Students Win ADDY Awards

Rebecca A. Eckland
addy award ceremony

TMCC Graphic and Design Student Kayla Pressburger receiving a Gold ADDY for her design work.

In a time when marketing and advertising generally conjures associations of robocalls and spam in your inbox, the American Advertising Awards (a.k.a.: the ADDY)—an award sponsored by the American Advertising Federation—honors a kind of excellence that is often overlooked because it’s all around us. At its core, advertising is meant to be a combination of anthropology, psychology and sociology packaged in attractive design, clever language and—sometimes—video content that, in many ways, captures the creative spirit of a particular historical moment.

This year’s ADDY Awards event—with the theme “Diamonds in the Rough”—featured the work of local agencies and up-and-coming talent from Reno-area schools. While the AAF bestows awards across the entire advertising industry, it has also fostered a student division for enrolled full or part time college students who are not employed in the advertising industry.

Although TMCC students from the Graphic Communications Program have participated in the ADDYs for several years, 2019 marked a milestone: “[This year] found our students winning five Gold and eight Silver ADDY’s for work ranging from logo design and illustration to posters and collateral. The Graphic Arts & Media Technology program is proud of all of its student winners, the quality of their work reflects the high level of creativity and professionalism that the program strives for at all levels,” said Graphic Arts Professor Dan Bouweraerts.

TMCC student Kayla Pressburger, who was awarded two Gold and two Silver ADDYs this year, said the event itself was a positive experience. “The ceremony was exciting and inspirational. Everyone was extremely supportive of one another, and it was great to see a diverse range of amazing work from the industry,” she said.  

Owning Your Style

TMCC Graphics and Design student Katelyn Brooke received three ADDY awards for work she has completed as a Graphic and Design student at TMCC. Brooke said that she was encouraged to join the AAF as a way to build her portfolio and to get her name “out there” to potential employers.  “The organization creates a winner’s book,” she explained, “that is available nationwide and online-- so people can look you up, and see your work.”

The event accepts creations across several different media platforms, including website design, poster, illustration, video, logos and several others. Students from TMCC’s Graphic Communications Program—whose curriculum includes instruction in graphic design, web design and video animation/design—are encouraged to submit their work to the competition every year.

Brooke’s submission Starry Night received a Silver ADDY. The piece, which was based on Vincent Van Gogh's painting by the same name, utilized typed words to create texture for a piece intended to promote TMCC’s Fine Arts department. “I had to pick a department to promote through the play of expression versus simplicity,” said Brooke. The piece was somewhat of a departure for Brooke who self-describes her work as “edgy”—the swirl of colors and almost “chalky” appeal of the original painting made Van Gogh a natural choice.

“You just have to own [your style],” she said. “It’s OK to be different, just as long as you can be versatile to do other types of projects, too. In the end, you’re designing work for your client.”

Taking Home the Gold

Three TMCC students took home five Gold ADDY awards. TMCC student Melanie Zimmerman was recognized with two Gold ADDYs for her Illustration Kyl-O’s and for its accompanying Award Packaging. Erika Murray took home a Gold ADDY for her Adopting and Owning a Dog poster. Kayla Pressburger was awarded gold for her NISOD Poster and the TMCC Athletics Logo—a project that began with thumbnail sketches and a lot of research. “The TMCC Athletics logo was the most challenging [of my ADDY entries] because it needed to take a pre-existing, friendly-looking mascot and turn it into a sports logo that expresses vitality and energy,” she said. “To be honest, I almost gave up on creating that logo, but decided to push through my frustration and I’m really glad that I did.”

Pressburger, who decided to study graphic design because of her passion for art and design, said that TMCC’s program constantly challenged her in new ways while providing her opportunities to learn and grow as a graphic designer. “I would encourage students to enter their work into the ADDYs because it provides a great opportunity to get your work out there,” said Pressburger. “Also, my ‘cliche advice’ to new designers is to not give up. Over time, your work will improve as long as you work hard and remain open to growing as a designer.”  

For more information about TMCC’s Graphic Communications Program, call 775-673-7291.

Complete List of ADDY Award Winners

Gold ADDY Award Illustration
Melanie Zimmerman
"Kyl-O’s"

Gold ADDY Award Logo Design
Kayla Pressburger
"TMCC Athletics Logo"

Silver ADDY Award Logo Design
Kayla Pressburger
"STEM Studio"

Gold ADDY Award Posters
Kayla Pressburger
"NISOD Poster"

Gold ADDY Award Poster
Erika Murray
"Adopting and Owning a Dog"

Silver ADDY Award Poster
Katelyn Rose Brooke
"Fine Arts Starry Night in Type"

Silver ADDY Award Poster
Jaime Ramey
"Design Culture Now"

Gold ADDY Award Packaging
Melanie Zimmerman
"Kyl-O’s"

Silver ADDY Award Packaging
Kayla Pressburger
"Peaches & Cream Collaboration Beer"

Silver ADDY Award Packaging
Jaime Ramey
"Great Basin Beer Label"

Silver ADDY Award Collateral
Erwin Carpio
"Design Culture Now"

Silver ADDY Award Collateral
Erwin Carpio
"Music Poster"

Silver ADDY Award Collateral
Erika Murray
"Environmental Issue Booklet"

Bronze ADDY Award Packaging
Erwin Carpio
"Peach Point"

Bronze ADDY Award Annual Report or Brochure
Erika Murray
"Lubalin Graph Brochure"

Bronze ADDY Award Single
Katelyn Brooke
"Design Culture Now"

Bronze ADDY Award Single
Jackal Reyes
"Geoscience – Earth Rocks"

Bronze ADDY Award Illustration - Single
Katelyn Brooke
"Flight of the Type Owl"