“I’ve been a big fan of the school over the years,” UNT alum Wilgus said. “We’ve hired several art directors from their award-winning design program, and I’m always impressed by the talented students they produce.”
UNT’s College of Arts and Design is considered one of the best art schools in the southwest, offering 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Wilgus has been closely involved in helping the school launch its new Design Research Center (DRC) in downtown Dallas. The DRC opened in January to serve as an “urban laboratory” where graduate students and faculty members can spark and sustain design-driven solutions to real world problems.
To learn more about UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design visit http://www.art.unt.edu.
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Launch’s 2011 winning streak continued with four awards at the Tenth District ADDY Awards, held Friday in Oklahoma City. The Tenth District of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) represents the affiliate advertising clubs and federations of the AAF in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
This time around, the Launch Agency trophy haul included a gold for its “Guillotine” poster, created for the 2011 Dallas ADDY Awards, as well as a silver for the overall “Suffer for Your Art” Dallas ADDYs poster campaign. Launch also took home two silver trophies for its Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County public service posters, titled “Bear” and “Robot.”
As a result of these wins, all four awarded pieces now move on to the National ADDY Awards as finalists. The winning work will be judged in San Diego and announced in early June. Here’s hoping the streak continues.
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For the third year in a row, Launch sent senior creative team members Richard Wezensky and Alex Slotkin down to Austin to attend one of the world’s premier interactive conferences: South by Southwest Interactive. It was five days of inspiration, information and borderline-overwhelming intensity (especially with conference attendance having swelled by more than 30% over last year).
Naturally, high-tech gadgetry was everywhere, from the brand-new iPad 2 to hot new group messaging apps, QR codes, tweets and location-based “check-ins.” At the same time, the conference covered an even broader swath of subjects, everything from Web coding and design to marketing, social media, gaming and the societal implications of technology.
Despite the plethora of seminars, panels, interviews, workshops, networking sessions and parties, a few recurring ideas seemed to come to the fore. First was the idea that brands are moving from the role of being traditional marketers to publishers. Some are creating original content, others aggregating content from third parties (and in some cases, a bit of both). By building a reputation as a go-to source for information on a specific topic of interest to consumers, brands can better establish themselves as trusted authorities and reach an increasingly marketing-averse audience.
The second big takeaway was the notion that advertising and marketing agencies need to start thinking more like software companies. They need to be less precious with their work, take less time to go from idea to market, and then make constant, iterative adjustments to their work in response to customer feedback. While selling this approach in to clients can be challenging, it helps if agencies start with smaller and less costly initiatives, and then try to grow them over time.
Finally, there was a lot of emphasis on the unique qualities and challenges of social media—specifically, how social engagement has to be an honest, one-to-one conversation with customers. Companies need to give their audience more of a say in the direction their brand will take, and work to create long-term relationships. Whether it’s through Twitter, Facebook or a company blog, brands need to provide more humanity and transparency. These days, being obviously promotional is the fastest path to becoming irrelevant.
There were plenty more nuggets of wisdom, chance celebrity encounters and other fascinating discoveries at SXSW, but those are best experienced in person. Of course, the next best thing is to peruse the sizable catalog of SXSWi 2011 podcasts, videos, notes and other materials, which you’ll find at sxsw.com/interactive. Also, don’t miss the full Launch SXSW photo set at www.flickr.com/photos/launchagency/sets/72157626249293558/, and the Launch Twitter feed, including live tweets from the event.
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The Launch Agency account service team increased its ranks with the addition of Carl Brandvold to the fold. Most recently with The Richards Group, Carl brings with him a love of brand marketing and building client relationships.
Born in Illinois, he spent most of his childhood in California, then attended high school and college in Oklahoma. He graduated from Oklahoma State and went work at Walsh Branding in Tulsa — as a graphic designer! He soon discovered his passion for account service and working directly with clients, and switched departments and career paths (and wardrobes?). Carl left Walsh for Richards in 2010 and joined Launch in March, 2011.
Carl’s other interests include illustrating, drawing, fishing and running. Recently he ran his first half marathon. He also loves old school films in all genres, but he is particularly fond of comedies and mob movies. And to balance his love of the classics, he also loves tech and gadgets, especially those made by Apple.
The Q&A provides insight into how Carl’s mind works:
Q: Most unique talent?
A: I can do a pretty good impression of a raptor. Seriously, it’s loud.
Q: Favorite galaxy or constellation?
A: I feel like if I were a big Star Wars fan or Trekkie this would be an opportunity to say something witty. Unfortunately I am not.
Q: Favorite kind of games? Board games, mind games, video games…?
A: Board games. Simple games that involve social interaction. Apples to Apples is always fun. It gets people to laugh.
Q: Who would play you in the feature/art film/made-for-TV movie about your life?
A: Ugh. Fine. I’ll say it. Neil Patrick Harris. Apparently I look like him…I don’t see it.
Q: What is your favorite piece of art?
A: I’m a big architecture fan. Art Deco and Frank Lloyd Wright buildings.
Q: What is your favorite piece of children’s entertainment?
A: Does Harry Potter count? I really want to go see the new Harry Potter theme park in Florida. Don’t judge me…
Q: Celebrity you’d most like to meet.
A: David Bowie. I’ve been a Bowie fan since I was 5 years old. My uncle used to make me recite over and over that I loved David Bowie. Apparently, it worked.