CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Each year, a Christmas card is sent from Toyota's Buffalo plant to about 1,300 company employees, friends in the business community and elected officials.
This year, that card was designed by 18-year-old Emma Hurley, a senior at Hurricane High School who spends her afternoons taking graphic design classes at Putnam Career and Technical Center.
Hurley won first place in Toyota's annual holiday card design contest. The competition takes students through the process of creating a design for a customer, from inception to final product.
Hurley's design shows a Christmas tree with an ornament hanging on it — but a photo of the globe substitutes for the ornament. The whole world is draped in ribbon that reads "Toyota."
Her idea, Hurley said, was to show that Toyota is a global company. She also wanted to tie some original photography into the project — she took the photo of the tree herself, spending hours on her front porch holding an artificial tree from her parents' attic at different angles.
"I'm really into photography so I wanted to use that," she said. "Plus, I thought pulling in the actual photo would make it look more elegant."
She became interested in graphic design through her love of photography and hopes to pursue both at West Virginia University in the fall. She plans to put her $500 in prize money toward a new laptop that she can use to practice her graphic design at home.
The competition, a partnership between Toyota and Putnam Career and Technical Center, shows aspiring graphic designers what it's like to work with a real-world client with real-world expectations.