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Great Design Requires Great Clients

The AIGA 365 Design Competition showcases design work from 2009. And it's a testament to client partnerships.

  • <p>Design firm: The Aldo Group, Inc., Montréal <br />
Creative director: Douglas Bensadoun<br />
Art director: Gerard Cleal<br />
Designer: Danielle Autran<br />
Client: Aldo</p>
  • <p>Design firm: VSA Partners, Inc, Chicago <br />
Creative directors: Dana Arnett, Jamie Koval<br />
Designers: VSA Partners<br />
Client: Chicago 2016 Committee</p>
  • <p>Design firm: Vermilion, Inc., Boulder, Colorado Creative director: Paul DesRosiers<br />
Designers: Leslie Blanton, Kevin Bonner, Lorena Fox, Karen Tan<br />
Photographer: Souders Studios<br />
Programmers: Codey Christensen, Alan Dague-Greene, Sean McKibben, Nate Scavezze, Jameson Watts<br />
Copywriter: Paul DesRosiers<br />
Project manager: Ani Hulse<br />
Client: IZZE Beverage Co.</p>
  • <p>Design firm: Kimberly-Clark, Neenah, Wisconsin <br />
Creative director: Christine Mau<br />
Art director: Jennifer Brock<br />
Illustrator: Hiroko Sanders<br />
Client: Kleenex</p>
  • <p>Design firm: Concrete Design Communications, Inc., Toronto <br />
Art directors: Diti Katona, John Pylypczak<br />
Designer: Melatan Riden<br />
Photographer: Chris Nicholls<br />
Client: Lida Baday</p>
  • <p>Design firm: Rodrigo Corral Design, New York<br />
Creative director: Sarah Habibi<br />
Client: Criterion</p>
  • <p>Design firm: Studio 1 a.m., Chicago <br />
Designers: Joerg Becker, Joshua Enck, Donna Piacenza, Jody Work<br />
Client: Studio 1 a.m</p>
  • <p>Design firm: C&G Partners, New York <br />
Creative directors: Jonathan Alger; Jared Schiffman, Phillip Tiongson (Potion)<br />
Art directors: Jonathan Alger, Emanuela Frigerio <br />
Designers: Daniel Fouad, Pamela Jacobson, Laura Koo, Sarah Pokora <br />
Interactive designers: Young Cho, Jeff LeBlanc, Caroline Oh, Jared Schiffman, Phillip Tiongson (Potion); Justin Manor, David Small (Small Design)<br />
Client: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum</p>
  • <p>Design firm: Paprika, Montréal <br />
Creative director: Louis Gagnon<br />
Art director: Rene Clement <br />
Designer: Rene Clement<br />
Photographers: Raphael Helle, Monic Richard<br />
Copywriter: Lefebvre Financial Communciations, Inc. <br />
Project manager: Jean Doyon<br />
Printer: Transcontinental Litho Acme <br />
Client: Boralex</p>
  • 01 /09
    | Aldo Comfort and Fit Packaging

    Design firm: The Aldo Group, Inc., Montréal
    Creative director: Douglas Bensadoun
    Art director: Gerard Cleal
    Designer: Danielle Autran
    Client: Aldo

  • 02 /09
    | Chicago 2016 Identity System

    Design firm: VSA Partners, Inc, Chicago
    Creative directors: Dana Arnett, Jamie Koval
    Designers: VSA Partners
    Client: Chicago 2016 Committee

  • 03 /09
    | IZZE You’ll Love What’s Inside Campaign

    Design firm: Vermilion, Inc., Boulder, Colorado Creative director: Paul DesRosiers
    Designers: Leslie Blanton, Kevin Bonner, Lorena Fox, Karen Tan
    Photographer: Souders Studios
    Programmers: Codey Christensen, Alan Dague-Greene, Sean McKibben, Nate Scavezze, Jameson Watts
    Copywriter: Paul DesRosiers
    Project manager: Ani Hulse
    Client: IZZE Beverage Co.

