Image courtesy of @socialsurgeofficial Instagram


By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie Posted on Feb 08, 2023

ADC Jury Chairs share how they've blazed their own trails

The theme of the ADC 102nd Annual Awards is “Blaze Your Own Trail,” so to keep this momentum rolling we asked our ADC Jury Chairs to reflect about a time when they felt like Trailblazers– it could be an important lesson or a project they feel particularly proud of working on.

The eight Trailblazers below tailored their answers to the individual disciplines they will be judging. We hope these incredible projects will inspire you to submit your own trailblazing work into the ADC Awards by the next deadline on February 17next Friday!

Mathias Appelblad
Global Creative Director, SEB Group
Interactive Jury

There's always an opportunity to think or make something in a different way. As a person or a creative culture matures, the biggest danger is when you think you've cracked it. This is the way to think. This is the way to do something. This is the process. At the end of the day, there's fiscal responsibility for both agencies and brand-side creative departments. You need to turn something around in a certain amount of time. But the comfort of a certain process often ends up yielding a certain result. Not necessarily bad, but it could have been something different. Forcing and encouraging yourself and your team to not get stuck in a process sounds easy, but is among the hardest things to do.


Luke Hayman
Partner at Pentagram
Publication Design Jury

In terms of editorial design - I'm proud of our recent work for the Philadelphia Inquirer - a 190-year-old old newspaper that has made significant investments in its brand, and its print and digital versions. They have invested in a beautiful suite of custom fonts by hugely talented Henrik Kubel at A2 Type. As a bonus we worked on the identity and launch chapter of A More Perfect Union, a year-long series investigating systemic racism in America through institutions founded in Philadelphia.


Pelle Sjoenell
Chief Creatvie Officer at Activision Blizzard
Gaming Jury

I am proud of the time my brother Calle and I decided we wanted to launch an album by having all the street musicians in New York play it– we just had to make it happen somehow. Eventually, we broke new ground when we secured Oasis as the band and NYC as the client, and as a result our careers weren't the same after. We could have so easily given up and not done it, if we hadn’t blazed our own trail.



Oasis Dig Out Your Soul - On the Streets


BBH / New York


NYC & Company and Warner Brothers Records

Annual ID



2009 Advertising: Non-Broadcast / Single


Francine Candiotti
Fashion Designer
Apparel / Accessory / Footwear Design

I created a brand called Social Surge that debuted the first universal and sustainable clothing line. I am an innovative fashion designer who wants to disrupt the apparel industry by including innovative and human-centered design to create clothing that is more accessible for all.

Social Surge’s inclusive styles blend accessibility and fashion together to make getting dressed easier. We are a new voice striving to be instrumental in promoting the acceptance of people of all body images and identities. At its core it strives to bring about social change by looking at the consumers input to dictate its designs.


Image courtesy of Social Surge 


Takashi Murakami
Artist at Kaikai Kiki
Illustration Jury

Back in 2003, I distributed my art for free as a bonus toy that came with chewing gum. The project was called Superflat Museum.

Superflat Museum is a series of shokugan figures with a retail price of 350 yen. Shokugan in Japanese means “snack toy–” toys that are found in boxes of snacks and sweets— you are paying for the snacks, and the figures enclosed in the packages are essentially free. The values of these figures are not defined by any set price. Even in my artistic career this is something quite unprecedented.

One of my works, a life-size sculpture Miss Ko2, sold for over half a million dollars at a Christie's Auction in New York City in 2003. I heard it set the record for contemporary Japanese art. The same Miss Ko2 figure is also included in Superflat Museum. It generates a great confusion of values by juxtaposing a half million dollars with “free.”

My definition of art is the moment an artist or a work appears with the power to instigate the overturn of values. Therefore the crucial point for the presentation of “free" artwork in the current artistic shokugan project is the moment it can provide the opportunity for people to rethink the sense of values itself.


Image courtesy of Sotheby's


Mary Lewis
Creative Director & Founding Partner at Lewis Moberly
Packaging / Product Design Jury

Retailers love to change packaging frequently, keeping consumers guessing and reappraising. Not Waitrose & Partners Cooks’ Ingredients– this has remained on the shelf for 17 years unchanged.

Conceived as a cultural trigger, the design marked the era when UK consumers discovered cooking. Once we ate to live, now we live to eat. Celebrity chefs, TV programs, editorial space, and above all, spontaneity feed our enthusiasm. We are persuaded to throw away the cookbook with all its laborious measurements and relax our approach. Great cooking is within everyone’s reach.

The packaging design for this is based on a dialogue with the consumer. Labels demand attention and a response. “Just add a dash, a splash, or a sprinkle... Go easy on the garlic, don’t forget the candles…”A simple typographic style paces the emphasis, and the conversation extends across some six hundred products.

Collected by consumers, awarded by designers, recognized by marketers, and championed by the press, it’s modest and engaging, and it spearheaded a new tone of voice in retail. This is the one I am most proud of.


Image courtesy of Waitrose & Partners Cooks' Ingredients


Cara Mandel
Co-Founder / CEO at Interwoven Immersive & Senior Producer at AltspaceVR and Microsoft Mesh
Experiential Design Jury

My company, Interwoven Immersive, is currently in the midst of a multi-year Alternate Reality spy game for one of our clients. Every year for his birthday, we send his guests on wild missions completed with actors, puzzles, and exciting twists and turns. The big finale is coming up and we’ve got some good tricks up our sleeves…



Nisha Mathew Ghosh
Architect, Artist, & Curator
Architecture / Interior / Environmental Design Jury

My favorite project in the oeuvre of Mathew & Ghosh Architects is an unbuilt 2nd place competition winner for a Memorial at the site of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in Bhopal, India. The project advocates a re-memorializing of the landscape by cleaning the site and enabling the scars of the landscape to house rehabilitation. Redressal via architectural strategy is a qualifying means to equitability and sustenance for people and landscapes.

Image courtesy of Mathew & Ghosh Architects


Submit your amazing work to the ADC 102nd Annual Awards by February 17!



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