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2023 T-shirt design contest winner announced

A winner has been decided in IUPUI’s second annual T-shirt design contest. Three finalists were selected and then voted on by the campus community through IUPUI’s Instagram. And this year’s winner is … Ravi Shankar Kunapuli!

Ravi Shankar Kunapuli, a graduate student at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, is the winner of the student-des... Ravi Shankar Kunapuli, a graduate student at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, is the winner of the student-designed T-shirt contest at IUPUI. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana UniversityA graduate student in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering Indianapolis, Kunapuli will receive a $250 gift card. His T-shirt design is being sold in the IUPUI Bookstore, both in the Campus Center and on the website.

“The T-shirt competition is a special opportunity for students to express their originality and passion for the IU brand,” said Kimberly Spino, IU’s director of licensing and trademarks. “Bringing the winning design to life is a great way for our bookstore to engage with the students.”

Kshitij Patil, who took second place, and Emily Hoekstra, in third, will also receive bookstore gift cards as finalists.

For Kunapuli, designing T-shirts is a fun personal pastime, so the design contest was right up his alley.

“When I got the call saying that I am one of the top three finalists, it felt like a dream for me,” Kunapuli said. “I’ll be seeing my designs at the bookstore, and the fact that people will be buying it, I never imagined something like that would happen.

“T-shirt designing has always been my thing. Even before coming to the U.S., I used to do personal projects on my iPad, and I did print a few designs for myself.”

When he first started designing T-shirts, he would paint them by hand. After making three or four designs for himself, he began exploring the designing software Procreate, while he was home in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. He began using the design program to draw comics during the pandemic; now, it’s his go-to medium for T-shirt design and is what he used to create his contest entry.

“I wanted to come up with a more minimal design, and I started to play with typography. The wavy pattern represents the canal we have downtown,” Kunapuli said.

While Kunapuli pursues his master’s degree in human-computer interaction, his passion for T-shirts, painting and clay modeling is a hobby. He currently works for the Division of Undergraduate Education as a graphic designer and is completing an internship in UX design. His goal is to become a UX designer, and he will enjoy wearing his T-shirts along the way.

“T-shirt design has always been very close to my heart because wearing my designs makes me happy,” Kunapuli said. “I can see my design; I can see my art. But wearing it is pride for me, so I definitely look forward to doing more of this.”

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