Archive for the ‘ADCNJ Awards Show Judging’ Category

When you get caviar at your event, it must be good.

When you get caviar at your event, it must be good.

Here's Craig holding his 7 awards.

Here’s Craig Moser from Graphic D-Sign holding his 7 awards.

Whippany, NJ

The Art Directors Club of New Jersey recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its annual awards judging and show at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Art Directors are the people responsible for conceptualizing most of the creative advertising, marketing, public relations, Internet, digital and other forms of communications currently in use. They determine what photos, illustrations, typography, colors and even the augmented reality animation for the ad, package or website that companies use to communicate to their markets. With all of the awards shows praising creativity in New Jersey, the ADCNJ’s is the only one that identifies the Art Director as well as the agency.

After serving as Judging Chair for over 13 years, Nancy Fisher was unanimously selected by the ADCNJ Board to receive this years' Lew Kraut Award for community service. Harvey Hirsch, past recipient and ADCNJ video blogger presented Nancy with the award.

After serving as Judging Chair for over 13 years, Nancy Fischer was unanimously selected by the ADCNJ Board to receive this years’ Lew Kraut Award for community service. Harvey Hirsch, past recipient and ADCNJ video blogger presented Nancy with the award.

Every year, hundreds of Art Directors send their best samples of their work to be judged against that of their peers. Finding judges with the experience necessary to understand the nuances of each category to be judged is the responsibility of Nancy Fischer, a freelance designer who works with the Awards Show Committee to secure judges for the show. This year, Nancy received the Lew Kraut Award for her dedication to detail and service to our association.

The concept and design for the Awards Show was developed by Andrew George and was Chaired by Brec Morgan and her staff at CAG Brand First who produced the show’s identity, marketing materials, hangtags, and the show. And it came off perfectly, thanks to the attention to detail that Sue Sabol and her team from Opulent Events provided. Kudos to everybody that worked on this event from the beginning to the last spoon of crème brulee. This year’s show was entertaining and enjoyable with show emcee Tony Selimo and mentalist, Ted St James taking the show to new levels.

The ADCNJ is deeply involved in the college level art programs and gives away several scholarships to students majoring in many of the creative industry talent providers and this year’s crop of talent was present with their portfolios. Most of New Jersey Colleges that have graphic design programs encourage their students to enter their work for judging in the ADCNJ’s Student portfolio judging and the winners are featured during our show.

Special scholarship awards are also encouraged and Kean University put aside several for their graduates. James Smith, Principal at Smith Design gave out a packaging design award while Justin Martucci, President at Nicklefish issued two for inter-active designers.

James Smith and Scholarship winner dam Fischer.

James Smith and Packaging winner Adam Fischer.

The ADCNJ has held its last few Awards Shows at The Birchwood Manor, and this year, the bar was still set high for the victuals. As we have come to expect from Michael Marino, the Banquet’s Manager at the Birchwood Manor, all of the food was prepared and served in style to attendees by the many servers and all of the tables were brimming with delicacies. My favorite has always been the raw bar, filled with cooked and peeled shrimp, oysters and lobster tails, making the food we eat of a higher quality than most of the food at other creative awards shows.

More than just a show paying homage to the creative production process, it’s also a litmus test for the industry itself, which has undergone serious changes due to the ever-evolving technology and the slower economy. It’s not enough to think creatively, you need to understand the mechanisms necessary to produce and communicate these ideas and that has motivated the ADCNJ to add newer and more relevant categories to their call for entries.  And through their efforts, Brec and her team were able to generate over 300 entries to be judged.

Sherry Fitzgerald, ADCNJ President and program coordinator at Sussex Community College called on her connections to bring in Tony Selimo, a video producer, radio personality and Director of Communications at SCC to perform the duties of Emcee, and he did a superb job. Frank Peluso, a long-time club member and constant supporter of our show was there to capture the event in his inimitable way. His photographs are part of this article.

Nicklefish scholarship winner Eduarto Carrillo poses with Justin Martucci, Principal of Nicklefish.

Nicklefish Interactive winner Eduardo Carrillo poses with Justin Martucci, Principal of Nicklefish.

