entry called, “Hungry to Learn” in a brief set by Pearson Education.
“A Pencil from D&AD is one of the most sought after recognition due to its association with leading creatives in the industry on a global level,” said Ernesto Patron, Head of School for The Design School, Taylor’s University. “Yoong Ruey has obtained an award, for himself and Taylor’s University, which represents the pinnacle of creative excellence. The School is very proud of his achievement.”
Yoong Ruey impressed a panel of judges, including foreman, Ranzie Anthony, Executive Creative Director, Athlon and six other internationally acclaimed creative professionals. His work was one of 12 winners for Pearson, a real client brief to “Shake Up Education for 2027”, alongside entries from Kingston University, England; Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore; University of South Africa, South Africa, and Brigham Young University, United States of America. A total of 173 Pencils were awarded this year, whittled down from thousands of entries from over 40 participating countries.

Yap Yoong Ruey, a graduate from The Design School at Taylor’s University standing with his submitted entry at the D&AD 2017 awards in London, Britain recently
By winning the award, Yoong Ruey obtained the opportunity to attend the New Blood Festival 2017 –one of D&AD’s hallmark creative events. The Festival aimed to inspire the next generation of creative talent and stimulate the creative industry to work towards a fairer more sustainable future. His winning creation has also been published in the D&AD Annual archive alongside the Professional Award winners.
“I am thrilled to have won a Pencil this year at D&AD,” said Yoong Ruey. “This is my fourth attempt at entering D&AD’s New Blood category and the first time my design was selected for an award. As the most prestigious accolade in global design and advertising industry, the bar is set very high; therefore, winning a Pencil has been a very rewarding experience.”
Pearson challenged young creatives to rewrite the future in education to address the global mass expansion of delivering and receiving education to young and aged learners. Contestants were required to design a campaign, product or service to tackle the challenge or opportunity for a group of learners. “I chose Pearson’s brief because I am interested to work on something related to education, using strategic planning and clever design. My project is designed to integrate the option of learning into a snack or mealtime by providing concise academic topics onto existing food and beverage packaging,” said Yoong Ruey.

Taylor’s University graduate, Yap Yoong Ruey, celebrating his win of the Wood Pencil in the D&AD New Blood Category 2017 for his entry with Pearson Education at the awards ceremony in London, Britain recently
“My aim was to have consumers learn as they eat by making knowledge accessible and convenient to those that wish to learn. The idea has the potential to turn into a social responsibility campaign – if Pearson collaborates with the food and beverage companies and encourage learning through its packaging,” he explained.
However, according to Yoong Ruey, an idea is only half the process. “Getting the right idea is hard. The thinking process is messy, as there is a constant debate on the appropriateness and authenticity of the idea for the brand. So far, I am still learning to juggle ideas and solutions as if I were the client – in approaching an obstacle from the views of a business and marketing perspective, but solve a problem using design thinking. I have The Design School to thank for this mindset during my tenure at Taylor’s University,” he said.
While in London for the awards ceremony, Yoong Ruey had the opportunity to survey the shortlisted entries and attended talks by notable design and advertising agencies. “English students have a strong sense of typography and craftsmanship in their work. London is a place where great design is highly appreciated by the public and has become an everyday culture.”
“Looking at their work opened my eyes to the challenges I faced in my past entries at D&AD. The experience helped me be a greater learner and I am humbled to be a part of the showcase this year,” Yoong Ruey observed.

Yap Yoong Jian stands proudly next to his brother, Yap Yoong Ruey, at the D&AD Annual 2017 held in London, Britain recently
With the judging panel comprising top professionals and creatives in the industry, the awards have become key in raising benchmarks for the global design industry.  The scale of awards for winners of the New Blood category begins with the Wood Pencil followed by the Graphite Pencil, Yellow Pencil, White Pencil and finally the coveted Black Pencil.
Before submitting his entry in the D&AD New Blood category, Yoong Ruey sought help from his brother, Yap Yoong Jian, an alumnus from School of Communication, Taylor’s University. Yoong Ruey received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Graphic Communication Design from Taylor’s University last year. 

Yap Yoong Ruey, a graduate from The Design School at Taylor’s University poses in front of the D&AD headquarters at Cheshire Street, London before the awards ceremony recently