Junior Josh McSwain wins TIPA Designer of the Year award

Josh McSwain received the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) Designer of the Year award. Photo illustration by Grace Everett

By Junna Miyazaki | Reporter

Southlake junior Josh McSwain recently received the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) Designer of the Year award at the organization’s 2022 convention. TIPA is the oldest state collegiate press association in the nation and has grown into one of the largest and most respected collegiate groups in the country.

According to media adviser and president of TIPA Julie Reed, McSwain was up against newspaper designers, magazine designers and yearbook designers.

“Out of all those, he won against everybody in Texas,” Reed said.

McSwain submitted five of his designs to the competition. Additionally, both McSwain and Reed separately wrote a letter to submit to the competition.

“He is so talented and a hard worker,” Reed said. “He was editor for Roundup. He is a very good designer. He became photo editor, and he created a hybrid design-photo editor position.”

McSwain said Natalie Brown, his former adviser at Carroll Senior High School, influenced and taught him how to prepare to enter the world of competitive journalism. She was the one who convinced him to begin applying for national awards in photography and design.

“She induced that in me to have that competitive spirit,” McSwain said. “She had a very competitive spirit all her life, and she based her classes around that same sprit. She saw my potential and always pushed me. She taught me how to take criticisms, which has enabled me to become more of a team player.”

McSwain said Brown has been an influence in his professional life even beyond high school. He occasionally still contacts her to ask for design advice and showcase the work he has done in college.

“I didn’t know that the journalism world was so competitive,” McSwain said. “I was thrown into yearbook, and [Brown] showed me what other people were creating for these awards, and it inspired me to work hard. It instilled a belief in me that causes me to hold the highest standards for myself and not settle for anything that isn’t perfect.”

At the TIPA conference, McSwain was able to showcase his pursuit of excellence to both student and professional journalists from all over the state. He said he enjoyed being able to participate in live contests, attend lectures and roundtables, network at a career fair and interact with other college journalists.

In the future, McSwain said he hopes to become a pilot as well as an NFL photographer. He currently has several jobs and hobbies that he hopes will one day lead to his dream career.

“I get bored easily; I can’t just take my major and only focus on that,” McSwain said. “My hobbies are mainly photography and visual design, and after I started getting praise and competing nationally, I started to believe I could turn this into a career. I have realized I can market my skills, and I aim to keep working on them at a full sprint. I love everything I do. I stay busy, but I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”