You may already be familiar with Stephen H. Longo’s work. His designs have graced the packages of products ranging from Haagen-Dazs ice cream, to StarKist tuna, to 9Lives cat food.
This year, Longo, professor of graphic design at County College of Morris (CCM), has received an honorable mention International Creativity Award for Branding in the 41st Annual International Creativity Competition for his client The Paulinskill Poetry Project. Longo, a resident of West Orange, designed a new logo and related materials for the Poetry Project as part of a rebranding project.
Creativity International received more than 1,100 entries from 35 countries in its latest contest. The awards competition is one of the longest-running and most highly respected competitions among advertising and graphic design professionals. Longo’s design, along with the work of the other winners, will be featured in the Creativity Awards Annual Book. Those works also will be exhibited in London, San Francisco and Berlin this year as part of the organization’s International Design Talks. In addition, the award-winning projects can be found on the Creativity Award’s website at www.creativityawards.com/41st_ANNUAL.php
A consistent award-winner, Longo last year was presented with a Best in Category Award of Distinction from the American Graphic Design & Advertising (AGDA) for a set of menus he designed for the Matsuya Japanese Steak House in Saddle Brook.
The Paulinskill Poetry Project is a small press committed to bringing attention to the “voices” of the wildlife species found along the Paulinskill, Walkill, Musconetcong and Delaware rivers.
“The members of The Paulinskill Poetry Project asked me to design a logo or brand that incorporated the image of a Great Blue Heron which frequents the Paulinskill River,” Longo said. Once the logo was approved, Longo then incorporated that design into business card, envelope and letterhead designs for the project. In addition, he created the designs for four poetry books as well as a t-shirt design and CD cover using the same concept of a heron.
“It was a pleasure to become part of such a project,” he said.
Longo, associate professor and coordinator of the Graphic Design program at CCM, has been teaching at the college since 2001. He is very enthusiastic about design and loves teaching his students the art.
“I will never stop designing! I enjoy living vicariously and sharing design pitfalls and accomplishments with students,” he said. “Students today are very aware of the need for a college education before entering the design field and I want to help them as much as I can to see the benefits of a career in design.”
Before starting his own design firm, Longo worked for several major international design groups including CatoJohnson, Young & Rubicam, and Lippincott & Margulies Inc.
Students seeking a career in design, he said, should embrace critical thinking skills first before entering the field.
“A good liberal arts background is essential to being a well-rounded designer,” said Longo. “Designers should have strong English and math skills since they will be asked to write proposals, abstracts and briefs and will need to employ math skills to design problems and digital production.”
Stephen Longo Photo: Shelley Kusnetz Photography