ATEC Student Serves Winning T-Shirt Design for Second Straight Year

Fayna Zeng
Fayna Zeng’s design will appear on T-shirts worn by American Southwest Conference champions in 2016-17.

It’s no surprise to faculty members in theSchool of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication that one of their students has won a regional design competition for the second year in a row. The graphic design created by UT Dallas sophomore Fayna Zeng will be used on 2016-17 American Southwest Conference championship T-shirts after a vote of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Zeng is the first two-time winner of the annual ASC Championship T-Shirt Design Challenge after her winning design last season. She is a double major in arts and technology and emerging media and communication.

“Fayna’s winning design this year is impressive, and it reflects our school’s consistent, yet innovative, approach toward design curriculum,” said Dr. Jillian Round, a clinical assistant professor of arts and technology. “Her designs are well-thought out through use of color, shape, texture, space, form, unity, balance, hierarchy, emphasis and contrast. I am very proud of her accomplishment.”

Zeng said she wanted to try something different from last year’s winning design. She chose a palette of blue, black and white for the 2016 gray shirt. Her design has a Western feel, with stars that are reminiscent of a sheriff’s badge, as well as reflecting Texas and the conference, and a general standard of excellence. Swirling ribbons symbolize the finish line in a race.

“I wanted to change it up a bit and get out of my comfort zone a bit and not have it be perfectly aligned like last year’s design,” Zeng said. “The light blue stands out, but doesn’t clash. I also like the use of drop shadow and fade-in colors to make it stand out on a gray background.”

Her designs are well thought-out through use of color, shape, texture, space, form, unity, balance, hierarchy, emphasis and contrast. I am very proud of her accomplishment.

Dr. Jillian Round,
clinical assistant professor of arts and technology

Round said Zeng’s design is a textbook example of what she’s learned in her design principles classes at UT Dallas, where she’s studied typography, graphic design, logos, information design, color theory and composition.

The design will be displayed on the front of the short-sleeved T-shirts that all conference champions receive after their victories.

As a member of the UT Dallas volleyball team, which won its conference title last year, Zeng is hoping she gets to wear her own T-shirt design again this year.

“It was a good feeling. It was fun to see my teammates and our men’s soccer team wearing my design after winning conference titles last year. I really wanted to win the design competition again to represent my school outside of volleyball,” Zeng said.

The contest is open to all students of ASC schools. Zeng’s design is the third-consecutive winning artwork by a UT Dallas student. As a senior golfer and emerging media and communication major, Dylan Carroll won for his design in 2014.

UT Dallas students keep winning, Round said, because they not only learn theoretically sound design principles, they also learn how to put the theory into practice using design problem-solving techniques.

“It’s not a mystery to us here why she won. She did it right,” Round said. “Good design is just nice to look at. I cannot say enough how proud we are of her.”