AdFlux 23

Intercollegiate Advertising &
Design Competition

Pittsburgh Advertising Week | 10/16-20/21

Exhibition Opening

October 20 | 6pm
Robert Richard Smith Gallery
Community College of Allegheny County – Northside
828 Ridge Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Robert Richard Smith Gallery hosts AdFlux Design Competition reception

The Robert Richard Smith Gallery at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) will host an opening reception featuring artwork by winners of the AdFlux student graphic design competition on Friday, Oct. 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at CCAC Allegheny campus, West Hall (803 Ridge Avenue).  

 The AdFlux competition, sponsored by Joe Zeff Design and 898 Marketing, was planned as part of Pittsburgh Advertising Week, an event sponsored by a coalition of professional associations, including AIGA Pittsburgh (graphic design), AMA Pittsburgh (marketing), and American Advertising Federation – Pittsburgh (advertising.) Additional sponsors include the National Institute for Social Medi and COHatch.   

 The competition is open to college and high school students

 “The Robert Richard Smith Gallery is pleased to host this important collection of design work from talented students from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. AdFlux serves as a platform for students to gather, share and inquire, a vision of Robert Richard Smith,” said Asa Sloss, CCAC’s art curator of The Robert Richard Smith Gallery.   

Joe Zeff Design and 898 Marketing is providing a monetary gift for the best-submitted design work. The exhibit, consisting of an expected 24 designs, will be displayed at The Smith Gallery through Oct. 27 and then travel to COhatch, a coworking space in Pittsburgh’s East End.

“At a time when employers are seeking the mythical and unattainable ‘unicorn,’ a type of creative employee that can create amazing marketing and design solutions equally well, AdFlux will position students to channel their talents and progress them through meaningful competition—ultimately empowering them to be recognized as emerging creative powerhouses—the type of talent that employers want to hire,” said RJ Thompson, CCAC Graphic Design adjunct professor.

It’s time to show off.

Now’s the time to see your hard work rewarded and acknowledged by colleagues and a community of incredible advertising professionals.

Recognition

You make amazing work. Your efforts deserve recognition from your employer, colleagues, and the Pittsburgh advertising community. Show them all what you’re made of.

Celebration

Join others in the Pittsburgh advertising community and celebrate the incredible creativity and dedication coming out of our local and regional marketing and design programs.

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AWARD SPONSOR

CALL FOR JUDGES

Interested in being a competition judge? Drop your info below and a member of our team will be in touch.

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

Interested in helping run the competition? Click the link below and tell us how you’d like to participate.

Everything you need to know.

See below, then submit!

Eligibility

Check whether your work or institution are eligible.

Eligibility

  • Entries may be submitted by any student in any higher education institution in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.
  • All high school, undergraduate, and graduate students are eligible.
  • You do not have to be enrolled in any design, marketing, or advertising programs at your institution. All are welcome to join regardless of discipline.
  • You do not need to join AMA Pittsburgh, AIGA Pittsburgh, or any other professional association to enter.
  • Work must have been created after January 1, 2022.
  • Your work can be fictional.

Submission Guidelines

All the info you need for submission.

Cost (It's Free!)

  • Free entry.
  • You can submit as much work as you like so long as it falls under the appropriate categories.
  • Work that is not labeled with a category will not be accepted. 

Presentation Conditions

Print-based work:

  • Print Ad (Single), Print Ads (Campaign), and Logo Design must be submitted in printed and digital formats to be considered. Upload your digital files to our Google Form. Drop off your printed and mounted work to the CCAC Northside campus in West Hall, first floor from 10/16-10/17, hours announced closer to submission week. A dropbox and student attendant will be available to accept your printed work. 
  • Entries must be printed in full color and mounted on foam core or comparable substrate with 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • There are no set limits on dimensions.
  • Entries can have multiple boards, but no more than two will be seen in the exhibition if accepted.

Digital-based work:

  • Entries such as websites, animations, videos, apps, and more will be accepted into consideration.
  • Website entries must include the website address.
  • Animation entries must be uploaded to YouTube, and a link to the video or links to a series of videos must be included in the entry.
  • Video entries must be uploaded to YouTube, and a link to the video or links to a series of videos must be included in the entry.
  • App entries must have a video walkthrough presentation uploaded to YouTube, and a link to the video or links to a series of videos must be included in the entry.

Submission Terms

AIGA Pittsburgh and AMA Pittsburgh take no responsibility for determining official authorship or ownership of websites or digital entries. The judges will review all pieces submitted to the competitions, and the final number of pieces accepted into the show will be at their discretion. The judges may re-categorize entries. Decisions of the judges on entries accepted and the level of awards are final. AIGA Pittsburgh and AMA Pittsburgh is not responsible for non-functional URL links or entries that provide incorrect login credentials during the competition judging. AIGA Pittsburgh and AMA Pittsburgh will make reasonable attempts to remedy any entry problem before competition judging. By submitting your work to this competition, you are agreeing to your work being shared with our sponsor and partner websites, social media, or other marketing output.

Guidelines

SUBMIT YOUR WORK NOW

  • Entry Details
    • Include the submitter’s name, e-mail, phone, physical address, and website, if applicable.
    • List members of the team, their titles, and e-mails.
    • Provide a maximum 2-paragraph (8 sentences) synopsis of your submission.
    • Identify the proper categories for your submission.
  • Physical entries must be delivered to CCAC Allegheny Campus, West Hall, 1st Floor dropbox. Physical entries will not be accepted any other way.

