Call it the "Oscars" of the graphic design world. The Premier Print Awards recognizes the best of the best in the printing industry. And for the first time a Hawaii designer is claiming the prize.
Radford High School graphics design teacher Lane Yokoyama at first thought it was a joke. The email that started with "I hope you are sitting down."
“And I was,” said Yokoyama. “I was checking my iPad and I was like, no way!”
This past Thursday, Yokoyama learned two of his students won recognition for their submissions to the Premier Print Awards -- including the highest honor -- a "Benny" as it's known. The first time anyone in Hawaii has won one.
“It’s kind of mind boggling because it’s like everybody that entered is supposed to be the best. Then the judges look at it and to get the Benny, you’re the best of the best,” said Yokoyama.
The Best in Category for poster and promotion was created by 18-year-old Tyler Yokoyama.
“I wanted to change it up a bit, do the opposite of doing something formal, so I did something humorous,” said Tyler.
Tyler's poster and t-shirt design for the 14th annual James Alegre Invitational Basketball Tournament was selected from more than 2,800 entries worldwide, the judges calling it a piece worthy of the Benny.
Radford's graphic design students have won numerous awards in the past, but this one has special meaning, since Tyler is Lane's son. But the recent Radford graduate has plans other than a career in graphic design.
“I’m going into auto mechanics,” said the younger Yokoyama. “It’s a passion for me since I was a little kid.”
Lane Yokoyama said it’s a little heartbreaking that his son is choosing a career away from graphic design, but he hopes all his students graduate with winning skills.
“Hopefully they’ll take all these computer skills from this class and no matter which career they go into, they’ll be able to use it,” said Yokoyama.
The other prestigious Premier Print Award for Certificate of Merit went to Radford graduating senior Joseph Dingal.