ADC goes digital

This year, the Art Director’s Club will release a digital Annual instead of a printed one, ending a 91-year tradition. To mark the occasion, it commissioned ADC Young Gun Pete Rossi to design a limited edition iPad case for the first 500 members who download the app.

This year, the Art Director’s Club will release a digital Annual instead of a printed one, ending a 91-year tradition. To mark the occasion, it commissioned ADC Young Gun Pete Rossi to design a limited edition iPad case for the first 500 members who download the app.

The black and gold cover is inspired by the early ADC Annuals of the 1920s and is made out of bamboo and Moroccan book cloth. It was printed by DODOcase, a San Francisco company that makes smartphone and tablet cases using traditional book binding techniques.

“We wanted to create a timeless design coupled with that historic and hand crafted element – a classic yet contemporary case that celebrates and pays homage to the 92-year history of ADC,” says Rossi, an ADC Young Gun and co-founder of Glasgow, London and Switzerland-based design studio, RM&CO. The design and overall package features “elements of the old fused with the new,” he says – such as an embossed medallion based on the ADC’s first awards medal, designed by sculptor Paul Manship in 1920.

The covers have been designed to provide members with a tangible object in the absence of a printed publication. Rossi modelled the cover on the annuals from the twenties because he wanted to capture the detail and timeless look of the period, he explains. “It was a very special period in the history of ADC, as these annuals were the first few ever,” he adds.  

It’s a bold move from ADC, which is now the first major awarding body to ditch its print annual in favour of a digital publication. “I think its a great thing — a big statement to the industry about how information can be and is consumed,” says Rossi.

The new app was designed by Sao Paulo digital agency the goodfellas and Monic Eunji Kim, an ADC member and motion designer at Google Creative Lab. ADC produced a digital version of its annual last year but executive director Ignacio Oreamuno says the 2013 app will be “like nothing we’ve ever published before”.

“The industry is changing and therefore the way we consume content is changing. Work that is honoured with an ADC Cube deserves to be experienced in a more dynamic way,” he says. “However, even though our Annual is going digital, ADC members still appreciate holding something tangible and beautifully crafted in their hands,” he adds, explaining why ADC commissioned Rossi and DODOcase to produce the case.

ADC claims the new app will be more immersive than last year’s with bonus content such as storyboards, making of videos and interviews with creative directors. Users will also be able to watch video and motion graphic entries in full and zoom, pinch and pan photography and illustration projects.

It will be interesting to see if other awarding bodies follow ADC’s lead – and what its members will make of the new digital-only annual. It’s always a little sad to see a long-running publication go out of print, but the new app could offer members access to more and better content, and Rossi has produced a lovely design for the case.

The ADC Annual 92 app will be released on November 11. Non-members can purchase a copy for $19.99.

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