Famed competition captures a 360 degree view of design’s brilliance over the last 365 days
New York, NY—AIGA, the professional association for design, is thrilled to announce an esteemed jury of design professionals for the annual 365: AIGA Year in Design competition.
After more than a decade-long hiatus, AIGA rebooted its famed competition to celebrate designers, design teams, and their clients for effectively working together to design creative solutions for challenges presented by businesses and organizations during unprecedented times. First launched in 1924, this competition recognizes excellence and represents innovation across all categories of communication design, from print to web to service to spaces—both physical and virtual.
The jurors for this year’s competition, chaired by Partner and Executive Creative Director Ken Fox of 50,000feet in Chicago, are:
Rafael Esquer, Creative Director, Alfalfa Studio, New York, NY
Rafael Esquer has lived in Manhattan for more than 25 years. A native of the Sonora desert of Mexico, he was educated in Mexico City and Los Angeles. His design work has won the National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Art and Design in New York and is included in the collections of other museums, including the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Denver Art Museum, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford University, and the Olympic Museum in Switzerland. Since 2004, Esquer has run Alfalfa Studio, his own creative practice. In 2007, Taschen named Esquer one of the world’s most influential graphic designers working today (Charlotte and Peter Field, eds. “Contemporary Graphic Design”). He frequently serves as speaker and judge at international design events.
Ken Fox, Principal / Executive Creative Director, 50,000feet, Chicago, IL (Juror Chair)
Equal parts left and right brain, Ken Fox is a true polymath and holds a distinct place in the Chicago design community, having founded 50k in 2001. With a deep understanding of design thinking, Fox has produced numerous campaigns that reside in collective memory not only for artful expression but also for delivering results. As a driving force of the agency’s creative approach, Fox works closely with 50k’s roster of clients to craft design-driven programs. He has a knack for bringing vision to life—from brand identities and successful advertising campaigns to all things now and next. Fox graduated from Northern Illinois with a degree in Fine Arts, and his work has been widely recognized by design publications.
Min Lew, Executive Creative Director / Managing Partner, Base, New York, NY
Min Lew is an ECD and Managing Partner at Base, an international branding studio with a presence in New York, Brussels, and Geneva. Min has helped to build iconic personality-driven brands for an eclectic range of clients that include Apple, MoMA, JFK Terminal 4, NYTimes, Meatpacking District, Phillips Auction, Coca-Cola, Gagosian, Puma, Milk, L'Oreal, Pantone, Wellesley College, Kanye West, and more. A graduate of Yale University's MFA program, Lew served as an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts and a guest critic at Parsons School of Design. Next to passionately building brands and Base, she is a regular speaker at industry conferences and previously served as a board member of AIGA/NY. Her work has been featured in and has contributed her thoughts on design and branding to publications that include The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek, Creativity, Creative Review, Surface, Fast Company, and others.
Clement Mok, Design Instigator, The Design Office of Clement Mok, San Francisco, CA
Clement Mok is a designer, digital pioneer, software publisher, app developer, author, design patent holder, restauranteur and serial start-up entrepreneur. Mok, a former creative director on the launch team of the Macintosh at Apple in the early 80’s, founded multiple successful design-related businesses: Studio Archetype, CMCD, and NetObjects. He was the Chief Creative Officer of Sapient, a Trustee of Art Center College of Design and the national president of AIGA. Currently, he’s a founding partner of SUGARFISH, as well as start-ups on a variety of design planning and user experience-related projects. Mok, a 2008 AIGA Medalist and 2013 AIGA San Francisco Fellow, has been published internationally and has received hundreds of awards from professional organizations and publications including I.D. 40 most influential designers and Chief Executive Magazine, which named him 1998’s Tech 100 CEOs.
Nakita Pope, Chief Chick / Brand Strategist, Branding Chicks, Atlanta, GA
Nakita M. Pope is the Chief Chick and Principal Brand Strategist of Branding Chicks, her boutique branding agency in Atlanta, GA. Branding Chicks specializes in brand strategy, development, and consulting for femme-owned and femme-focused brands. Over the past 25 years, she has worked as a strategist, graphic designer, creative director and brand manager which has given her experiences that inform how she works with her clients. Her passion for brand strategy also extends to her advertising strategy, branding and design professorship at The Creative Circus for the past 12 years. In 2020 she was also named one of Graphic Design USA Magazine’s People to Watch and then 2021 she was honored as an AIGA Atlanta Fellow. Pope is involved in several professional and non-profit organizations including AIGA, African-American Graphic Designers (AAGD), and Good Thinking Atlanta. Along with her work and passion projects, she now gets to share her knowledge with a variety of audiences on the national speaking stage.
Jan Wilker, Co-Founder, karlssonwilker, New York, NY
Jan Wilker grew up in Ulm, Germany. He attended Stuttgart University's school of architecture, and later graduated from the State Academy of Art & Design Stuttgart. He moved to New York in 2000 to start karlssonwilker, a design studio, together with Icelander Hjalti Karlsson. They continue to work with an eclectic list of clients on a wide variety of projects. Wilker frequently lectures and holds sought-after design workshops around the world. He is a member of AGI.
“I'm honored to support one of our industry’s most respected organizations and add our voice in surveying and recognizing the most creative and innovative demonstrations of design today,” said Ken Fox, 365: AIGA Year in Design, Chair.
Competitions are instrumental in identifying emerging and hidden talent within the design community, recognizing effective visual design solutions in the marketplace, and communicating the added value of design to adjacent industries. Work selected by jurors will chronicle the contributions of design and designers to business value and visual culture. Winners will be announced in Fall 2022.
Learn more about the competition.