Meet the Promotion & Marketing Awards Judges

The design of persuasion is a complicated thing.

Flexing creative muscle for promotion isn’t easy; it takes focus, keen decision making, and interdisciplinary consideration. Designing for a purpose is complicated work, but talented designers make it look effortless and easy.

For marketing designers, promotion designers, or designers who design for a product, a purpose, or for persuasion, HOW’s Promotion and Marketing Design Awards offer exposure and excitement. 

Choosing winners for the Promotion and Marketing Design Awards is no easy feat either.

This year, three incredibly qualified judges will be the ones making the winning decisions.

Let’s meet the judges for the Promotion and Marketing Awards, and if you haven’t already, enter your design right here


Judge: Ke Li 

Three esteemed designers will judge the Promotion and Marketing Design Awards.

A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Ke Li is currently a Motion Designer for Google’s Material Design Team. He spends his time at work collaborating with some of the brightest minds in UI/UX design to increase the usability of Google products.

For Li, great promotion design immediately strikes the viewer. “The campaign ‘Block out the Chaos‘ for JBL from the agency Cheil Worldwide struck me like nothing else. I found it when I was searching for some references for great use of negative space for one of my students last year. What made it so remarkable was the two extremes in the picture,” says Li.

Those extremes leave lingering details too. “The extreme amount of details in the ‘chaos’ and the extreme lack of information in the empty area, paired with a contented smile on the characters’ faces really resonate with the campaign title, theme and the selling point of the product, which is ‘block out the chaos.’ The longer you dive into the details of the composition the funnier it gets, and at the same time, you appreciate the emptiness in the headphone area that much more,” he says.


Judge: Rafael Esquer

Three esteemed designers will judge the Promotion and Marketing Design Awards.

Esquer is an educator, a speaker, owner of Alfalfa Studios, and a designer with major influence. A native of the Sonora desert of Mexico, Esquer’s work can be found in the Library of Congress poster collection and the Olympic Museum in Switzerland. His speaking engagements have taken him across the U.S. and to Colombia, and he’s a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts.

In today’s increasingly connected world, Esquer thinks promotion designers face so much similarity. “A big hurdle for designers working today is the lack of originality. Most design and illustration looks the same because we see the same things; we go to the same places for inspiration; we follow similar artists/designers/illustrators/animators in social media. Part of the problem is (some) clients too! They feel comfortable with certain design aesthetics they’ve seen somewhere else therefore they either ask for it or approve it without asking for something unique. ”

For Esquer, maintaining a sense of self and originality is crucial. We must have a point of view, our own voice. I often follow principles I learned from Paul Rand: (1) Be both beautiful and useful; (2) Find inspiration in the mundane; (3) Be funny – which in my opinion is very hard to do; (4) Be stubborn…sometimes; (5) Be human first.”


Judge: Megan Cignoli

Three esteemed designers will judge the Promotion and Marketing Design Awards.

Meagan Cignoli is a creative director, designer, illustrator, and co-founder of production company Visual Country. She’s directed, produced, and brought her signature creative style to hundreds of brands, included Yves Saint Laurent, Google, Disney, and HBO. She’s illustrated for Fendi and Saks 5th Avenue, and stop motion animation work has won her a Cannes Lion.

For Cignoli, creating great design work comes from balancing priorities. “For me, I make sure to take all the jobs and then make some of them pet projects where I have really open-minded clients who let me run wild,” she says.

Maintaining your own creativity, she believes, can be a challenge. And taking enough time away from work is key to helping designers overcome it. She says, “You have your own personal hurdles to overcome against your own mind and creativity and being too inspired by others. I think the biggest hurdle there is not spending enough time playing, not spending enough time doing nothing, or away from a screen. It’s really important to play, spend time, make mistakes, make crappy things, learn from it.”


Our three judges know they’re looking for outstanding, innovative work. Send us your best, and you may just win a Promotion and Marketing Design Award! Deadline to enter is April 29th.

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