The 2020 Design Incubation Communication Design Awards

2020 Design Incubation Educators Awards competition in 4 categories: Creative Work, Published Research, Teaching, Service

Congratulation to the recipients of the 2020 Communication Design Awards!

Scholarship: Creative Works Awards

Winner: Cradlr: A Design Project for Refugee Children

Jing Zhou
Associate Professor
Department of Art and Design
Monmouth University


Jane Connory
Art, Design & Architecture
Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University

Scholarship: Published Research

None awarded

Service Award

Winner: Diseño y diáspora podcast

Mariana Salgado
Service Designer/ Lecturer
Ministry of the Interior in Finland

Andrés Fechtenholz
Julian Pereyra
Antonio Zimmermann
Mercedes Salgado

Runner-up: AIGA Design Educators Community SHIFT 2020 Virtual Summit

Alison Place
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Liese Zahabi
Assistant Professor
University of New Hampshire

Alberto Rigau
Estudio Interlínea

Teaching Award

Winner: If This is Theory, Why Isn’t It Boring? Connecting traditional text[book]s to real-life contexts with Augmented Reality

Deborah Littlejohn
Associate Professor
College of Design
North Carolina State University

Special Award – joint winners

Jury Commendation for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Scholarship: Creative Works: Expanding the Canon:

Jane Connory

Service: Expanding the Canon:

Mariana Salgado

Graduate Student Awards

None awarded


Gail Anderson is an NYC-based designer, educator, and writer. She is Chair of BFA Design and BFA Advertising at the School of Visual Arts, and the creative director at Visual Arts Press. Anderson has served as a senior art director at Rolling Stone, creative director of design at SpotCo, and as a designer at The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and Vintage Books. She has taught at SVA for close to thirty years and has co-authored 15 books on design, typography, and illustration with the fabulous Steven Heller. Anderson serves on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the US Postal Service and the advisory board of Poster House. She is an AIGA Medalist and the 2018 recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award for Design. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the Milton Glaser Design Archives, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Fatima Cassim, Ph.D., heads the Information Design division in the Department of Visual Arts at the University Pretoria, South Africa. In 2012, she received a Harvard South African Fellowship for a research residency at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the culture of design; in particular, she is interested in design activism and the possible impact it may have on design citizenship. Dr. Cassim is the co-editor of the accredited Image & Text journal and the Director of Education on the board of directors for Open Design, a South African NGO that uses and promotes design to innovate, educate and build resilient communities.

Denise Gonzales Crisp is a Professor of Graphic Design and Director of Graduate Programs for Graphic Design at North Carolina State University College of Design. She is the author of Graphic Design in Context: Typography (Thames & Hudson, 2011). Her juried and commissioned essays have been published in Design and Culture Journal, Design Observer, Design Research, The Design Dictionary, and other notable anthologies. Gonzales Crisp is a contributing editorial board member for Design and Culture Journal. A member of the graphic design professional organization American Institute of Graphic Arts since 1989, she has served on the Los Angeles chapter’s advisory board.

Paul J. Nini is a Professor and past Chairperson in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University, where he has also acted as Graduate Studies Chair and Coordinator of the Visual Communication Design undergraduate program. His professional service activities have included: board member of the Graphic Design Education Association; member of AIGA’s Design Educators Community steering committee; editorial board member for the ico-D journal Communication Design: Interdisciplinary and Graphic Design Research; and advisory board member for AIGA’s Dialectic journal. A collection of his academic writing can be found at –

Maria Rogal is a Professor of Graphic Design and leads the new Design & Visual Communications MFA at the University of Florida. She is the founder of D4D Lab, an award-winning initiative to co-design with indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to generate sustainable local outcomes supporting self-determination. She has lectured and published about social and co-design, recently co-authoring “CoDesigning for Development,” which appears in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Her research has been funded by AIGA, Sappi, and Fulbright programs, among others, and her creative design work has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions.

Teal Triggs, Ph.D., (Chair) is a Professor of Graphic Design and leads on the MPhil/Ph.D. programme in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London. As a graphic design historian, researcher and educator she lectures and broadcasts widely and her writings have appeared in numerous international design publications and edited books. Her recent books include: co-editor of The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury), author of Fanzines (Thames & Hudson), and The School of Art (Wide Eyed) which was shortlisted for the ALCS 2016 Educational Writer’s Award. She is a Fellow of the Design Research Society, International Society of Typographic Designers and the Royal Society of Arts.

Design Incubation announces a call for nominations and entries for the 2020 awards for communication design educators and graduate students in the areas of scholarship, teaching, service. The aim of the awards program is to discover and recognize new scholarship (creative work and publications), teaching, and service in our broad and varied discipline. We hope to expand the design record, promote excellence and share knowledge within the field. 

This year, the jury also will be considering commendations for work covering the area of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in communication design. We encourage submissions of work that relate to these areas for consideration.


We kindly ask colleagues and mentors to identify outstanding creative work, publications, teaching, and service being done by design educators and graduate students in our field and to nominate these individuals for an award. Nominations will be accepted from April 15 to July 31, 2020. 

Entry Guidelines

Entries will be accepted from June 1–August 31, 2020. Complete the online entry form with the following:

  • Title: Description of project and outcomes (not to exceed 500 words)
  • Supporting Materials (limited to 5-page medium resolution pdf of artwork; web links to websites, videos, other online resources; published documents or visual documents)
  • Bio of applicant/s (150 words per applicant)
  • Curriculum vitae of applicant/s

New Initiative for the 2020 Design Incubation Awards: Graduate Student Work 

Beginning this year, Design Incubation is accepting entries in a new juried area of Graduate Student Work. The future of communication design education begins with the work of future faculty and researchers in the field of Communication Design. Recognition of graduate student work will be grouped and reviewed in the categories of scholarship, creative projects, and service. Graduate students currently enrolled in graduate design programs are invited to submit scholarship, creative projects, and service projects they completed during graduate study or up to one year after graduation.