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Christine Y. Fitzpatrick, Ed.D.
External Relations Representative, Office of the Vice President for Information Technology

Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010

IU alumnus a winner in international Adobe Design Achievement Awards

January 20, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University alumnus David Harper was a winner in the ninth annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards, presented in October at the Icograda World Design Congress 2009 in Beijing. Harper's project, "Veins of Life," won in the Motion Graphics category and was one of only 12 winners selected by a panel of industry leaders from among 3,300 submissions by students from 37 countries.

David Harper

David Harper at the National Center for Performing Arts, Beijing, China, where he accepted the award for Motion Graphics in the 2009 Adobe Design Achievement Award competition. Photo credit: David Harper.

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Harper's submission was also his thesis project for the Master of Fine Arts degree he earned from IU's Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Art in May, 2009. Harper's project, described at, explores issues of food production and sustainability and includes three motion design pieces developed with Adobe products. Among other benefits, Harper's award enabled him to travel to China to attend the gathering of 3,000 design professionals from around the world.

Harper credits IU's license agreement with Adobe for giving him the tools he needed to complete his international award-winning project. "The agreement came just in time and was a huge benefit because I didn't have access to the full suite of Adobe software before then," said Harper. He added that having access to the software enabled him to work on his project at home, during a busy final semester while juggling demands of parenthood, studies, and his full-time teaching position at Ivy Tech Community College.

"IU's pioneering license agreement with Adobe makes these creative tools available without fee to students, faculty, and staff on all IU campuses. Instructors can be confident that every IU student has access to this industry-leading software, and it enables IU students to push the frontiers of their creativity -- as David Harper did in winning this international competition," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and CIO.

Harper used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create his graphics, After Effects for his animations, and Encore CS4 for DVD authoring. The products are featured in Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, available to download at no cost to Indiana University students, faculty and staff through IU's ground-breaking license agreement with Adobe, now in its second year.

IU's agreement with Adobe is the first of its kind and has been widely praised across the university. "Educational programs struggle to offer students access to the latest tools," said Harper. "This agreement takes that issue away."

Harper presently teaches Visual Communication at Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville and is a freelance designer.