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KCAD Graphic Design Students Steal the Show at the 2020 West Michigan ADDY Awards

Posted April 1, 2020 in StudentAlumniGraphic Design

While the Gatsby-esque event branding harkened back to the Roaring Twenties, the real story of the 2020 American Advertising Federation of West Michigan ADDY Awards was the forward-thinking design work of KCAD students.

Students in the Graphic Design program dominated the competition, earning 44 of the 47 awards given out in the ADDY student categories at the regional level. KCAD alumni also got in on the action, with a number of professional awards handed out going to agencies or organizations where KCAD alumni are currently working.

The evening’s biggest winner was December 2019 graduate Caitlyn Straley, who in addition to winning two Gold ADDY awards and one Bronze award took home the prestigious Best of Show award for her “Filter” integrated brand identity campaign (faculty: Suzanne Jonkman, John Koziatek).

"Filter" by Caitlyn Straley

KCAD students also swept all five Judges’ Choice awards, with Kelsey Cunningham, Becca Morris, Carrie Scheffler, and Jasmyne Schierbaum (x2) receiving distinctions given by the judging panel of industry professionals to student entries they found especially compelling.

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"I've judged 7 ADDYs, and I have to say that this student competition was the best I've ever seen in all the cities I've judged in,” said judge Kelly Butler, a Los Angeles-based creative consultant. “I was extremely impressed."

Explore the galleries below to see winning work from all KCAD students!


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In the professional categories, Extra Credit Projects, an ad agency led by KCAD alumnus Rob Jackson (’89, BFA Illustration) that also employs a number of other KCAD alumni, took home the most professional awards with 9. The agency’s winning entries included work for local and national clients—such as the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, MSU College of Human Medicine, Blandford Nature Center, and YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids—and spanned nine categories from packaging to events to public service to integrated campaigns.

Billboard image of child swimmingPart of the ADDY-winning ad campaign Extra Credit Projects created for the YMCA (image courtesy of Extra Credit Projects)

Extra Credit Projects also sponsored the student awards, continuing its commitment to community-focused work. The agency recently expanded its distinctly human-centered brand of design to Detroit, where Jackson and his colleagues hope to tap into the city's thriving spirit of innovation while making a difference in the local community.

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.


Learn more about KCAD’s Graphic Design program.