Graphic Design Students Receive ADDY Awards

Group of five students holding awards.

Six Graphic Design students, all seniors, received 2019 Mid-Michigan American Advertising (ADDY) Awards, including one Gold, three Silver, and one Bronze, honoring their outstanding work on five separate projects. While in the professional competition, MSU’s College of Arts & Letters won a Silver ADDY for its microsite, Resilience: The 2018 Dean’s Report

Hosted by the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance, the local American Advertising Federation (AAF) chapter, the ADDY Awards allow students and professionals to show off their work and compete in several different categories. The 2019 awards were presented February 25 at the ADDY Awards Gala and Presentation held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. 

Cassidy Taylor, who will graduate in May 2019, took home a Gold ADDY in the Integrated Brand Identity Campaign category for her “Paddle Pit” entry. A Gold ADDY is the highest an entry can win in a category. 

Cassidy Taylor received a Gold ADDY award for her “Paddle Pit” project.

“I was very impressed with the amount of excellent work at the ADDYs, and I am thrilled and honored to have received the Gold award,” Taylor said. “I’m excited to see Paddle Pit go on to the next level of the competition.” 

All Gold and Silver ADDY award winners are encouraged to submit their work to the District 6 competition, which represents AAF clubs in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. District award winners will be notified by Monday, April 15, and all District Gold ADDY winners are then entered into the National ADDY competition.

This is Taylor’s first ADDY award and first time entering the competition.

“I had never considered submitting my work in previous years because I didn’t feel they were enough like advertisement pieces,” Taylor said. “However, I thoroughly enjoyed how Paddle Pit allowed for a fully encompassing brand identity, so I thought it could be a good candidate for the ADDYs.”

Taylor completed her Paddle Pit project during the Fall 2018 semester in her Identity Design (GD 466) class taught by Associate Professor Chris Corneal. 

Poster of a man kayaking. The words say "Adventure awaits you" in blue and white coloring.
Cassidy Taylor’s winning project, Paddle Pit.

“We were asked to create a corporate identity system for a business of our choice, real or imaginary, and we spent the entire semester designing the image, feel, and message for each of our companies,” Taylor said. “I have always enjoyed kayaking, and I am very passionate about the outdoors. I thought it would be fun to create a realistic looking business for a hobby I love so much.” 

The project called for a letterhead and envelope, business card, package, brochure, and an extra “show off” piece. For Taylor’s additional piece, she designed a website. 

“Many hours were spent developing the logo and color palette and integrating them across all elements in Paddle Pit,” Taylor said. “There was a lot of trial and error in order to get various media, aesthetics, and messages to play nicely together, but eventually we got there!”

Taylor carefully considered the types of materials she used for the Paddle Pit elements. 

“I chose to use recycled and waterproof paper for my Travel Guides since they would likely be in kayaks. I also used lumber from trees that are native to Michigan so local lumber yards could profit off the Paddle Pit business,” Taylor said. “I spent a lot of time in the woodshop with [Art Shop Coordinator] Walt [Peebles] for the packaging portion of the project. I owe a lot of the woodworking skill of the Paddle Pit membership box to him as he helped me take a sketch of an idea to a beautiful 3D object.” 

Wooden box with a white hat and blue paddles inside
Cassidy Taylor’s Paddle Pit membership box.

After Taylor graduates, she hopes to work for a small-to-medium size design firm and would like to continue pursuing her own freelance design and photography. 

The following is a complete list of all the student award winners from MSU’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design:


Cassidy Taylor
Category: Integrated Brand Identity Campaign
Entry Title: Paddle Pit
Professor: Chris Corneal

Silver ADDY

Christina Dennis
Category: Magazine Advertising
Entry Title: Wicked Sister Rosé
Professor: Chris Corneal

Matthew Gillespie
Category: Integrated Brand Advertising Campaign
Entry Title: Sinatra Concert Campaign
Professor: Mark Bird

Darcy Shank
Category: Integrated Brand Identity Campaign
Entry Title: Sparks
Professor: Chris Corneal

Bronze ADDY

Nikolette Dallich and Jaren McNamara
Category: Integrated Brand Identity Campaign
Entry Title: Meat Rebranding
Professor: Kelly Salchow MacArthur