Mentalist Ted St James regaled the attendees with his mind-reading skills, and his ability to guess accurately, certain words pictured in the mind of his willing assistants and his show brought him a lot of wows. But the main reason everybody showed up for this wonderful event was to walk away with their share of the awards. To win an award from the ADCNJ is to be honored by your peers. And this year, the judging was so tough that only 65 awards were bestowed upon the designers, illustrators, photographers, and creative thinkers from the state of New Jersey.

High hook winners of the night were Ogilvy Health and Graphic D-Signs with 7 awards each, but the real winners were all of the attendees, the students, the agencies, the clients and the spouses and guests of the entrants. Everybody had a good time. Have a happy summer.

The names from left to right are as follows:  Teresa Kyle Brenda Molloy Renee Wentworth Kristen Sween Mary Mitros Susan Beers

From left to right are as follows: Teresa Kyle,
Brenda Molloy, Renee Wentworth, Kristen Sween,
Mary Mitros and Susan Beers from Olgivy Common Health.

Professor Steve Longo with scholarship winners Karly Elizabeth and Andrew Sperber.

CCM Professor Steve Longo with scholarship winners Karly Elizabeth and CCM winner Andrew Sperber.

Show Chair, Brec Morgan assists Mentalist Ted St James in entertaining the audience.

Show Chair, Brec Morgan assists Mentalist Ted St James in entertaining the audience.

One of the many delicacies served at our Annual Awards Show.

One of the many delicacies served at our Annual Awards Show.

Bob Lyon and Jeff Barcan leave the show with a big box filled with their awards.

Bob Lyons and Jeff Barcan from The Gruskin Group leave the show with a big box filled with their many awards.

Sherry Fitzgerald, current ADCNJ President and Past President Denise Anderson share a photo op.

Sherry Fitzgerald, current ADCNJ President and Past President Denise Anderson share a photo op.

From left: Brec Morgan, Conrad Winter, Patricia, Tara, Laraine Blauvelt, Linda Lemos, James Smith, Jenna Smith, Robert Ryan, Sherry Fitzgerald, John Luttropp, Andrew George and Justin Martucci.

From left: Brec Morgan, Conrad Winter, Paula Maylan, Tara Orlando, Laraine Blauvelt, Linda Lemos, James Smith, Jenna Smith, Robert Ryan, Sherry Fitzgerald, John Luttropp, Andrew George and Justin Martucci.

The passing of the gavel from Jenna Smith (President 2010-2012), to Sherry Fitzgerald took place at the last ADCNJ Board meeting.  Jenna, who in her second term, endured a literal “Baptism Under Fire” in serving our association when she undertook both, the Presidency and the Show Chair and turned in a wonderful performance, embellished with style and grace.  We hope you will sit on the board and keep our boat on course.

Sherry Fitzgerald joins us as our new President and business manager and brings with her a wealth of personal experience both as a graphic designer and educator. Sherry is the program coordinator at Sussex County College and infused the board with her exuberance and hope for our members and industry in the coming years. Also joining our board is Andrew George, a package designer and educator who works with Sherry at Sussex Community College. I got to interview them about what they would like to accomplish and how they see the ADCNJ’s future and you can watch the video of that interview here.

Sherry Fitzgerald (left) takes the helm of the ADCNJ Board from Jenna Smith (right).

Sherry Fitzgerald (left) takes the helm of the ADCNJ from Jenna Smith.

Some of the newer members, Brec Morgan and Tara Orlando from CAG Design also volunteered to Chair and manage this year’s awards show (our 50th Anniversary) and Justin Martucci from Nicklefish insured that this year we will be able to automate the entry application on our website.

Uncle Floyd kept the crowd laughing with his rapid fire delivery of jokes.

The 49th Annual ADCNJ Awards Show was a raging success. Over 117 awards for creativity were bestowed on the best creative work from NJ based Agencies and Art Directors, Designers, Photographers, Illustrators and Videographers. Watch the video.

Uncle Floyd was our comedic host for the show and he did not let anyone down as he kept the audience in stitches with his riff on growing up Italian in Paterson, NJ. He vetoed video so all I can share are photos, but he certainly delivered the right boost of humor. All 205 attendees laughed at Floyd’s Italian anecdotes and tales of his unusual career.  His rapid-fire delivery style allowed him to find everybody’s funny bone and tickle it.

