SDSU advertising and design students win big at the ADDYs


SDSU students win all 17 student awards at the 45th Annual ADDY Awards.

News Editor

Students attending SDSU swept the ADDYS, a competition geared toward rewarding the best in advertising and design.

“The main goal of the competition is to promote creativity and design among design and advertisement professionals,” said Tim Steele, the interim head of the Visual Arts department.

“SDSU has always dominated the [local] awards and this year we swept.”

SDSU has won over 50 awards in the last three years, and this year students won all 17 possible student awards.

The awards program is structured so that individuals who are named gold winners have their work advanced to the regional level and then possibly to the national level.

“The student awards are juried by professional designers,” Steele explained. “They award prizes by what they deem to be the best designed work of the students.”

Steele explained the process of entering work as being similar to undergraduate research, saying that the works are peer reviewed and given recognition.

“It is one thing to sit in class and hear that your work is good,” Steele said, “but it is another thing to have someone else say that.”

As for what may lead a student to submit work, Steele said that professors inform students of the option, adding that they may even recommend certain works for students to enter.

Ultimately each student self selects which of their works they want to enter.

“Participation in the ADDY Awards is completely voluntary, but the teachers quite strongly encourage it,” said senior graphic design student, Hunter Murphy. “If you chose to participate then it is up to you to decide which category you compete in.”

Murphy, who was awarded a Best in Class for Collateral Material and an additional Best in Show award, explained how he decided on an entry for the show.

“There wasn’t too much of a process that I used to edit my work for the show,” Murphy said. “This year, I picked the work that I thought was most finished and functional.”

Steele and Murphy both explained the importance of the awards.

“The awards are really significant because they are recognized across the United States,” Steele said. “The competition is the first exposure for many of the students and it is a good way to open some doors and see how their work competes.”

“I chose to take part in the ADDY Awards because I believe that it is important to create competition amongst South Dakota designers,” Murphy said. “That competition helps us to improve and develop as designers.”

Steele said that some students have been hired partly because of the work they showed at the ADDYS.

“The biggest benefit to students is that many of the design professionals in the state are present to see each individual’s work,” he said. “People remember the work and those students have a leg up later on.”

Murphy, who also submitted work last year, shared similar thoughts.

“Winning an award at the ADDYS means recognition in the…design community,” Murphy said. “If you win an award, your work and name are both showcased at the ceremony and individuals are noticed by possible employers.”

Nationally, over 40,000 entries are submitted to the competition each year. SDSU gold award winners at the local level will soon be matched up against winners from Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin in the District 8 competition.

The ADDY Awards were originally founded in Florida in 1960 before the American Advertising Federation adopted it as a national competition in 1968. Since then, the competition has grown to acknowledge not only the work of those in the advertisement industry, but of students as well.

According the AAF’s website, applicants in the student categories must be enrolled full or part-time in an accredited educational institution within the United States.