Posted: 04.18.08/19:03

Competition Builds Community Among ADC Young Guns

​On April 3, 2008, the Art Directors Club hosted a diverse crowd of 400 at the ADC Gallery for its Disclosure event. A launch party for ADC Young Guns 6 as well as an exhibition of finalist work for The Undiscovered Letter, the event featured twenty-seven interpretations of the 27th letter of the alphabet created by former winners of ADC Young Guns.

Among the twenty-seven finalists whose entries and Moleskine® sketchbooks were shown, three were named Judges’ Favorites—Ivan Pols (member of the ADC Young Guns 5 class), Rei Inamoto (YG4), and Robin Bilardello (YG5)—and one was named the winner: Tiziana Haug (YG5). Haug’s 27th letter presented itself as “everything that the 26 letters fail to communicate” and took shape as a tangram-like construction made of the counterforms of each letter in the Latin alphabet. These counterforms, essentially cutouts of the negative space found in each letter (e.g., the triangle in “A”), comprised the building blocks of a new unit of communication. “If the 27th letter can be discovered, it has to be hiding somewhere,” according to Haug, and she explored both the idea of discovery and the meaning of communication with her emphasis that the 27th letter, though the result of random combinations, is personal at its core.

Tiziana Haug will also serve on the jury for the current ADC Young Guns 6 competition. This year’s jury consists entirely of past recipients of the under-30 award; previous competitions were judged by established leaders and seasoned professionals in the creative industry. Regarding this new element of the competition, Haug remarks that “‘for Young Guns, by Young Guns’ only seems fair,” and that, as young professionals who “stand out in [their] own right,” their evaluations “might be a bit less political and [able to] pick up on fresh, original designs more easily than other competitions do.” Looking back on the effect that the competition has had on her own life, she notes that not only does it add distinction to her resume but it “enables young talents to connect amongst themselves.”

The ADC’s efforts to support young professionals in a broad range of creative fields is not limited to bestowing awards—it actively seeks to provide a meaningful network for their future pursuits. By understanding that the drive to earn recognition creates a strong impetus for participation among younger talents, the organization has harnessed competitive appeal as a major platform for developing a sense of community. With ADC Young Guns, it extends the opportunity to compete internationally with as few constraints as possible, in hopes of maximizing the potential for a diverse, global community. And with ADC Young Guns as a focal point, the ADC continues to foster this growing community through invitational contests like The Undiscovered Letter, through the topical, in-depth, and personal presentations of its Backstory series, and through the promise of more extensive programming in the future. To that end, the new, permanent web presence of ADC Young Guns ( will serve to provide a common channel for those who are interested as well as those who are involved through the coming years.

ADC Young Guns 6 is currently accepting entries online, through June 2. To enter, and to view sketches and artwork from contestants of The Undiscovered Letter,

Contact: Press inquiries to Chris Ahn (

All other questions and information requests to ADC Young Guns Manager Noémie Bonnet (, 212.643.1440 x25).

About the ADC (

Founded in 1920, the Art Directors Club is the premier organization for integrated media. As an international creative collective and self-funding nonprofit, the ADC’s mission is to promote the highest standards of excellence in visual communications through programs in the converging fields of advertising, interactive media, and design.

The Undiscovered Letter’s 27 Finalists 

Winner: Tiziana Haug

Benjamin Marra

Bob Partington

Bridget de Socio

Carlo van de Roer

Christa Skinner

Christopher Lane

David Oppenheim

Deanne Cheuk

Edgardo Moreno

Eva Mueller

G. Dan Covert & Andre Andreev

Geoff Green

Gordon Jee

Ivan Pols*

Joanne Dugan

Karin Satrom

Maja Bagic & Lina Kovacevic

Marc Cozza

Nessim Higson

Paul Carlos

Rei Inamoto*

Robin Bilardello*

Ryan Molloy

Sean Mosher-Smith

So Takahashi

Vincent LaCava

*Judges’ Favorite 

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