Alaska graphic designers celebrate The Big One

The Big One 2016 Design by Jontue Hollingsworth of Headron Collider. All Rights Reserved.
The Big One 2016 Design by Jontue Hollingsworth of Headron Collider. All Rights Reserved.

Graphic design professionals from across the state celebrated another year’s worth of projects completed last Saturday night. The Big One is an annual competition organized by American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Alaska, and is open to all graphic design professionals in the state. Nationally recognized judges from outside chose the best of the best for this year’s competition.

“I love it,” said Adele Wiejaczka, PR and Marketing Chair for AIGA Alaska. “I love being able to connect with my fellow designers and share in our community. And really this is our visual representation of design in Alaska, which I think is really cool and important.”

This year, the competition took place among six categories: Application and Web Design, Communications, Environment and Experience, Logo and Identity Systems, Promotional Design and Advertising, and Poster Design. Judging was conducted before the event by three Outside desgin professionals: “Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co.; Ashleigh Axios, former White House Creative Director and digital strategist; and Debbie Millman, writer, educator, and brand consultant.” (Source: AIGA Alaska)

Not all of the attendees had skin in the game. Jontue Hollingsorth of Headron Collider didn’t submit any work for the competition this year. But he did contribute a very important piece: the prize. The whole design package, from the creation of the logo and promotional design down to the physical prize for Best in Show, has taken from July to the day of the competition.

When asked if there was any additional pressure to design a logo and prize for a design competition, Hollingsworth took it seriously. “This work is going to be seen by designers,” he explained. “And one of the things we normally do is we pick things apart. You know, we look at everything under a microscope and we’re very detail oriented, so I wanted to make sure I put in a lot of hard work.”

The physical prize consisted of a 3D-printed plastic moose head, complete with a gold earring, affixed to a stained wooden mount.

The recipient of that prize was Best of Show award winner Michaela Goade of Michaela Goade Design for her Wildfish Cannery Identity entry. Though Goade was not present to pick up her prize on at the competition, the attendees and organizers were eager to offer encouragement and appreciation to those who entered.

To view the full list of winners, as well as images of those entries, go to

Heather Aronno is a Journalism & Public Communications graduate from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her passion is community involvement, which has found a place within most of the work and projects with which she is involved. A transplant from the lower 48, Heather has lived in Anchorage, Alaska since the summer of 2005. Fortunately, it was a nice summer, and she's considered Alaska her home ever since.


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