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Always Be Prepared: KCAD Students Bring Their A-Game to 2019 West Michigan ADDY Awards

Posted March 19, 2019 in StudentAlumniGraphic DesignIllustration

The vintage Boy Scout/Girl Scout theme of the 2019 American Advertising Federation of West Michigan ADDY Awards may have imbued the annual event with its trademark playful atmosphere, but when it came time to name the winners, students from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) were all business.

KCAD Graphic Design students continued their dominance of the ADDY student categories at the regional level, winning 40 of the 43 awards given out. A similar trend continued for KCAD alumni, with 34 of the 70 professional awards handed out going to agencies or organizations where KCAD alumni are currently working.

The evening’s biggest winner was senior Dee Derusha, who in addition to winning three Gold ADDY awards and two Silver ADDY awards took home the prestigious Best of Show award for an ambient media branding campaign she dubbed “Past Modals” (faculty: Chris Fox). 

Senior Lydia Mejia also garnered special distinction, winning the Judges’ Choice award for her book design “Everybody Outside” (faculty: Suzanne Jonkman).

(above): "Past Modals" by Dee Derusha; (below): "Everybody Outside" by Lydia Mejia


Explore the galleries below to see work from all KCAD student winners:





In the professional categories, KCAD’s Communications department got in on the action as well, winning a Gold ADDY for the college’s 90th Anniversary branding campaign.

Grey Matter Group, a firm led by KCAD alumnus Rick Devon (’86, BFA Illustration) that also employs a number of other KCAD alumni, took home the most professional awards with 18, including the Best of Show award for a brand video created for The Phoenix Society.

Other winning firms/organizations with KCAD alumni connections included 2 Fish Company, Auxiliary Advertising and Design, Baas Creative, Freshwater Digital, Highland Group, Meijer, Sturgeon Design Co., and Taproot Pictures.

“The success of these KCAD students and alumni is further proof that our Graphic Design program prepares students to be not just technically skilled designers, but also critical thinkers and innovative communicators who can use their creativity to influence industries and shape society for the better,” said KCAD Dean of Academic Affairs Charles Wright. “KCAD congratulates all of this year’s ADDY winners, and we look forward to seeing what kinds of opportunities they’ll uncover next.”

All of the student and professional entries that won Gold ADDY awards will now move on to the district level of the competition by default. Silver ADDY award winners can move on to the district level via entry fee.


Click here to learn more about KCAD’s Graphic Design program