For the first time since its inception, the Lew Kraut Award was given to 2 people in the same year, James Smith of Smith Design for his unceasing dedication and support to the ADCNJ’s educational programs and Ken Gruskin for his devotion to education and support of the Thinking Creatively Conference’s- Let’s Charrette event which he initiated and nurtures for the third straight year.

The Birchwood Manor, provided the delicious victuals, making our Awards Show the best in the state. I mean, where else do you get lobster tails and steak for dinner?

My favorite has always been the raw bar. It elevates our show from all others. I mean where else can you get lobster tails, cherrystones on the half, fresh oysters and all the shrimp you can eat. Wait, you can eat all of the above at our event. No rubber chicken here. OK, I have had rubber chicken dinners all over the state and if you’ve seen my restaurant videos you probably would concede that my taste buds might be slightly more seasoned than most, so when I say that the Birchwood is my favorite venue for our show, well, I disclosed.

Rose Gonnella, Executive Director of the Robert Busch School of Arts at Kean University explains the Thinking Creatively Conference to the crowd. Next year will be the tenth anniversary if Thinking Creatively and the ADCNJ has been supporting this and many other education related events.

It was agreed, by everybody I spoke with, that Jenna Smith of Smith Design did a fantastic job of herding the cats to make this show a success and that Rose Gonnella of Kean University was cited for her insight in creating and managing the Thinking Creatively Conference for the past 10 years.

Students from County College of Morris, Kean University and Montclair State University picked up most of the 9 Scholarships for their creative work and also helped me set up the show the day before.

View the 2011 ADCNJ Scholarship Winners and their work here.

Our event coordinator Sue Sabol of Opulent Events performed so well in managing this nightmare that the ADCNJ we’ll probably be seeing more of them in our future.  A special thanks to Nicklefish for the cupcake souvenir gift and for Peluso Caterers for making them so good. Was that really a red velvet cake?

Robert Rose and John Mistretta discuss their services with show participants during the cocktail hour. Digi-Chrome Studios became a sponsor for our event.

Digi-Chrome Studios became a new sponsor for our show and while I was speaking with John Mistretta, their Sales Manager, when I asked him if he was related to NJ’s famous Illustrator, Andrea Mistretta. sadly he said he wasn’t. Andrea, however, was in attendance so I brought them together to see if any relatives were connected. Perry, Andrea’s husband was busy capturing me on his video as I was getting him on mine. I kept it in my video.

James Smith who became one of this year’s Lew Kraut Award winner and President of Smith Design, a Best in Show Winner, stands with Kelly Rabkin, who won the Smith Design Packaging Scholarship Award.

Best of Show winners were Pantone and Smith Design, both provided exemplary work and the President’s Award went to Jenna Smith and we know that was well deserved. Now you can stand erect, Jenna. It’s all over.

Jenna Smith, ADCNJ President with Giovanni Marra, Creative Director of Pantone, another winner of the prestigious Best of Show Award. Pantone has been a generous supporter of many ADCNJ educational events. Congratulations, Gio.

A special award, for her dedication to rounding up judges for our show, setting up the judging and ensuring a fair show, went to Nancy Fisher. Having passed that job onto Nancy, I can tell you stories of bad weather, drunk Art Directors and Illustrators who only gave out low scores to every entry for no other reason than their ego. Nancy has more tact than I do.

Congratulations to all the winners and I look forward to seeing many of you at next year’s 50th Annual ADCNJ Awards Show.

The planning starts now. If you have some ideas, I urge you to join the Show Committee and share them.

Have a nice summer.

Special thanks to Frank Peluso for these great photos, the Cuppa Cabana for the coffee bar, all of the students from Montclair State and Kean that helped to set up the show and to all of the entrants who made this show so successful.

Submitted by Harvey Hirsch, Member at Large, ADCNJ.

Harvey Hirsch, ADCNJ Video Blogger, Steve Longo, Professor at County College of Morris, Jon Weiman, Professor at Bloomfield College and Robert Ryan, President of CMYK Printing take a break from the show to pose for a photo.