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Get noticed by the pros! The 2014 Student Awards are now open and accepting entries until Friday, May 16.
All About the AACE
Were you at our AACE Awards? You might be on video! We held our second annual AACE party on November 28, 2013 at Berkeley Church in Toronto and filmed our winners and guests enjoying food, drink, great company and a whole lot of prize-winning art. Check out the event footage below — hopefully we'll see you there this year!
What are the AACE Awards, you ask?
Well, it all started in 1992 with the original Applied Arts Awards, which covered four disciplines (Photography, Illustration, Advertising and Design) in a single program. Without discussion or debate, the jury voted for which pieces should appear in the annual, and all entries were treated equally with no first, second or third place standings (a tradition we still uphold today).
The program took off, and the volume of entries increased exponentially. It became difficult to manage something that had outgrown itself, and we wanted to give coverage to as much inspiring work as possible. So we began to separate the Applied Arts Awards into several programs — each with their own juries, each to be published in a different annual. We isolated Photography & Illustration first, in 2002, and it’s become the largest annual of its kind in North America.
Before 2006, each discipline contained its own student categories. After we kept receiving so many worthy submissions from young artists, we established the Student Annual. Since then, we’ve seen a marked increase in international students participating in the program, with submissions coming anywhere from the US to Saudi Arabia to Hong Kong.
Similarly, we’d always recognized digital work within each discipline. By the mid-2000s, the web as medium was king and it changed the face of advertising and design. To reflect industry shifts and celebrate this new frontier, we created the Interactive branch of our awards program in 2006. In 2010, we split up the massive Design and Advertising Annual, giving each stream its own edition to ensure complete coverage.
The changes didn’t stop there. When Applied Arts founder Georges Haroutiun announced his retirement in 2012 after a distinguished career in design, AA decided to pay homage to him with the Applied Arts Creative Excellence (AACE) Awards, a program acknowledging the jurists’ favourite entries across all six disciplines. After the various juries blindly vote on the entries throughout the year, there is always one piece in each discipline that garners more votes than any other — that’s the AACE winner. We hand out our Lucite cube AACE Awards, designed by Georges himself, to the victors at a big bash in the fall. If you're interested in attending the AACE Awards, watch our social media channels for info on purchasing tickets.