Posted Mar 12, 2010 by in Random Thoughts

Judging the One Show This Week

Breakfast before One Show Judging: Day Two: (L to R: Joe Duffy Jr (Duffy & Partners), Thom Wolfe (VSA Partners) and Jason Herring (Ordinary Kids).

I’m back in New York again, this time judging the One Show Design Competition. The first day, yesterday, was difficult for me because I was going on three hours of sleep, but today was much better. Still, judging the One Show overall is no easy task.

Last year, when I served on the 2009 Graphis Annual Report show judging panel, we had only 400 entries to start with and went around for days to get it down to 50 annuals or so, and then we really narrowed them down to choose 30 (or less) winners. It was a grueling process, but a satisfying one.

With the One Show Design competition this year, we have 3,000 entries to review. You heard that right (whew!). And we’ve got entries from all over the world: Malaysia, São Paulo, China, and even from Zimbabwe. And a lot of them are from advertising, not design firms.

These two days are all about selection and tomorrow’s task is deciding which pieces make the cut. That’s how it goes. We just select the ones we think will work. Any piece that has three or more tags on it, will make the cut to the finalist round. The rest of the items that have one or two tags don’t make the cut. Tomorrow, we will discuss the items that have three, four and five tags. The pieces with four and five tags may not need any discussion. The pieces with three tags will need much discussion. That’s what will take up the whole day tomorrow.

Judging tables

Tons of work to evaluate.

Mary (Mary Warlick, the CEO of the One Show) said it’s normally difficult, because most years they don’t have enough good work. Designers are picky, and they should be. Much of the work is not great. Remember, what we’re looking at is the design quality here.

Today, we reviewed outdoor advertising, signage, and motion campaigns. The posters we saw today, and there are some nice posters. The judging process  will take eight hours again, or more tomorrow.

We have 11 judges and I really like this group. I’m always interested in the dynamics between designers. Some are passionate and really outspoken, and others are quiet. The judges are really smart and talented, but I’m just there making jokes half of the time.  :)

Joe Duffy Jr. taking a closer look.

The judging panel peruses (L to R): Jason Herring (Ordinary Kids), JD (BBD), Seth Callaway (One Show), Brian Owens (O+H Brand Design), Matt Rollins (Iconologic), and One Show assistants.

There’s a lot of good ideas, but bad executions. And some of the ideas were really nice because they were beautifully simple. Typography skills were apparently lacking.

The big brand companies had pieces that looked great… if a piece didn’t come to the plate with good ideas, no one tagged it. Most of the judges noticed the lack of ideas… looked great, but no concept.

We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

My ONE Show Judge’s Bio:

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