Stand-out work was in relatively short supply for last weekend’s local advertising and design industries’ awards, said some of this year’s judges.
The Ad Club of San Diego’s Creative Show presented 148 awards April 1. The judging of 748 entries had taken place several weeks before.
Fewer awards were handed out this time, noted an Ad Club representative. In 1999, there were more than 800 entries, and 252 awards given.
It seems to vary year to year, the rep said.
“A couple of companies seemed to really rule the show,” said Glen Wachowiak, one of the advertising judges. “After that, there was a lot of good work.”
Wachowiak, associate creative director for Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch Advertising, explained that the entries were quality but not “earth-shattering.”
But the two entries that took top honors did make a stir, he said.
The “Best of Show” winner in the advertising category was VitroRobertson’s campaign for locally based Taylor Guitars.
The campaign’s posters were patterned after storybooks and featured fictional tales of Taylor guitar owners.
“It was just an interesting approach,” Wachowiak said. “So much of the stuff you look at is ‘headline, visual.’ It did a good job of presenting its story in a nice way an invitation to read along with Taylor.
“They did a nice job of serving that up,” he said of the Downtown-based ad agency.
In agreement was Clive Piercy, a partner at Santa Monica design firm PHD. Piercy judged the graphics design entries but had snuck a look at the advertising submissions. He described the VitroRobertson-Taylor posters as “beautiful.”
Piercy was also impressed with the poster Tyler Blik Design created for Metabolife International, which won the design categories’ “Best of Show.” The posters feature Chinac, a product line influenced by traditional Chinese medicine, and have the Chinac name and drawings of herbs.
On the whole, however, Piercy wasn’t as pleased with many of the design submissions.
“The work was extremely derivative,” he said, noting that he and other judges were tough.
Piercy said the design firms with local high-tech start-up clients often took a cookie-cutter approach , and were wasting an opportunity.
“There seemed to be a rule, a look for these dot-com companies,” Piercy said. “I found a lot of work that was trying to look like it was somebody else’s work.”
“I see it all the time,” Piercy continued.
Local graphics designer Candice Lopez was presented with the Creative Show’s Paula E. Sullivan Award for outstanding career achievement.
Awards were presented in advertising (which included print, TV, radio and public service), graphics design (which included identity, letterhead, company literature, poster design, editorial design, book jackets and product packaging), Web site advertising and design, multi-language advertising, photograph, illustration, self-promotion and student work.
VitroRobertson won two golds, five silvers and 12 awards for excellence, and Blik Design won one gold and two awards of excellence.
Other gold winners, each locally based, were Big Bang Idea Engineering in Del Mar, Mires Design, Vanderschuit Studio and Marshall Harrington Photography.
Other winning agencies, each in San Diego, included Chapman Warwick Advertising, Visual Asylum, Matthews/Mark, Phillips Ramsey, Duotribe, Rafael Lopez Studio, DiZinno-Thompson and Left, A Design Co.