Cadbury Design Graduate Wins Global KSI Competition
One of Cadbury’s successful alumni, Hamza Ali, has won a competition to create a new Reddit icon for social media superstar KSI. Hamza, who is set to graduate from Birmingham City University as a Graphic Designer in the summer, has been praised for his “passion, imagination and huge flair” by the famous YouTube influencer.
Hamza saw off thousands of rivals from around the world with his entry, which will now be viewed by KSI’s army of 2.9m followers. KSI, who also has more than 20 million subscribers on YouTube, added: “I’ve seen Hamza’s work all over Reddit. I love his passion, imagination and huge flair for artistic design. I know his work is in hot demand by other YouTube influencers. He is very talented. Hamza managed to whip up a madness of colours and energy, combining all the things I love in this icon. The design is super awesome and sick.”
Hamza, who goes by the name Ballpoint Papi on social media and has more than 40,000 followers across TikTok, X and Instagram, said: “It’s pretty amazing and it’s hard to put into words what this means. KSI rarely changes his icon for Reddit, so it’s really massive. It means the entire KSI community will know my work. KSI is very into Dragon Ball Z, so the icon was inspired by this and the Reddit logo.”
Hamza hopes this competition win will improve his chances of impressing leading design agencies in the USA when he heads to New York later this year with a group of fellow creatives from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at BCU. He also plans on travelling to Japan to publicise his work next summer with a series of exhibitions.
He added: “Apart from my academic pursuits, I have arranged studio visits in New York City. During my visit, I will be exploring ‘SlangInc’ and Design Bridge to broaden my knowledge and gain real-time exposure to the professional world of graphic design. This opportunity follows a similar experience I had last year when I met with esteemed designers such as Michael Beirut at Pentagram and Georgia Stout at 2×4. These visits have shaped my approach to design and have inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of creativity.”
Hamza credited his experience and lecturers at Cadbury for paving the way to his growing success. “The A Levels I chose have played a significant role in shaping me into the designer I am today. Stuart, my former graphic design tutor at Cadbury, challenged me creatively, and I am incredibly grateful for him pushing me beyond the boundaries of what is considered ‘normal’ for a graphics designer. He encouraged me to pursue a career in graphic design, and I attribute my success in this field to his guidance and unwavering support.”
You can view Hamza’s winning icon here