School of Visual Communication graduate Trevor Brighton wins national award

Published: June 27, 2023 Author: Staff reports

Recent Ohio University alum, Trevor Brighton, won a National Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) for illustrations he created for a cover of OHIO’s student newspaper, The Post. The story titled “Erasing Russia” covered the loss of Ohio University’s Russian studies program.

Erasing Russia

“I am truly honored to have received national recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists for my work with The Post,” Brighton said. “Serving as art director of the paper was a pivotal experience during my time as a student. It means so much to have my work seen and appreciated, and even more so to have it represent Ohio University.”

This year, SPJ recognized 61 students and staff from 37 universities across the United States and Canada as national winners. Winners were previously recognized by receiving first place in one of SPJ’s 12 regional competitions. Each first-place regional winner advanced to the national competition. Ohio University competes in the large school division (10,000 or more students) in Region 4.

Brighton, who is from Shaker Heights, Ohio near Cleveland, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Communication with a major in commercial photography and a specialization in social media.

“I came up with the idea for the cover quickly after reading the story it was requested for,” he said. “I wanted to represent the erasure of Russian history in a conceptual yet clear way, and the image of Russian leaders lined up with their eyes being wiped away was the first thing my mind went to. Generally, the work I do takes a lot more mental deliberation, but the vision was so vivid and striking, I immediately knew I had to bring it to life. I created two quick drafts, and then began the final. A timelapse walkthrough of the process is posted on the Viscom TikTok.”

National Mark of Excellence winners will be honored at SPJ’s conference in Las Vegas in September.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation's most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry.