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ONU graphic design graduate looks golden at regional ADDY Awards

March—The Fifth District of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Competition recently held its ADDY awards competition March 20–21. The district represents 10 professional advertising associations and 18 colleges throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Ohio Northern alumnus AJ Jimenez (BFA/graphic design ’09) won a Gold ADDY for his app design for Cub Cadet while working for Recess Creative in Cleveland. The recognition is the highest award presented by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the AAF.

This is an outstanding acknowledgment by their peers for what the AAF describes as “the highest level of creative excellence… judged to be superior to all other entries in the category.” Last month, the app design was submitted in the local market ADDY competition in Northeast Ohio. The design won a Silver ADDY. Now, all of the district winners will compete in the National ADDY competition this spring.

The award recognized the work for the Cub Cadet Cub Connect app. Designed for use with the Cub Cadet XT Enduro Series of lawn tractors, the app alerts users about necessary maintenance, including oil changes, blade maintenance and air filter replacements. The app also tracks total running hours over the lifetime of the tractor and logs all maintenance tasks to keep machines running at peak performance.

The AAF, the nation’s oldest national advertising trade association, has 15 district operations in different regions of the nation. The American Advertising Awards, commonly known in the trade as “the ADDY awards,” is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local ad club competitions. The mission of this competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

AJ is currently an art director at Recess Creative, a full service, digital advertising and integrated marketing agency. Founded in 2009, Recess Creative adheres to an unwavering goal of providing innovative solutions and unexpected results for their clients. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Recess Creative serves a roster of blue-chip companies nationwide in scope. Clients include KeyBank, MOVband, Iron Chef Marc Forgione, Gatorade, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and other regional and national industry leaders. The firm also has been recognized as an industry leader in digital communication and has won numerous awards that include ADDYs, Webbys, Communicator Awards, IMAs, OMMAs, Hives, AIGA Awards, AdAge, IxDA and ECHO awards.

As a designer for Recess Creative, AJ provides art direction and design for all mediums, with a strong emphasis in interactive design. AJ has worked in a wide variety of industry segments from retail, non-profit and financial services and B2B. AJ most recently lead the design of a new mobile app for a BD pitch as well as designed for KeyBank and Cuyahoga Community College. He currently is involved with the local AIGA professional chapter in Cleveland.

Prior to Recess Creative, AJ worked as a graphic designer for Insivia in Cleveland and as a free-lance designer. He also completed an internship at The Detroit Studio, also located in Cleveland.

While on campus, AJ served as president of the AIGA (The Professional Association for Design)/ONU student chapter, attended several national design conferences including Gain in New York City. He also served as vice president of the Latino Student Union and was involved with Finding U @ ONU and Vision Builders. For several years he served as a peer assistant for the Arts & Science First Year Experience program. He had work accepted to a number of student juried exhibits, had work accepted to the AIGA Cleveland design competition, and was inducted to Kappa Pi national art honorary.

The mission of the Ohio Northern graphic design program is to prepare undergraduate students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication. Focusing on development and mastery of conceptual and technical skills in graphic design, illustration, and advertising as well as studio electives, cross disciplinary courses and collaborative experiences prepare students for the convergence of the design fields and for positions as creative directors across a broad spectrum of increasingly media-based careers. Graduates from the program have gone on to work at companies such as Wunderman Design, Foothold Design, Smithsonian Institution, Milan Historical Museum, NiSource, and Bubbles Academy.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2014–15 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.