Unlike most design awards that are judged solely by designers, the Brand New Awards judging panel is comprised of five individuals: Three designers and two clients, the latter invited by two of the designers. This combination places emphasis on concept and execution but with an increased level of scrutiny toward strategy and business.
Judges convene in Austin, TX to collectively select the work.
Principal, Creative Director, Duffy & Partners
Joe is one of the most respected and sought after creative directors and thought leaders on branding and design in the world. Joe’s work includes brand and corporate identity development for some of the world's most admired brands, from Aveda to Coca-Cola to Sony to Jack in the Box to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and most recently from Bacardi, Hallmark, Fisher-Price Toys, and Qatar Foundation. His work is regularly featured in leading marketing and design publications and exhibited around the world. In 2004 he founded Duffy & Partners as a new kind of branding and creativity company, partnering with clients and other firms in all communication disciplines. Also in 2004, he received the Legacy Medal from the AIGA for a lifetime of achievement in the field of visual communications. His first book—Brand Apart—was released in July 2005 and in 2006, he was recognized as one of the “Fast 50” most influential people in the future of business by Fast Company. In March 2010, Joe was honored with the AIGA Fellow Award for his many years of leadership in the design and business community. In addition to his role as Creative Director, Joe actively contributes to high-profile blogs such as Fast Company, Forbes CMO Network and in various design business outlets.
Client of Duffy & Partners; Founder/Co-Owner, Loll Designs
Greg is currently founder and co-owner of Loll Designs, a sustainable outdoor furniture brand that is high in design, low in impact on the environment, and socially responsible. Studying Literature and Environmental Geography at three different University of Minnesota campuses with aspirations to become an environmental writer helped solidify his strong beliefs that a business should be responsible not only to its customers, but also to its employees and the planet at large. Benson's simple, sustainable approach to business has served him well so far. Benson is also part owner of Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, a cutting board line sold in 5000 retail stores and distributed to more than 50 countries. The company grew out of a desire to put skate park manufacturer TrueRide's scraps to good use. (TrueRide was originally owned by Benson, his brother Dave, and Tony Ciardelli and was sold in 2007 after 10 years and more than 450 skate parks).
Loll Designs also originated from this mindset of using materials economically and ecologically. Benson's interest in Loll Designs, however, doesn't just end there. Passionate about design, Benson's initial sketches often become fully realized designs. Benson is inspired by notable twentieth century modernist design, and his influences often shine through in the unembellished finished products. Two of Benson's designs, the Cabrio Lounge Chair (2009) and Pliny the Lounger (2011), were honored with Good Design Awards by the Chicago Athenaeum. In his free time Benson experiences the joys and tribulations of raising three young children with his wife of 12 years.
Founder and Design Director, thirst
Rick has been influencing the design discourse internationally since 1988. He is a leading presence in design as practitioner, educator, and mentor. In 2011, he was awarded the best in communication Design by the cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, an honor designated by the White House. The AIGA honored Valicenti the Medal in 2006, the highest honor of the graphic design profession, for his sustained contribution to design excellence and the development of the profession. He received the AIGA/chicago Fellow in 2004, and has been a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) since being invited in 1996.
Valicenti has juried the President’s Design Awards for the National Endowment for the Arts during the George H.W. Bush and William Clinton administrations, has received numerous awards, and has been published in practically every major graphic design publication. Rick also serves on the Board of Directors of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been published in practically every major graphic design publication. A 356-page monograph on the thirst work was published in 2005 by the Monacelli Press titled, Emotion as Promotion. Throughout his career, Valicenti has publicly presented his works to over 100 audiences on six continents.
Client of Thirst; Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, Maya Romanoff
Having shaped her design sensibility and cultural perspective, Maya Romanoff always assumed his niece, Laura, would work for the company. In 1999, after having honed her skills in marketing creative products, Laura’s career path and the company’s trajectory intersected perfectly and she joined the company as Marketing Director. A few years later, Laura took responsibility for global sales, as well, and in concert with Joyce Romanoff, President, she oversaw substantial growth of the company’s sales network internationally. Laura oversees all public relations, print, promotions, sampling, web content and advertising. Her passion lies in shaping the Maya Romanoff brand, and in seeking to ensure the marketing materials mirror the beauty of the company’s surfacing materials.
Prior to joining Maya Romanoff, Laura served as Director of International Marketing for Tel-Ad, the largest commercial television channel in Israel. She was responsible for developing materials and relationships to lock in partnerships with The History Channel, E! Entertainment Channel, Fashion and the Cartoon Network. She also developed co-productions with networks in the US, Italy, France, England, Germany and Australia. While in Jerusalem, Laura worked with the director Dan Setton at SET Productions. They co-wrote documentary films, including Golden Spire Award winner and Emmy nominated Shaheed which aired on HBO and CNN featuring extended interviews with failed suicide bombers. She learned the dynamics of shaping a powerful and flexible brand by literally writing the book on Nickelodeon’s brand. Laura currently serves on the board of Designs for Dignity, working to make design accessible to those who need it most.
Founder, Imaginary Forces
Karin Fong is a director and designer. A founding member of Imaginary Forces, she infuses her work with a hybrid of filmmaking and design. Karin began her career armed with an art degree from Yale and a stint animating for Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? She then found a niche in creating film and TV title sequences, earning multiple nominations and an Emmy for main title design. Her reel includes work for Boardwalk Empire, Charlotte’s Web, Gossip Girl, and Ray, to name a few. The ad world soon came knocking and Karin began helming spots for the likes of Herman Miller, Target, and Honda. Her work has since extended to non-traditional mediums, including cinematics for the Sony Playstation game God of War III, and large-scale video installations for sites as diverse as Lincoln Center, Times Square, the Wynn Las Vegas, and the LA Opera.
Karin’s work has been shown at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Wexner Center, Artists Space, The Walker Art Center, and in numerous publications about art and film.