US Art Directors Club does something to encourage young talent (rather than just talking about it)

There’s been much talk recently on the ad agency business’ difficulties in attracting and nurturing young talent, Interpublic CEO Michael Roth remarking at the 4As that “nobody wakes up wanting to get into advertising” or words to that effect.

Some people are trying to encourage brilliant young guns so here’s a plug for the New York-based Art Directors Club which is calling for entries for its Young Guns 9 competition for creatives and designers aged 30 or younger.

The program (New York spelling here) is open to creatives who have worked at least two years, full-time or, rather importantly, freelance. Entrants can submit a combination of professional and personal work in graphic design, photography, illustration, advertising and art direction, environmental design, film, animation, video, interactive design, object design and typography.

Deadline for online entries is May 20, 2011, entry fee: $135. Late entries will be accepted through midnight EST May 30, 2011, with the addition of a $35 late fee. Full details are available here.

50 winners are chosen in each year by a jury of past ADC Young Guns (or slightly older guns).

Last year entries came from 38 countries with nearly half from outside the US.

British winners last year included Tomas Mankovsky, director, creative, Blink, London; Mark Ward, illustrator, London; Ian Wharton, creative director and partner, Zolmo, London; Gemma Correll, freelance, Norwich; HelloVon, designer, London and Martin Nicolausson, freelance, London.

But the big agency groups could surely do more too. With the shining exception of Saatchi & Saatchi’s annual New Directors’ Showcase at Cannes they don’t appear to do all that much.

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