The American Advertising Federation (AdFed) hosted a gallery and awards show for artists and designers on February 24 at the Parkview Mirro Center in Fort Wayne.

The show is for both professional artists as well as students from schools in the surrounding Fort Wayne area, such as Ivy Tech, Huntington University, IPFW, and University of St. Francis.

The shows purpose is “To connect and inspire the current and future creative, media and marketing professionals of Northeast Indiana through enriching and engaging networking, social and educational opportunities, and to encourage and celebrate advertising excellence.”

Senior Christian Garver won “Best in Show” for his project “B2 Films: Collateral Spread.”

Did you think the venue was a good place for the awards to be showcased? Did they need more or less space?

It was a little big based off of the two previous shows, which were in different locations and smaller, which made it more intimate. The layout was good, but the tables didn’t serve a purpose due to no food being served other than appetizers. Overall the venue was good, just a little too big.

What did you think of all the artwork from the various schools and professionals?

Part of this might be just because there seemed to be a lot more student work, but it seemed like there wasn’t as many pieces from professional work as previous years. That said, there were clearly a lot more companies that I expected to see from years past that didn’t have anything submitted. The work that was there was obviously still good because it’s professional, but I think the students kind of dominated the show this year. They had a lot of good stuff — a lot of variety in pieces from photography to general layout work and illustrations. It was a good representation. It was kind of unfortunate not to know what schools did what work. You don’t know until the awards. But at that point, you lose track of all that you saw. There was so much work for them to divide it by school, but just to know where the quality of work that is coming out consistently from a school would’ve been nice.

Were there any pieces that stood out to you?

For me, there’s certain things I’m partial to, and they’re very nerdy things that people wouldn’t
understand, like package design, boxes, die-cut pieces of paper. The normal person shouldn’t care about a piece of paper, but I do. I guess that’s just half the fun of it — being able to appreciate the small things that common, everyday people overlook. There was one mailer — that was part of a whole collateral brand set that I really wasn’t a fan of everything in the set — but there was this one particular piece in there that was printed really nicely on this satin, glossy, metallic paper that was die cut and transparent. It was really cool. It got to the point were you couldn’t tell if something was a professional or a student piece, and it wasn’t revealed until the actual
awards. Some of the concepts from students were well executed enough that the normal person wouldn’t be able to tell.

What was your inspiration for your “B2 films” branding piece?

B2 itself, obviously, that’s it. Beginning of first semester, I texted my group chat of other Baker second individuals who are mostly film majors. Asking for ideas of what to do for senior project, they said to brand the fictitious film company that we had already talked about in the past of making.

Would you change anything in the final piece and/or its presentation?

I would’ve submitted more pieces from the set. There’s a lot more to my senior project that wasn’t submitted due to financial constraints of what could be afforded to be submitted. So there’s things like CD sleeves, business cards, letterheads and envelopes, and all those things that are depicted in the image that won, but having a Photoshop mock-up versus actually showing a real thing that exists is taking it one step further. It’s the feasibility of it, the blending of professional to student work, that when you actually have something in hand, you kind of get lost to whether or not its real.

How did you feel when you were called for “Best in Show?”

I was really confused. Based on how Huntington operates for our juried art shows, I was assuming it would follow under the same guide — if you win honorable mention, which is what I took as the golds and silver awards for the other categories, you’re not eligible for anything higher. So the fact that the only three pieces of mine got a gold, I figured I was done and out and didn’t expect I’d be in the running for anything like that. I recognized the past winners and I guessed the kind of areas that they were typically in, then knowing that mine wasn’t in that, or at least didn’t hold up to those. I was still happy to have won awards, obviously, but I would’ve been fine without Best in Show. Or even getting a judges choice, —that would’ve been cool, too. It was the end of the night and I was kind of tired and zoning out cause I was like, “Oh it’s the end of it. Yeah I’ll see what’s going on, but it doesn’t really pertain to me,” and then all of a sudden, I’m like, “That’s my name.” And then your mind kind of stops working for a second because then you have to tell your body, “Hey, you’re supposed to stand up and walk on stage now,” which you weren’t prepared to do at all in the first place. I didn’t realize it was the Best in Show. I thought it was just another Judges Choice, especially since they still didn’t have the Best in Show award yet. The award they gave me was a plaque for one of the gold awards that won earlier. So when I opened the box, all it said was “Gold Award,” so I was even more confused. I’m like, “Wait, what was that award for?” Then I asked somebody and they said it was a Best in Show and then it all made sense in my head.