Students Win National ADDY Awards

By Jenn O’Hanlon

UTEP News Service

An unprecedented four UTEP students have been recognized for their advertising and design work in a major national advertising competition.

Three students won gold awards and one earned a silver award at the National ADDY Awards Competition, an annual contest organized by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) that is open to both professional and student entries.Alejandro Cardona Deita won a gold ADDY award for packaging for client Inusitatus, a curioisty shop. Photo courtesy of the American Advertising Federation.Alejandro Cardona Deita won a gold ADDY award for packaging for client Inusitatus, a curioisty shop. Photo courtesy of the American Advertising Federation.

Clive Cochran, senior lecturer in the UTEP Department of Art for the graphic design program, said an achievement of this magnitude will draw attention to UTEP’s program.

“Winning one national ADDY award is a rare and difficult accomplishment; to win four is remarkable,” Cochran said. “It is unprecedented for any organization, professional or student, in the area. The diversity of the work is interesting and speaks to the diversity of our program.”

Other gold ADDY awards recognized work from some of the most prestigious art and design schools in the United States, including Art Center College of Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, VCU School of Mass Communication, Miami Ad School, and others. Only Art Center College of Design, considered by many designers to be the most prestigious design school in the country, won as many gold awards as students at UTEP.

Daniel McDonald won a gold ADDY award for a poster campaign for client Good Eats. Photo courtesy of the American Advertising Federation.Daniel McDonald won a gold ADDY award for a poster campaign for client Good Eats. Photo courtesy of the American Advertising Federation.“Beginning at the local level, UTEP students always amaze out-of-town judges brought in to award the El Paso ADDYs,” said Veronica Gonzalez, assistant director of student publications at UTEP. “An ongoing remark is that judges never expect to see such a high level of great student work at the volume they see from a city this size.”

In the advertising and design industry, it is considered a high honor to win a national ADDY. This year, there were 5,597 student entries for the ADDY competition. Of these, 41 were awarded silver and 25 were awarded gold ADDYs.

UTEP senior Alejandro Cardona Deita earned a gold ADDY award in packaging for client Inusitatus, a curiosity shop; senior Berenice Mendez earned a gold ADDY award for her poster design Thank You for Shopping with Us, created for Peace of Art, a poster exhibit to bring attention to and protest drug related violence in Juárez; and recent graduate Daniel B. McDonald won a gold ADDY award for a poster campaign titled Local Eats is Good Eats, for client Good Eats.

Victor M. Portillo received a silver ADDY award for logo design for client West Ride Cyclery.

“It’s been a great summer for all the winners,” said Portillo, a senior graphic design student.

Alejandro Deita, a double major in graphic design and printmaking and Gold ADDY award winner, will graduate next May.Berenice Mendez won a gold ADDY award for a poster design to bring attention to and protest drug related violence in Juárez. Photo courtesy of the American Advertising Federation.Berenice Mendez won a gold ADDY award for a poster design to bring attention to and protest drug related violence in Juárez. Photo courtesy of the American Advertising Federation.

“In this case my client had a store named Inusitatus and wanted a package design that would mimic what the store was selling,” Deita said. “It’s an oddity store and one could find anything within the four walls. The project was fun and challenging because I was giving an identity to something that has many variations. It gave me the opportunity to exploit my potential as a graphic designer in many ways that I had not been able to previously.”

The ADDY Awards are a three-tiered competition held at local, regional and national levels. Work entered in the AAF contest for 2012 was completed in 2011.

UTEP students entered and were winners in the local El Paso competition held in February 2012. All UTEP students advanced to the regional competition and ultimately to the national level competition held in June.

“Entering the ADDYs for the first time and winning such an important award not only here in El Paso, but also winning at the national level meant a lot to me,” Deita said. “This experience made me realize that my future as a graphic designer is full of potential, and it feels great to be awarded for something that I love to do.”

UTEP students have never before won multiple awards in one year.

“This achievement is a reflection of the quality of our graphic design program and of UTEP as a whole,” Cochran said. “More importantly, however, it is a reflection of the quality of our students. Their enthusiasm and dedication is what makes the difference.”