Editor’s Column

We received 11,819 entries to this year’s Design Annual, down just slightly from the previous two years. That said, this was still a sizable show that impressed the judges in its variety.

Go to Jurors Biographies

“I was pleasantly surprised by the wide array of styles of work,” said Drew Davies of Oxide Design Co. in Omaha, Nebraska. “The entries displayed a great showcase for the huge number of visual ways in which you can go about conveying a message.”

“I was happy to see quite a few pieces outside of the editorial category using illustration,” said David Plunkert of Spur Design in Baltimore, Maryland. “Illustration tends to warm up an otherwise cold piece of corporate communication.”

When asked about innovations this year, most judges were in agreement that economic conditions are still making clients cautious, although David Bates of BC Design in Seattle, Washington, saw new directions in motion graphics.

“This was the stuff that I felt design was made for... pure, visual stimulation,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what the future brings to this segment of design. It may be that we (designers) will all need to offer this in order to be considered true designers.”

“Design as a strategy, probably provides the highest value at the lowest cost to any business. We need to learn to think of design as an asset.” —Paula Savage

How can the design profession improve its image with clients? Jurors’ responses were forceful. “This will only happen when designers can put forth better ideas than they are doing currently. Most designers now are only business decorators not collaborators,” said David Stoyan Wooters of Stoyan Design in Costa Mesa, California. “The process of finding that exceptional idea can be a difficult task, but it is what we have to do and the best thing we have to offer. A compelling idea that resonates within the company, throughout the industry and with the customer is a priceless service that a good design firm can provide and, in doing so, can push designers up the ranks and in the boardroom where we belong, as true business collaborators.”

 “I have observed that creative people often scoff at ‘business,’ disdain market research, disregard rules and sales history,” said Jennifer Jerde of Elixir Design in San Francisco, California. “The more we understand these concerns, the more freedom we are given by our clients.”

Many jurors agreed that communication technology will continue to be a driving force of change on design, and may actually increase opportunities. “Our world has become very visual,” said juror Paula Savage of Savage Design Group in Houston, Texas. “The designer’s role has become increasingly important, because ‘to see’ is to understand. As eyes are trained and minds start to eliminate the clutter, people will recognize good from bad design. Designers will be increasingly needed to translate ideas into a visual language that people understand across communications media.”

 “While I’d like to think that ink on paper is here to stay, I think it’s safe to say that whatever ends up being the cheaper medium to deliver a message to the most people is going to win out,” added Plunkert. “While this might not change our role per se, it will alter the longevity and timeliness of our work.”

“Designers are at a crossroads. We can choose to be the creator of brands and products or we can simply do this ourselves.” —David Bates

As in past judgings, we employ a two-step process: screening and finals. For screening, the jurors work in teams of three, one team per hall. Each hall is equipped with a projector for slides and six rows of tables for print. All but the smallest categories are split into thirds so each team screens a third of the entries. The judges alternate between viewing a carousel of slides and a set-up of print entries.

During the finals, all nine jurors work together. Print entries are again spread out on the tables. Two paper cups, one white for “in,” the other red for “out,” with slots cut in the bottom, are placed upside down to the right of the pieces. The jurors vote by putting a different colored tile into the bottom of the appropriate cup. The colored tiles allow us to make sure that every entry is voted on by every judge.

Finalists submitted on slides are again voted on by each juror checking “in” or “out” on scoring sheets.

Judges were not permitted to vote on projects they were directly involved in. When a judge’s piece was in the finals, either Jean Coyne or I would cast the ninth vote.

I would like to thank our jurors for their conscientious efforts in making the selections for the 45th Design Annual. —Patrick Coyne ca

Jurors Biographies


David Bates


BC Design

David Bates, principal at Seattle, Washington-based principal, has been in the design business for eighteen years. Eleven years of his career were spent as a lead designer at Hornall Anderson Design Works, a prominent Seattle design firm. Bates co-founded BC Design in 1998, with partner Mike Calkins. David’s design strengths include identity development, print collateral, packaging and three-dimensional environmental graphics. BC Design has gained a reputation for uncommon work and smart, sophisticated, durable design solutions in areas of branding, corporate and product identity, packaging, print collateral and new media. The five-year-old firm has already distinguished itself with dozens of retail, food and beverage, and corporate clients.


Drew Davies

Founder, design director

Oxide Design Co

Drew Davies is the founder and design director of Oxide Design Co. in Omaha, Nebraska. Davies is a 1995 Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) graduate with a major in painting and graphic design, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi. He receives much of his inspiration from all types of ephemera—both old and modern—and as such, surrounds himself with rows of shelves overflowing with kitsch and curios collected throughout the years. Drew has ten years of experience in the business of graphic design, and has owned and operated Oxide Design Co. three years. Oxide’s work has received numerous awards from design competitions including American Institute of Graphic Arts 365, ADDYs, Communication Arts and Graphis.


