Designs Shine Among Thousands of Competitors
Adding to his long list of accolades, County College of Morris (CCM) Professor Stephen H. Longo, from the
Department of Art and Design, recently won a top award in an international design competition. In addition, five of his design pieces were selected to be published in a book, American Graphic Design & Advertising 29.
Longo, of West Orange, won a Silver Award of Distinction in the 23rd Annual Communicator Awards, an international program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications, for a poster that he designed for a CCM exhibition, he also curated, titled “Generations of Genius.”
Longo’s award-winning poster reflects the heart and soul of the exhibition, which presented a comprehensive view of the best of graphic design featuring works of top designers from around the country.
The exhibition highlighted the best in visual communications from the 1960s through 2016, showcasing advertising design, branding, package design, graphic design, publications and other forms of mass communications.
Challenges with the exhibition were many, said Longo, in that he had 60 days to promote, assemble and install 137 pieces of work from 36 creative people.
“I decided to represent each designer’s initial entry into the professional field as a map pin that was placed on 36 individual biography boards. The four pins on the poster represented 10-year intervals from the 1960s to the 2000s and were distinctly different in look. A chalkboard background was used to represent the transient nature of design and how it changes with the moment,” explained Longo.
“The Communicator Awards competition had an incredible pool of more than 6,000 entries,” added Longo. “The designs are judged by members of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, with awards going to 10 percent of all entries.”
His five design pieces included in the American Graphic Design & Advertising 29 book consisted of interior and exterior signage for a fusion restaurant, and four logos representing a film production company, paper company, publishing group and theater company. “The book showcases the best graphic design and advertising in the USA,” noted Longo.
The award and published work came as a surprise to Longo. “Professional designers, like myself, enter work into national and international competitions never knowing the immediate outcomes,” he said. “The entries can exceed thousands at any time and judging is difficult. Usually, it takes a year before winners are notified. Winning a Communicator Award and having pieces published validates that my designs resonated with both the industry and consumers.”
Longo has won many awards including several Clios. He was also nominated for a lifetime achievement award to the Smithsonian/Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He worked at several major firms, including CatoJohnson, Young & Rubicam, and Lippincott & Marguilies Inc., before opening his own firm, Stephen Longo Design Associates.