The Ukrainian book ‘Crime without Punishment,’ The Banned Book Club, and an African typeface are among the winners of the ADC Annual Awards


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During Creative Week 2024, held in New York City from May 13-17, the Art Directors Club of New York’s 103rd Annual Awards announced its winners. A total of 11,309 entries were submitted from 62 countries and regions. This year, the awards extended beyond design categories to recognize publishing and literary projects. Our editorial team selected three of the most impactful literary (and literacy) projects among the winners to showcase.

“Crime without Punishment”: a crafted exposé presented to global powerhouses


“The epic saga about war crimes, illegal deportation, and brainwashing of Ukrainian kids” was produced by Ukrainian creative agency Bickerstaff. 734 garnered both silver and merit awards at the ADC Annual Awards in New York in the category “Books / Limited Edition / Private Press / Special Format.


The 6,000-page book chronicles Russia’s grievous crimes against humanity and features the title “New Russian Classic” on its cover. 


“The book’s sheer weight and volume are symbolic, representing the gravity of the crimes and the overwhelming evidence against the perpetrators. Tagged “still in progress,” most of its pages are classified since case materials will be open to the public only after criminals face justice. Hopefully, soon,” read the project’s page. 


“Using every opportunity to talk about war and its terrible crimes is our duty if we are involved in communications,” said Veronika Seleha, CEO of Bickerstaff 734. 


The full list of Publication Design by discipline is available here.


ADLaM typeface for 60 million people

This year’s esteemed Art Designers Club Black Cube for Best of Show was awarded to McCann New York for their work on “ADLaM,” on behalf of Microsoft. “ADLaM” also received the prized ADC Designism Cube for promoting positive societal and political change, the Best of Discipline in Typography, and two Gold Cubes.


ADLaM is an acronym translating to “the alphabet that will prevent a people from being lost.” It is the alphabet for the Pulaar language, which is spoken by Fulani people, a West African community of 60 million people spread across the world. Pulaar had no writing system before 1989 when two brothers, Abdoulaye and Ibrahima Barry, began working on an alphabet for Pulaar. 


Microsoft worked closely with the Barry Brothers, their community, typeface experts and cultural specialists to revise, optimize, and digitize their alphabet – bringing their people to the digital age and preserving their culture for generations to come. 


As a result, Mali is now in the process of recognizing ADLaM as an official alphabet in its constitution. Guinea has recently integrated it into its Sustainable Development Strategy with the goal of teaching ADLaM to 2 million children within 5 years.


The Banned Book Club: the message for the book banners

Among the other “literary” winners in other categories, The Banned Book Club launched a partnership with President Barack Obama to create the Digital Public Library of America (The Best of Non-profit Category).


Agency FCB and 456 Studios created the project on behalf of the Digital Public Library of America, opening access to the most up-to-date database of all books banned in America and to the books themselves. The project aims to demonstrate that “every time the book banners try to take a book off the shelf, the DPLA will put it right back, virtually.”


The project arose in response to various book bannings in the US. According to the American Library Association report, in 2023 alone, 4,240 books were removed from shelves, marking the highest number of bans in any single year. 


In addition, FCB New York was named Agency of the Year at the ADC 103rd Annual Awards as a result of its cumulative points tally from awards won throughout the competition.


The ADC Annual Awards serve as the world’s longest-continuously-running design award show. They honor excellence in advertising, digital media, graphic and publication design, packaging and product design, motion, experiential and spatial design, photography, illustration, and fashion design, all emphasizing artistry and craftsmanship. They select winners from a pool of over 10,000 applicants.


This year marked the 103rd edition of the Award. The One Club for Creativity organizes the show, which aims to support and celebrate the achievements of the global creative community.


Copyediting: Ben Angel, Terra Friedman King