Art Directors Club of New York
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The Art Directors Club of New York is an organization for art directors in New York City. It was founded in 1920, and has grown as an industry group, promoting art directors' work through exhibitions and awards, including the annual DESI award for design excellence.
The Art Directors Club of New York (sometimes referred to as the "ADC") was founded in 1920 by Louis Pedlar and Earnest Elmo Calkins. With Fred Lamb, Calkins had organized the first advertising art exhibits in New York City in 1908, and saw a need for an organization that would “dignify the field of business art in the eyes of artists”, emphasizing his belief that “artistic excellence is vitally necessary to successful advertising”. By 1947, the Club's work was being credited with a gradual increase in advertising art standards throughout the United States.
In 1921, the club hosted their first juried exhibition with original work from over 250 contributors. The exhibition organized by Calkins and opened with an inaugural dinner on March 2, 1921. The awards that evening went to: Fred R. Cruger for black and white illustration; W.E. Hoitland for painting; and Rene Clark for poster design.
The Art Directors Club was restrictive in its membership during its early years. Women were not admitted until 1942. George Olden, an art director with the Columbia Broadcasting Company, was the first African-American member, having been elected to the Club in 1952.
The Art Directors' Club is no longer confined to print media, and art directors working in film and New media are also members. Thus, the focus of the group has expanded beyond strictly advertising. The Club sponsors events such as special speakers, traveling exhibits, and several annual awards of international scope. The Art Directors' Club Hall of Fame is another prestigious project of the Club. Throughout the year, ADC produces a wide range of programs on advertising, design, and interactive media for professionals, students, and others with a serious interest in visual communications.
The first logo was an interpretation of Albrecht Dürer’s signature. In 2009, ADC rebranded with the help of Trollbäck + Company. The new logo moved away from a monogram and introducing a word mark in bold hues. In 2014, they updated their logo with a monogram created by Sid Lee that references historical ADC monograms.
ADC Annual Awards
Earnest Elmo Calkins organized the first juried exhibition in 1921. The ADC evolved this exhibition into its ADC Annual Awards that receives up to 11,000 entries from around the world. Several awards are given out annually to recognize industry excellence internationally. The Award for Design Excellence is known as the "DESI" award. The main categories for the award, as of 2012, are: Advertising; Design; Illustration; Integrated; Interactive; Motion; Photography; and Special Awards.
ADC Young Guns
In 1991, ADC created the Young Guns award. ADC Young Guns are annual international awards given out to promising art directors under the age of 30. ADC GrandMasters recognizes experienced educators in art direction who have created a notable legacy in the industry.
Art Directors Annual
The Art Directors Annual is a review of the year's outstanding achievements in art direction. It has appeared yearly since 1922.
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