Posts Tagged ‘ADCNJ’

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.


Montclair State University Team Wins Both Awards

From left to right: Presentation Winners Carlos Norat, Lusine Katrjyan, Charles Leenstra, Meghan Dougherty, Juan Villanueva, join client Jenna Wetmore from "Morning Glory."

From left to right: Presentation Winners Carlos Norat, Lusine Katrjyan, Charles Leenstra, Meghan Dougherty, Juan Villanueva, join client Jenna Wetmore from “Morning Glory.”

L to R: Holding the winning logo/sign design is Carlos Norat, joined by fellow team members Lusine Katrjyan, Juan Villanueva, Meghan Dougherty, Charles Leenstra, and client Jenna Wetmore from "Morning Glory".

L to R: Holding the winning logo/sign design is Carlos Norat, joined by fellow team members Lusine Katrjyan, Juan Villanueva, Meghan Dougherty, Charles Leenstra, and client Jenna Wetmore from “Morning Glory”.

This year’s Design Derby client was “Morning Glory,” a thrift and gift shop whose profits benefit DASI services for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families in Sussex County.

The competition, sponsored by the club’s Education Committee and Smith Design, was held at the Newton campus of Sussex County Community College. The event brings together schools from throughout the state.

This year’s results were noteworthy as, for the first time, a single team captured all honors. A team from Montclair State University won both the Presentation Award and the Design Award.

Thanks to new club President Sherry Fitzgerald and her dedicated colleagues at Sussex County Community College for once again hosting the event, Smith Design for their continued support of the Education Committee and all students and professors that participated.

A special acknowledgement goes out to club member Nikki Pedersen who participated in his 17th Design Derby.

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.

Art Directors Paul Pullara and John Onushak discuss student work with Suzanne Giovanetti as they provide ratings.

Springtime is when all of the county colleges round up all of their creative artists and photographers and present their work.

This year, I joined a group of art directors at the County College of Morris to view the graphic design department’s student portfolio show.

The coordinator of the graphic design department is internationally recognized packaging designer, Steve Longo.

Eighteen of his students submitted their work for display in the CCM library’s gallery, where we would be able to experience the graphic design capabilities of these two-year students and the intense program they were graduating from.

A rubric, created by the college to help assess the quality of the student work being rated by ADCNJ members as well as other professional creative designers in attendance, just scratched the surface, as we, as a group, were impressed that the level of critical thinking and execution was way beyond what a normal two-year student’s work usually is.

ADCNJ member and package design professional, James Smith contemplates his score.

Attendees numbered around two hundred fifty and the food quickly ran out as students from other departments, parents, professors and industry professionals all professed a positive reaction to most of the work displayed and congratulated the graduating students on their accomplishments.

I managed to interview Professor Longo and a few of the other professional as well as other attendees to find out how the show affected them and to wring some advice from them for the graduating students trying to enter our industry.

Next year should be even more exciting as CCM launches NJ’s first two-year package design program and those students submit their work for this review.

Nicole Bucherer stands by her creative designs.

Students discuss strategy.

And the winners are...

Presenting concepts.

On the sunny morning of Saturday, October 22, over 110 students from nine schools, including Montclair State University, Seton Hall University, College of New Jersey, Kean University, County College of Morris, Sussex County Community College, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Rutgers University, Newark Campus and Brookdale Community College converged on the campus of SCCC for the 16th Annual Design Derby. This was the second consecutive year the school, located in Newton, NJ has served as host site for the student challenge.

This year’s “client” was the WAE (Wellness, Arts & Enrichment) Center of West Orange, an alternative learning center for adults with developmental disabilities. The assignment was to create a new web site home page and one format page for the organization. After an informative briefing by Marilyn Schneider, Founding Director of WAE,  the 17 teams adjourned to their separate classrooms to begin their assignment. Orders for lunches, sold by SCCC students, were delivered to the participants in their classrooms. Jon Weiman, Education Committee Chairperson, and James Smith, Design Derby sponsor, visited the 17 classrooms throughout the day answering questions and confirming each team’s preparation for the presentation portion of the competition, as well as the design aspect of the assignment.
Approximately four hours from the start, the teams made their presentation to a full auditorium of clients and opposing team members. Renee Folzenlogen, Program Coordinator for WAE, announced the winners chosen by the four member client team. The host school, Sussex County Community College, won for the Best Presentation and Ramapo College of New Jersey won for Best Web Site Design.
Our congratulations and thanks go out to SCCC’s Sherry Fitzgerald, Program Coordinator of Graphic Design and New Media Communications and Andrew George and their winning team as well as all the SCCC volunteer helpers and to Sarah Stackhouse, Bonnie Blake and their students at Ramapo College.
The Design Derby is is an annual event open to all New Jersey schools, sponsored by the Art Directors Club of New Jersey and co-sponsored by Smith Design, a brand identity and package design firm specializing in strategy-based visual solutions for leading consumer brands.
What the client’s thought of the event
“Thank you so very much for opening the door to a really rewarding experience, Design Derby 2011.  Each time I think about Saturday and the numbers of students in the audience I’m inspired.  I remember thinking, as I spoke, how quiet everyone was and the end result was really great.  You and your team clearly rule with an iron hand and manifest the goods!
We, the WAE Center team, look to our collaboration as we move forward.

Marilynn Schneider
Director, WAE Center

“I was impressed beyond expectation with the Design Derby on Saturday. I think I speak for us all when I say we feel very blessed by the entire process and the prospect of our new website design.”
Renee Folzenlogen
Program Coordinator

What a participant thought of the event 
“Ramapo was honored to be part of this exciting annual event filled with so much design talent. The opportunity to collaborate with the WAE center is an enriching opportunity for our students.”
Sarah Stackhouse
Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design, Ramapo College of New Jersey

When the NY Art Directors have an event, it pays to go. I joined ad agency icon Ron Travisano (who was kind enough to drive into NY), Bernie Zlotnick, (another industry pertinent Art Director) who currently is teaching the newbies how it’s done, and my “brother” Steve Longo, one of the top corporate identity and packaging designers, now heading up County College of Morris’ graphic design department, as they foraged into Manhattan on their way to Carnival. The NYADC owns this nifty building on West 29th and they have a large gallery space that the ADCNJ used for their judging back in April. On Thursday, Oct 27th, the NYADC produced this mini-trade show event where photographers and illustrators presented their services to attendees. And, in keeping with the Halloween time frame, they invited some very special performers. The show was to begin at 6pm and we had a few hours to kill so it was decided we would have a late lunch at Kun Gan San on 32nd.
If you want to see Ron Travisano eat mandoo and pajun, click here.

Ron Travisano and Bernie Zlotnick pick at Korean eel and beef.

Part of the Carnival Freak Show performs for attendees.

Half android and hula wrangler perform at the NYADC Carnival.

After this amusing repast we meandered over to the Carnival and stayed for about an hour.  If you want to see the video,

click here.

Getting out of Manhattan at 7pm proved to be an ordeal, but to reward us, Ron stopped at Holsten’s in Bloomfield for ice cream sodas. Holsten’s is world famous not only for their home made chocolates and ice cream but for the fact that the Soprano’s taped their last show in one of the booths. I had the best ice cream soda and Ron, Bernie and Steve had theirs.

See video here.
Turned out to be a wonderful day.

Jenna Smith, President of ADCNJ introduces Eric Ottaway from Brooklyn Brewery

Montclair, NJ
September’s ADCNJ event originally featured Eric Ottaway from Brooklyn Brewery and his Agency Creative head. At the last minute Eric’s agency co presenter got sick and industry recognized illustrator, Joe Zeff was drafted and shared some of his experiences in learning and developing interactive social iPad applications for his many clients. I got a chance to ask Joe and Eric a few questions. You can see video excerpts from the event here:]]

Some of the attendees were kind enough to share their advice with students wishing to enter our industry. Terrence Pranses, a market research expert, who donated a door prize as well, shared his insight in securing a job in this competitive market. View the video interview here:]

Lisa Greebel, a long-time member who I remember from meetings held at L’Affair, returned to the work force at AJ Images and was very active in supporting the ADCNJ was nice enough to share her time with me. Find out what she learned here:]

Brooklyn Brewery produces several brands and Eric Ottaway divulged some of the successful methods he has experienced during the branding of his company’s products, including Black Ops, a revered brew made by a few employees. You can catch the interview here:]

Jeff Barcan and Keith Smerak display their wares

Our intrepid ADCNJ Design Committee was behind the bar, serving up Brooklyn ale, pilsner and lager along with other libations. I managed to ask Keith Smerak a question. You can view the video here:]

Join us at our next event. Stay informed about new trends and technologies that will help you do your work better.  Join the ADCNJ. Go to and download an app now.