  • 04 /09
    | Slice of Summer Tissue Box

    Design firm: Kimberly-Clark, Neenah, Wisconsin
    Creative director: Christine Mau
    Art director: Jennifer Brock
    Illustrator: Hiroko Sanders
    Client: Kleenex

  • 05 /09
    | Lida Baday Spring 2010 Brochure

    Design firm: Concrete Design Communications, Inc., Toronto
    Art directors: Diti Katona, John Pylypczak
    Designer: Melatan Riden
    Photographer: Chris Nicholls
    Client: Lida Baday

  • 06 /09
    | 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa Box

    Design firm: Rodrigo Corral Design, New York
    Creative director: Sarah Habibi
    Client: Criterion

  • 07 /09
    | Measure Me Stick

    Design firm: Studio 1 a.m., Chicago
    Designers: Joerg Becker, Joshua Enck, Donna Piacenza, Jody Work
    Client: Studio 1 a.m

  • 08 /09
    | From Memory to Action: Meeting the Challenge of Genocide Exhibition

    Design firm: C&G Partners, New York
    Creative directors: Jonathan Alger; Jared Schiffman, Phillip Tiongson (Potion)
    Art directors: Jonathan Alger, Emanuela Frigerio
    Designers: Daniel Fouad, Pamela Jacobson, Laura Koo, Sarah Pokora
    Interactive designers: Young Cho, Jeff LeBlanc, Caroline Oh, Jared Schiffman, Phillip Tiongson (Potion); Justin Manor, David Small (Small Design)
    Client: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • 09 /09
    | Boralex 2008 Annual Report

    Design firm: Paprika, Montréal
    Creative director: Louis Gagnon
    Art director: Rene Clement
    Designer: Rene Clement
    Photographers: Raphael Helle, Monic Richard
    Copywriter: Lefebvre Financial Communciations, Inc.
    Project manager: Jean Doyon
    Printer: Transcontinental Litho Acme
    Client: Boralex


It's the Oscars of American graphic design. 2300 entries. 16 judges. 125 winners. All that's missing are the sequins and Hollywood spotlights but for many designers, the AIGA's 365 Design Competition is every bit as exciting.

AIGA, the professional association for design has, for 40 years, chronicled the changing field of communication design in an annual awards exhibition. This year's categories include Branding, Informing, Entertaining, Experimenting, Promoting, and Packaging. The work shown is from around the world and takes shape as motion graphics, interactive experiences, magazines, packaging and environmental design. Winning entries present the year's best eye candy for designers and innovative production techniques that celebrate the intelligence and craft of the profession.

The majority of awards in the 2010 show are for relatively small businesses or institutions, but only compared to winning entries for corporate giants like Target, Coca Cola, and Kleenex. Surprisingly absent are entries from heavy industry, manufacturing, government, banking, healthcare and other potent engines of our economy. Are there no design champions in these sectors? Did those submissions not pass the tough scrutiny of the jury charged with selecting designs that "demonstrate a masterful combination of effectiveness and aesthetics?"

I know they are out there. Maybe next year.

If there were a special citation, it should be awarded to the brave clients who champion this award winning work.

Great clients are a rare and treasured breed. They appreciate that three things are needed to create exceptional work:

Courage: These clients accept no less than the best. If they ask for "cutting edge," they aren't afraid to bleed.

Collaboration: Great clients participate with their designers in the process that leads to optimum business results. Great design is not a spectator sport.

Commitment: It's crucial to find the resources (i.e. money) necessary to produce the highest level of design. The customers will love you for it.

The show, designed by Lorena Duran, is now on display at the AIGA National Design Center at 164 Fifth Avenue, in New York, in the Archives at the Denver Museum of Art, and in the Design Archives online. In the coming weeks, it will also travel around the country. Of special note: In New York the show is complimented by an exhibition of recent work by Milton Glaser entitled: "In Search of the Miraculous or One Thing Leads to Another."