Toppins wins national honors

Aggie Toppins, associate professor and chair of undergraduate design at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, has won the 2021 SECAC Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in Graphic Design.


Founded in 1942, SECAC (formerly the Southeastern College Art Conference) promotes the study and practice of the visual arts in higher education; it is the second-largest such organization in the United States. The award recognizes individuals who have been particularly successful in their design practice as demonstrated through regional, national and international professional activities. Toppins was honored Dec. 10 during the group’s annual conference, held virtually.

Toppins also recently delivered a paper at IASDR 2021, the annual conference of the Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research, which took place Dec. 5-9 both virtually and at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The paper, titled “Is Feminist Branding Possible?”, examines strategies for using an intersectional feminist framework, which advocates for equal rights with the understanding that people experience multiple and interlocking forms of oppression, to disrupt conventions in brand identity design.

A slide of Toppins’ work, from her presentation at IASDR 2021. (Images courtesy of Aggie Toppins)