Justified Juror Comments: Nothing

In 2013, for “Justified: AIGA Design Competition,” a distinguished jury chaired by Clement Mok selected 14 case studies that each serve as an effective tool to explain the role of designers in conceiving and implementing solutions.

The following are individual jurors’ comments on the selection “Case Study: Nothing.” To view all 14 selected works, visit: aiga.org/justified-2013-selections/

Valarie Casey 300x200

Valerie Casey, founder and chief executive officer, Necessary Projects, San Francisco, California

The Nothing campaign thoughtfully accesses its audience in an appropriate and appealing way. There’s a fine line with this type of call to action—how to engage people without being overly sentimental, clever or pedantic. The campaign is pure in its message. It provides simplicity and drama, all wrapped up in a creative provocation that relies on an unexpected twist to capture attention. The design team was able to execute the Nothing campaign across multiple points of engagement without incurring fatigue around the central message. Its extensibility, through licensing to other states, was another compelling data point that the jury considered as we weighed the campaign’s merits with its sustainability as a platform. Nothing is a great role model.

Jessica Hische 300x200

Jessica Hische, letterer and procrastiworker, Title Case, San Francisco, California

Great project, great visuals, great writing! I love the Nothing submission; it’s just so smart.

Brad Johnson 300x200

Brad Johnson, VP, executive creative director, Second Story (now part of SapientNitro), Portland, Oregon
This is a very smart, inventive way to catalyze action around an important problem. Through the use of real physical props—empty cans in a grocery store context—the reality of hunger is made more immediate and actionable to those who might help address the problem. Great concept.

Clement Mok 300x200

Clement Mok, design and business consultant, The Design Office of Clement Mok, San Francisco, California

Game changer. Moved the needle. Inspirational. Simple, elegant and smart. A strong concept carried and executed with integrity and resolve.

Josh Rubin 300x200

Josh Rubin, founder and editor in chief, Cool Hunting, New York, New York

This campaign has the sophistication and engagement typically executed by big brands with big budgets. It grabs the viewer before they realize what it’s about and educates them before they realize what’s happened. In this case, it’s for the greater good.

Christopher Simmons 300x200

Christopher Simmons, principal and creative director, MINE™, San Francisco, California

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this project. I admire the clever and provocative concept, but have difficulty appreciating the execution. The visual language intentionally (and successfully) mimics that of “traditional” food packaging and advertising, but it so faithfully apes that bland and uninspiring language that I have a difficult time connecting with the parody. On the other hand, it did increase food donations and generated considerable media exposure, the positive results of which are difficult to measure but probably benefit the client over the long-term.