Hyela Lee, right, holding her AAF student gold award with Paul Lam, Hawaiʻi Advertising Federation

Kapiʻolani Community College graduate Hyela Lee won Student Gold at the 2016 American Advertising Awards for her CMYK Magazine in the website (desktop or mobile) category.

The American Advertising Awards are presented by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). The AAF Student American Advertising Awards Competition is a unique national awards program designed specially for college students that follows the same framework of entry and judging as the professional industry awards.

Lee’s goal in CMYK Magazine was to redesign a well-organized and contemporary-looking website that draws users’ interest at the first-sight. For visual interest, she used a vivid video background, but for the legibility, the video gets dark quickly when focused.

“The fun part was solving the problem, making the project contemporary looking with high functionality,” Lee said. “The challenge was programming. It was hard to figure out complex javascript such as multi video backgrounds, overriding pages and anchor point animations.”

“Hyela Lee is an all-star,” said Assistant Professor Christopher Gargiulo. “She can design, she can code and she can write copy. Her combination of visual, technical and conceptual skills make her a unicorn in this industry—the ideal web designer. What makes her stand out from others is her passion, commitment and determination.”

The awards ceremony in Anaheim, California was a highlight for Lee. “The show was so fabulous like the Academy Awards!” she said. “The Hawaiʻi AAF team was so kind and funny, it was a pleasure. I met lots of industry leaders, got great advice and saw inspiring works.”

Lee plans to move to New York to pursue more experiences in the design industry.

“She earned this honorable award because she is willing to put in long hours and go above and beyond to produce high quality work,” said Gargiulo. “She also has a great personality, a witty sense of humor and is a joy to work with. She embraces feedback humbly, accepts criticism well and makes time to help others, too. We are very proud of Hyela and look forward to seeing many great things from her in the future!”

—By Heidi Sakuma

CMYK Magazine by Hyela Lee