Since 1996, Young Guns has been an elite portfolio-based competition that takes the profiles of young creative professionals already on the rise and helps elevate them even further. And while the program has made major strides since the days of being jokingly thought of as an award for "extremely talented white designers and illustrators from Williamsburg", there's always room for more diversity.

Enter COLORFUL: A Prelude To Young Guns 19. Ahead of this year's Young Guns competition, we teamed up with acclaimed first-generation Filipinx designer and Young Guns 8 winner Rich Tu to co-found a free portfolio competition and a grant exclusively for young BIPOC creative professionals who qualify for Young Guns — they just haven't entered and won it yet.

After receiving submissions from across the globe, a jury made up of 11 BIPOC creative superstars — all previous Young Guns winners themselves — went over every single entry, grading them not only on the strength of their work but also on how they intend to use the $3000 creative grant, should they win. Afterward, the jury convened to discuss and debate which entrant stood above others as the overall winner of the grant, as well as assemble a class of finalists. The winner and the finalists will all be welcomed to enter YG19 completely free of charge, with the confidence that comes with knowing they've already impressed a jury that knows exactly what it takes to win Young Guns.

COLORFUL: A Prelude to Young Guns 19

Social Species

Studio & Small Print Collective

Social Species is a studio and small print collective founded by Miles Barretto and Vivian Yang. Inspired by our Filipino and Korean backgrounds, our hope is to bridge cultural barriers through new ways of play using accessible digital and physical platforms. We were drawn to the aspect of play, as it has always been an effortless way of learning culture and developing identity.

Our latest work is an "Archive of Play" with collaborators from various cultures and disciplines to reimagine games from their childhood. This will be a living archive that celebrates play across cultures and generations. Recently, we had the opportunity to gain more visibility by publishing and launching these works at Printed Matter’s first Virtual Art Book Fair among 400 exhibitors from 40 countries.

Miles Barretto and Vivian Yang both received their BFA in Communication Design from Parsons the New School of Design. Miles Barretto is a Filipino multidisciplinary designer living in New York, whose work has been recognized by Communication Arts, Type Directors Club, and Print Magazine. His experiences include working as a Senior Designer at Hawthorne and heading the brand development at Smalls, which has been featured in FastCo, Dieline, and R/GA. Vivian Yang is a Korean American multidisciplinary designer living in San Francisco, whose work has been featured in It’s Nice That, FastCo, and Forbes. Her experiences include working as an Art Director at Apple, creating new identities for global brands such as Hyatt, Wikipedia, and Google at Wolff Olins, and designing interactive exhibitions for the Canadian Center of Architecture, Princeton Museum, and The Asia Society. Our diverse backgrounds allow us to embody a unique perspective in our practice and process for our studio.

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