AIGA-GMU is a group of students in Fairfax, Virginia who spend their free time hanging out at every professional agency they can, hosting local speaking events, and being all-around design nerds. On May 2nd, 2013 we brought our second annual Design Battle to Dupont Circle, featuring five of the DMV’s most talented design students in a series of four elimination rounds. Competitors had twenty minutes to conceptualize and execute a digital solution driven by a previously-determined theme, all of which were kept top-secret until the rounds commenced.
Each designer’s activity was displayed in front of them on separate screens facing outward, toward the audience, as well as on an 80″ monitor where the spotlight was rotated via Google Hangout. Crowds formed around the battle stations, watching intently and speculating on who would make it through to the next round. The pressure was high as each contestant worked under color and size constraints; for example, a mid-round announcement challenged the designers to “Put A Bird On It” and one theme maintained that the competitors would create a custom or modified typeface based on the word “swag.” A panel of five DC designers served as the judges who contributed constructive feedback and completed the heart-wrenching task of eliminating a designer each round, leaving one to rule them all.