I had the pleasure and privilege to judge this year’s Cleveland AIGA biennial design competition. My fellow judges, Stefan Mumaw and Diti Katona, were great partners in trying to be firm and fair-minded when judging the entries. Dawn Zidonis, AIGA’s chapter president was gracious, thoughtful and completely focused on having the process be fun but professional and the commitment of the chapter’s Director of Programming, Lee Zelenak, to having the many gears of the judging and the follow-up judges panel event mesh smoothly was only surpassed by his humor and enthusiasm.
Being focused on all things in-house, it was a special treat for me to meet Maggie Crosswhite and Claire Brothers, two young, earnest and passionate designers working in very different environments but sharing a heartfelt commitment to design, their profession, the organizations where they work and to their fellow designers.
Though Maggie works as a solo designer for Case Western Reserve University and Clarie as a Product Line Designer for American Greetings, the stories they related shared a common theme of 2 creatives looking for ways to grow professionally while serving their clients and managers to their fullest potentials. Their earnestness was touching and their passion inspiring.
We need more Maggies and Claires to step up and add their voices to the dialogue about how designers can become a powerful force in the companies where they work and to support their peers in any way they can.