Meet the 2014 Regional Design Awards Judges

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Each year, Print’s editors carefully mull over a very important matter: Whom will they invite to judge the upcoming Regional Design Awards. You may ask: Why the fuss? What’s the big deal? What’s in a name? We have an answer for you—everything.

We carefully select one judge per each of the six regions and choose names from the field who’ve amassed a considerable amount of notoriety through their work. We choose professionals who truly care about the field of graphic designer and understand the important role that the Regional Design Annual plays in acting as “a geographically organized, national survey of graphic design,” as Rick Poynor explains in his “observer” column (PRINT, December 2013).

Plus, entrants and readers alike appreciate the collection of resulting work on a different level knowing that these well-regarded industry rockstars are the ones behind the curtain selecting winners. “I appreciate a curated collection of talented work selected by impartial judges and it’s interesting to see what cuts through all the noise to make it into the Annual,” says Chicago-based designer Lee Zelenak (Senior Designer for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign).

Without further ado, meet your 2014 Regional Design Awards judges:

Judging the East: Jessica Helfand, Winterhouse

Jessica Helfand
Photography by Jorge Colombo

Jessica Helfand is a writer, educator and designer. With her late partner William Drenttel, she founded Winterhouse, an award-winning design consultancy focused on publishing and online media, cultural and educational institutions, and design for social impact.

A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Communications Arts and Eye magazines, Helfand has written for numerous national publications including Aperture, Los Angeles Times Book Review and The New Republic. She is the author of Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), Reinventing the Wheel (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), and Scrapbooks: An American History (Yale University Press, 2008). A former member of the U.S Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, she is a Life Fellow of the American Antiquarian Society, a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. With William Drenttel, Helfand was the first-ever recipient of the Henry Wolf Residency at the American Academy in Rome. In 2013, she was awarded the AIGA medal.

Jessica Helfand received both her B.A. and her M.F.A. from Yale University where she has been on the faculty in the School of Art since 1996.

Judging New York City: Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands

Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman is president of the design division at Sterling Brands. In her 16 years with the company, Debbie has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, P&G, Colgate, Nestle, Hasbro and many others. She’s president emeritus of the AIGA, as well as a contributing author at Print and co-founder and chair of the Masters in Branding program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show, “Design Matters” with Debbie Millman,” is now featured on and was awarded a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2011. In addition, Debbie is the author of five books on design and branding, including How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer (Allworth Press, 2007), Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design (HOW Books, 2009) and Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits (Allworth Press, 2011).

Judging the South: Alexander Isley, Alexander Isley Inc. Designers

Alexander Isley

Alexander Isley founded his design firm in 1988. He and his team create identity and communication design for education, entertainment, and enterprise. Their clients include The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Giorgio Armani, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Alexander Isley Inc.’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern art and the Smithsonian Institution.

In 2013, Isley was named an AIGA Fellow in recognition of his contributions to the field. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious AIGA medal for exceptional achievement in design.

Judging the Southwest: Caleb Bennett, WIRED

Caleb Bennett

Currently the senior art director of WIRED and formerly of The New York Times Magazine and Texas Monthly, Bennett grew up in Del Rio, TX, and studied Communication Design at Texas Tech University. He was named one of Print magazine’s “20 Under 30 New Visual Artists” and selected as an Art Directors Club Young Gun in 2012. His work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, the Type Directors Club, The Society of Publication Design, The Society for News Design and the City and Regional Magazine Association. In 2010, Bennett was part of the redesign team at The New York Times Magazine, and he was a member of the magazine’s Design Team of the Year for 2010 and 2011, as selected by the Art Directors Club. Read more about Bennett.

Judging the Midwest: Joseph Duffy, Duffy & Partners

Joseph Duffy

Joseph is “the other Joe Duffy” in the design industry. He grew up surrounded by some of the world’s most talented creative people in which his great
est asset was being a sponge. Since day one he set out to follow in his father’s footsteps and has dedicated his life to the business of design. After earning his BFA in Graphic Design from the College of Visual Arts, Joseph began his career in the production and interactive groups at Fallon Worldwide. In 2004, he left with the family name to help start Duffy & Partners as a designer. Today, as Design Director, he continues to work with some of the best talent in the industry and with some of the biggest brands all around the globe.

For the past 30 years, Duffy & Partners has used the power of design to enrich every day life and drive marketplace results for a diversified list of clients both large and small. Their work has been recognized by nearly every major industry publication in the world.

Judging the Far West: Michael Vanderbyl, Vanderbyl Design

Michael Vanderbyl

Michael Vanderbyl has gained international prominence in the design field as a practitioner, educator, critic and advocate. Since being established in San Francisco in 1973, his firm — Vanderbyl Design — has evolved into a multidisciplinary studio with expertise in identity, print and digital communications, interiors, showrooms, retail spaces, signage, textiles, fashion apparel, packaging, furniture and product design. Printed work by Vanderbyl has gained recognition in every major design competition in the United States and Europe; his work is part of the permanent collections of several museums and is featured in national and international publications.

In 1987 Michael was elected a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), an international graphic design organization based in Zurich. In addition to serving three terms on the Board of Directors of the National AIGA, he presided as President for the 2003-2005 term; he has also served on the AIGA Education Committee and was a founding member of the AIGA San Francisco Chapter. At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Michael holds a position on the Architecture and Design Accessions Committee. Michael was selected as one of I.D. magazine’s “I.D. Forty” for 1997 and the same year received the “Lifetime Achievement in Product Design” by the Pacific Design Center. He is a professional member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and in association with their Calibre Awards in 2006, the Southern California Chapter of the IIDA commended Michael with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Michael has also been honored with the Gold Medal award from AIGA and with induction into Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame.