KCAD Students, Alumni Flex Advertising Prowess in Local Level of 2023 American Advertising Awards

Posted March 7, 2023 in Student, Graphic Design

On West Michigan's biggest stage for advertising design, students in the KCAD Graphic Design program once again shone bright with entries that brought fresh and imaginative approaches to some of today's most recognizable brands. The program has continued its longstanding tradition of success at the local level of the American Advertising Awards in 2023 with students taking home 10 total ADDY awards across all student categories, including one of three coveted Judges' Choice Awards.

Leading the way was senior Olivia Brenner, who earned both a Judges' Choice Award and a Gold ADDY with "For Life," a campaign for Chaco that leaned fully into the footwear brand's penchant reputation for quality, versatility, and reliability. 

Two men sitting on a beach wearing sandles
Ad from "Chaco: For Life" campaign by Olivia Brenner (faculty: Angela Dow)

Those students who won Gold ADDY Awards will automatically move on to the district level of the competition, while Silver ADDY winners can advance via entry fee. With a good performance, those competing in districts will have the chance to showcase their designs on the national stage.  

Explore the galleries below to see work from all student winners. Congratulations to all these outstanding designers on their well-deserved success!   


Olivia Brenner - "Chaco: For Life" Campaign (faculty: Angela Dow)

Ingrid Hop - "Doc Martens: Stand Tall" Billboard Design (faculty: Chris Barnhart)

A giant women wearing a plaid skirt and black boots walks through the middle of a busy intersection in New York City

Hannah Jansen-Yee - Burt's Bees Rebrand (faculty: Joan Secrhist)



Jade Boersma - Inkkas Integrated Campaign (faculty: Joan Sechrist, Angela Dow)

Abigail McDiarmid - "Harley-Davidson: Common-Ground" Campaign (faculty: Chris Barnhart)

Sarah Schafer - "Planned Parenthood: Stay Safe Out There" Integrated Branding Campaign (faculty: Chris Barnhart)

A range of ads for condoms



Jade Boersma - Brix Soda Co. Integrated Campaign (faculty: Joan Sechrist, Angela Dow)

Jade Boersma - Brix Soda Co. Ad Campaign (faculty: Joan Sechrist, Angela Dow)

Olivia Lesperance - Halsey Manic Tour Branding Campaign (faculty: Angela Dow)



On the professional side, a number of local firms with KCAD connections earned a place in the winners' circle: 

Extra Credit Projects, a firm led by Rob Jackson ('89, BFA Illustration) that also includes Eric Lowe ('15, BFA Graphic Design), Evan Hatch ('21, BFA Graphic Design), and Aaron Sullivan ('04, BFA Graphic Design), took home a total of 17 awards. 

Grey Matter Group, a firm led by Rick Devon ('86, BFA Illustration) that also includes Andy Meyer ('00, BFA Visual Communication) and Kevin Buist ('18, MA in Visual and Critical Studies) also took home 17 total awards. 

Highland Group, a firm that includes Brent Schumacher ('18, BFA Graphic Design), took home three total awards. 

Scott Allen Creative, a firm led by Jeff Terpstra ('86, BFA Illustration), took home two total awards. 

Lydia Writes Good, a firm led by Lydia VanHoven-Cook ('16, BFA Graphic Design), took home one award. 


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