5 graphic design students earn ADDYs

School of Art, Art History & Design ADDY winners (left to right):  Keegan Towey, Shaydan Bayless, Fatima Al-Jayashi, Joe Warren and Ava Schicke.
School of Art, Art History & Design ADDY winners (left to right): Keegan Towey, Shaydan Bayless, Fatima Al-Jayashi, Joe Warren and Ava Schicke.

5 graphic design students earn ADDYs

calendar icon07 May 2024    

Lincoln, Neb.--Five graphic design students in the School of Art, Art History & Design took home ADDY Awards in the Nebraska American Advertising Awards.

“The Nebraska American Advertising Awards are a fantastic opportunity for our UNL graphic design students to get noticed not just locally, but across the region and country,” said Assistant Professor of Practice in Graphic Design Jen Landis. “Winning a gold or silver ADDY puts our students a step above in the design world – it's a significant achievement.”

The five winners included (name, project, award):
• Keegan Towey, Cock Fight: Men vs. Masculinity, Gold ADDY Award
• Joe Warren, Why We Need LIVE Music, Silver ADDY Award and Judges Choice Award
• Ava Schicke, Scrolling Is The New Smoking, Gold and Silver ADDY Awards
• Shaydan Bayless, Designing a Better Dollhouse, Gold ADDY Award
• Fatima Al-Jayashi, Alebrije Happy Meal, Gold ADDY Award

In addition, the following students won District 9 (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri) awards and will compete in the National ADDYs on May 31:
• Keegan Towey: Cock Fight: Men vs. Masculinity, Gold ADDY and Judges Choice Award
• Ava Schicke, Scrolling Is The New Smoking, Gold ADDY, Judges Choice Award and Silver ADDY 

Schicke has been notified that she won a national award that will be announced May 31. She said she was surprised by her awards.

“I am super proud of my senior capstone, but never expected for it to receive this much recognition,” she said. “The whole thing feels a little surreal, but it’s such a fulfilling feeling to have something I put so much work and effort into to be appreciated by well-established designers. I also feel incredibly grateful for all the support and help I had from my professors. Jen Landis pushed me all semester to create even better work and is the reason my work was entered into the ADDY Awards in the first place. The ADDY Awards are just a great way to recognize the young designers in the industry."

Schicke said the awards a good transition to her professional career.

“Winning these awards has been a great way to close the yearbook and end my college experience,” she said. “As I enter life after graduation, this has helped me to feel ready for the next step in my career journey. My younger self could not have even imagined being here, so it’s nice to know that hard work really does pay off."

Schicke’s project, “Scrolling is the New Smoking,” is about the adverse effects that being on our phones has on our health, both physically and mentally.

“I conducted a vast amount of research, which included studies of real-life experimentation on phone usage and the human body,” she said. “I aimed to pick apart the most appealing stats with the goal of catching people’s attention to make them stop and look. I included a more friendly typography, as well as fun, eye-catching colors and graphics to make the information more digestible. Additionally, I wanted to aim to provide solutions for these adverse effects. Rather than simply stating the facts, I included how people could take this information and use it to live a happier, healthier life.”

Bayless, a senior graphic design major from Beatrice, Nebraska, said her first reaction to winning was shock.

“Shock is what I first felt after finding out I won a Gold ADDY award. After spending an entire semester dedicating myself to my capstone project, I felt such a sense of pride and accomplishment after receiving the award,” she said. “I put my heart and soul into every project I take on, and I was beyond ecstatic to receive recognition for my work."

Bayless said the award will serve as motivation to keep pushing herself to be the best designer she can be.

“It also serves as a reminder to go beyond the boundaries, try new things, and think outside the box when it comes to creativity,” she said. “It means more than I can say, and it is truly an honor to receive an award from such an inspiring and well-distinguished organization.”

Her project was a booklet titled “Constructing a Better Dollhouse: Reshaping Negative Thinking,” which aimed to serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for individuals seeking to reclaim control over their negative thoughts.

“Drawing from my childhood experiences and a long-lived fascination with dolls and dollhouses, I utilize construction and doll-related imagery, as well as language, to communicate how thought patterns can be reconstructed,” she said. “My instruction manual uses encouraging words, facts about how negativity can be damaging, identification of cognitive distortions, and suggestions for coping mechanisms to supply readers with the tools they need to reframe their negative thoughts.”

Al-Jayashi, a senior graphic design and psychology major from Lincoln, was appreciative of her Gold ADDY.

“It was my first time entering my work into an award competition, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but winning a Gold ADDY for my first award was thrilling,” she said. “I’m also happy to have won an award for my Alebrije Happy Meal, which is one of my favorite projects I have done in my academic years. Being recognized alongside other talented designers and agencies also further emphasized my passion for the design field.”

Her Alebrije Happy Meal project centered on experiential packaging design, redesigning the McDonald’s Happy Meal. 

“It draws significant inspiration from my Mexican heritage, particularly the alebrijes, which are a vibrant and relatively recent form of Mexican folk art,” she said. “I am really inspired in finding ways to combine culture with design, and this was one of my first projects doing that."

Warren, who graduated in December 2023 with a B.F.A. in graphic design, was surprised to win both a Silver Addy and a Judges Choice Award.

“The significance of these awards just made me feel very accomplished,” he said. “My capstone was something I had poured many, many hours into over the semester, so winning these awards made it all worth it.”

Warren is currently a production artist for an Omaha advertising agency called 1123. His project, “Why We Need LIVE Music,” was a VR experience that celebrated the transformative power of live music (available to view on YouTube at https://go.unl.edu/25o8). 

“Growing up live music was one of the most important aspects of my life and when Covid-19 shut down the whole live music scene, it made me realize how important live music is, not just for myself, but for those all around me.”

He credits Landis for pushing him to succeed.

“I just want to shout-out my Professor Jen Landis, who pushed me to do the absolute most for my capstone and who was incredibly helpful at every step during my time at UNL,” he said.