A County College of Morris (CCM) Professor of Graphic Design, Stephen H. Longo, recently entered an international design competition and captured top awards for his work.
“I was presented with a Gold Award of Excellence and two Silver Awards of Distinction in the 21st Annual Communicator Awards competition,” says Longo, of West Orange. The Gold Award was in the print advertising category for a poster designed for a CCM Department of Art and Design exhibition. Both Silver Awards were for a dimensional direct mail campaign for Team One, a marketing communications agency in Lyndhurst.
“The challenge with the poster was how do I communicate the various disciplines that would be represented in an art exhibition?” he says. “I explored many concepts and through the critical thinking stage, it developed into using a hand with the fingers representing various tools used by designers and artists.
The Team One direct mail campaign he designed was tailored to an audience of top corporate decision makers and was customized for each recipient. “The response rate was over 75 percent, which is unheard of in the direct-mail industry,” he adds. “The average response to a conventional direct-mail piece nationally is one half of 1 percent.”
The 2015 Communicator Awards had more than 6,000 entries received from across the U.S. and around the world, and is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. The awards were judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, a 600-plus member organization.
“I was amazed that the direct mail piece won in two categories and the poster was awarded top honors,” Longo says. “All the entries were judged by an international jury and I felt honored by the awards. When a majority of the judges see a positive and unique communication value in a piece, it reinforces my direction and motivates me even more. The design field is extremely challenging and it is nice when other designers applaud your work.”