Judging Criteria

Our judges are highly reputable professionals in our industry. See who they are below and how they’ll evaluate submissions.

Judges

Coming soon.

Judging Rubric

  • Judging of submissions

    Submissions for each category will be assessed by at least two (2) judges. In the event, the presiding judges cannot unanimously decide on a winner, a third judge will be asked to complete an assessment of the two highest-ranking submissions to make a final determination for the category winner. 

  • Non-awarding of categories

    At the presiding judge’s unanimous decision, a category may not be awarded if no submissions meet the minimum scoring threshold of 85 (or 90) points. 

    Option 1: Honourable Mention or Award of Merit (Group can decide what we want to call this)

    At the presiding judge’s unanimous decision, submissions may be awarded an honorable mention/award merit if a submission obtains a score of 90 points or higher and is not named winner of the category. A maximum of 1 honorable mention/awards of merit may be awarded for each category.

    Option 2: Honorable Mention or Award of Merit

    Judges are able to put forth one (1) submission per category for consideration of an honorable mention/award of merit. To be eligible for an Honourable Mention/Award of Merit. All judges will review nominated submissions and select five (5) submissions to be recognized with an Honourable Mention/Award of Merit.

Submission Timeline

Timing is critical. Make sure your timing lines up with the competition.

Timeline

  • Submissions are open from 9/1 to 10/17 at 5 pm.
  • Physical entries must be delivered to CCAC Allegheny Campus, West Hall, 1st Floor dropbox. 
  • Judging: 10/18- 10/19
  • Winners Announced at the AdFlux exhibition opening on 10/19, 7 pm.

Awards Presentation

Timing is critical. Make sure your timing lines up with the competition.

What do I get if I receive an award?

Award winners will receive the following:

  • A high-resolution award certificate in PDF format.
  • A high-resolution award letter in PDF format.
  • Bragging points: you’ll be the inaugural winner of the category you submitted.
  • Your work will be featured on AMA Pittsburgh and AIGA Pittsburgh social media channels, websites, partner websites, and more! A member of our team will reach out to you for an interview that may be featured on the AMA Pittsburgh Podcast.

Will I be notified if I win or lose?

Entrants will not be notified in advance if their entry was selected into the exhibition. You have to show up to the exhibition to see if you won! 

Categories

Submit your work to one or more categories.

Print Ad (Single)

Showcase your creativity and communication skills by submitting a single, impactful print advertisement. From thought-provoking imagery to clever copy, we’re seeking designs that capture attention, convey a clear message, and leave a lasting impression in a single printed format. 

Submissions must be in print format only. Digital submissions are not being accepted at this time.

Print Ads (Campaign)

Take your design talents to the next level by presenting a cohesive campaign of print advertisements. Demonstrate your ability to maintain a consistent visual theme across multiple ads while adapting the message for different contexts. We’re looking for campaigns that tell a story, engage the audience, and exemplify the power of visual storytelling.

Submissions must be in print format only. Digital submissions are not being accepted at this time.

Digital Ad (Single)

In the digital realm, every pixel counts. Create a captivating single digital advertisement that thrives in the online landscape. Whether it’s a static banner, an animated GIF, or a rich media ad, show us how you can make a strong impact within the confines of a digital platform.

Digital Ads (Campaign)

Extend your creative prowess by devising a digital ad campaign that resonates across various digital platforms. From social media to websites, illustrate your ability to adapt your design concept while maintaining a unified look and feel. Your campaign should not only capture the essence of your message but also adapt seamlessly to the digital ecosystem.

Video Ad (Single)

Lights, camera, creativity! Submit a single video advertisement that blends visuals, sound, and narrative to convey a compelling story or message. Whether it’s a brief promotional clip or a mini storytelling masterpiece, showcase your ability to captivate and persuade through the moving image.

Video Ads (Campaign)

Dive into the realm of video storytelling by crafting a series of interconnected video ads. Your campaign should engage viewers across multiple videos, maintaining a consistent theme while allowing for unique narratives. Prove your proficiency in conveying emotions and information through a sequential visual experience.

Logo Design

Distill the essence of a brand, concept, or cause into a single iconic emblem. Your logo should be a fusion of creativity and symbolism that captures attention, communicates identity, and has the potential to become an enduring symbol in its own right.

Social Media Ads

This category is for you if you’ve created a great social-led campaign, fictional or real. Your work can stand alone or fit into a wider project, but as long as social media is the main part of the campaign, it is eligible for submission.

The winner of this category will receive a certification exam voucher from either the National Institute for Social Media or OMCP.

SPONSORED BY:

 

Outdoor Advertising

Make the world your canvas by designing captivating outdoor advertisements. From billboards to bus shelters, showcase your ability to adapt your design to large-scale formats while maximizing impact in outdoor settings.

Social Causes

Effectively merge design and advocacy by submitting work that highlights a pressing social issue. Your design should not only captivate but also create awareness and inspire change, serving as a visual catalyst for social progress.

Interactive Websites

Navigate the dynamic world of web design by crafting an interactive website that engages users and delivers an immersive experience. Showcase your ability to blend aesthetics, functionality, and user-centered design to create an online journey that’s both captivating and intuitive.

Cross-Media Advertising

Showcase your versatility by developing an advertising campaign that seamlessly spans multiple media formats. From print to digital, video to social, demonstrate how your design concept thrives across diverse channels while maintaining a unified visual language.

RESOURCES

These tools will help you get a leg up on your competition.

Submission Advice

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