Jennifer Jerde


Elixer Design

Jennifer Jerde was born in Los Angeles, California. She graduated in 1988 from Tufts University in Boston and the Museum School of Fine Arts, with a degree in art history and minor in fine art. She then attended the California College of Arts in San Francisco, where she received a B.F.A. with high honors. After working at Tolleson Design for two years, Jerde founded Elixir Design in 1992. Elixir specializes in corporate identity, marketing collateral and catalog design—all built around inspired branding strategy. In 1997, while continuing to run Elixir, Jerde was hired by Robert Redford to act as creative director for the Sundance Catalog Company, the main profit engine for several nonprofit arts entities. Jerde is a visiting teacher at the California College of Arts. She lives in Mill Valley with her husband and two daughters.


David Plunkert


Spur Design

David Plunkert is a co-founder of Spur Design, a Baltimore, Maryland-based, six-person design and illustration studio formed in 1995. Spur operates out of a renovated warehouse which also houses Spur Propaganda Gallery. Plunkert has been recognized both nationally and internationally by AIGA, American Illustration, AR100, Communication Arts, Graphis, I.D., Novum, Print, The 100 Show, Society of Illustrators, Type Directors Club and many others. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, The Museum für Kunst und Gerwerbe Hamburg, and The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum. Also, his work has been included in group exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea. David has served on the board of AIGA/Baltimore and has been a guest speaker at various AIGA chapters. A graduate of Shepherd College in West Virginia, he has taught there and at the Maryland Institute, College of Art.


Paula Savage


Savage Design Group

Paula Savage is president and creative director of Savage Design Group, in Houston, Texas. She founded the firm in the early 1970s and for the past 30+ years has been providing design solutions, branding and identity programs, annual reports, marketing collateral and interactive media. She was one of the early pioneers in interactive media and Web site design. The firm’s work has been featured in most major design publications. Paula received her B.F.A. from The University of Texas where she graduated cum laude in graphic design. She has served as past president of AIGA/Texas, as director of the Art Directors Club of Houston and, most recently, on the national board of the Association of Professional Design Firms.


Curt Schreiber

Vice President

VSA Partners

Curt Schreiber is vice president of the Chicago-based design agency, VSA Partners, and a member of the firm’s board of directors. In addition to design leadership and creative direction of VSA’s cross-disciplinary teams, Schreiber participates in the long-term strategy of the 90-person firm, manages daily business in Chicago and co-manages the New York office. Curt’s work has been recognized by more than 200 international design and communications organizations, publications and competitions, and is included in the permanent collection of the U.S. Library of Congress. He was a 2004 nominee for the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards. Curt grew up in Davenport, Iowa. He joined VSA in 1991, directly after receiving a B.F.A. in design from Iowa State University.


Scott Stowell



Scott Stowell is the proprietor of Open, a New York studio that produces print, packaging, broadcast and Web projects. The work and philosophy at Open has been featured in Communication Arts and Graphis. Recent projects include the identity, broadcast and Web design for art 21, a PBS program about contemporary art, and an identity and campaign materials for EarthAction. Before founding Open in 1998, Scott was the art director of Colors, Benetton’s international youth magazine headquartered in Rome, Italy. Before that, he was senior designer at Tibor Kalman’s design studio M&Co in New York after he received a B.F.A. in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design. Scott also teaches design at Yale University and is the recent serving vice president of AIGA New York. Scott grew up in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts.


Barbara Woolley

Principal, Design director

Hambly & Wolley Inc.

Barbara Woolley is principal and design director at Hambly & Woolley Inc. in Toronto, Canada. Woolley graduated with honors from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. She began her career as an art director at Saturday Night Publications and was responsible for many magazine redesigns and start-ups. She later joined Tudhope Associates as a senior designer and subsequently became the design director for the Spencer Francey Group. With her partner Bob Hambly, Barbara Woolley formed Hambly & Woolley Inc., a multi-disciplinary graphic design consultancy in 1990. Barbara directs projects for a diverse group of clients both in Canada and the U.S. and is the former chair of the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, a member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Barbara has lectured and taught at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She has won many national and international awards.


David Stoyan Wooters

Principal, Creative director

Stoyan Design

David Stoyan Wooters is principal and creative director of the Costa Mesa California-based graphic design firm Stoyan Design. Born and raised in Southern California, David is an alumnus of California State Long Beach and founded Stoyan Design shortly after graduating in 1985. The firm has grown with a body of work that includes corporate communication, branding and Web design. Stoyan Design’s work has been recognized by many national and multi-national competitions and publications, including Communication Arts, Graphis Annual Reports, Graphis Design Annual, the Mead Annual Report Show, the New York and Los Angeles Art Directors Clubs, the Sappi Design Awards Show, Print magazine and the AR100 Award Show. David has been a juror for many national design competitions including the AR100 show and the Sappi Designer of the Year awards show.

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