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Montclair State Design Students Win Top Awards at Art Directors Club of New Jersey’s 21st Annual Design Derby

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MSU Students (left to right): Paul Calabrese, Gloria Harihar, Michelle Reynolds, Jeremy Jerschina (the client), Alex Cubillos, and Austin Tam.

College of the Arts Design students competed in the Art Directors Club of New Jersey (ADCNJ) annual Design Derby on Nov. 1 and won two top awards in Best Design and Best Presentation.  The ADCNJ Derby is a one-day competition, held annually, to give New Jersey design students a chance to experience working for a real client, collaborating in teams to develop concepts, and presenting their ideas in a formal setting. Clients are selected from the non-profit sector and projects range from logos and websites to apps. The focus of the competition is creativity, not technique, so students are not allowed to use computers.

Sussex County Community College was the host site of this year’s Design Derby, where NJ design students broke into 10 teams to create a set of outreach materials for the client, New City Kids. James Smith, of Smith Design, long-time event sponsor and student supporter, moderated the event and outlined the goals for the students. Jeremy Jerschina, Executive Director at New City Kids selected the winners for Best Design and Best Presentation. The Presentation Award was added in recent years to highlight the importance of communication and presentation skills in the design profession. 

About ADCNJ: ADCNJ is the only statewide organization for New Jersey art directors, graphic designers and other creative professionals. Founded in 1961, the ADCNJ provides an opportunity for stimulating ideas, discovering new talents, sources, and techniques, and promoting the advancement of the professional designer or artist. Learn more at

About New City Kids:
New City Kids aims to draw children into hope by developing skills, talents, and desires for their future. By surrounding them with a community of love and development, New City Kids strives to set youth on a path of transformation that will carry them forward for the rest of their lives.

About Smith Design: With offices in Morristown, NJ, Carmel, CA, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Smith Design has three decades of expertise crafting solutions that result in significant gains for leading brands and companies. Learn more at