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Wake up call for designers: adobo Design Awards Asia 2017 open for entries

MANILA – The adobo Design Awards Asia (aDAA) once again gathers the best designers in the region to compete and be judged by a jury composed of some of the world’s best designers.

At a launch event held on February 2 at the new Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, design luminaries and creative industry stars were in attendance: Merlee Jayme, chairwoman and Chief Creative Officer of Dentsu Jayme Syfu and the first Filipino to be awarded The Creative of the Year for Southeast Asia in the Campaign Asia Pacific Agency of the Year; Patrick Cabral, acclaimed freelance art director, calligraphist, and designer; CJ de Silva-Ong, a “gifted child” of the Promil fame whose recent works include the album cover for The Itchyworms’ After All This Time, the book design for Stupid is Forever, and the movie posters for Rakenrol; Harvey Tolibao, comic book artist for Dark Horse Comics, Marvel Comics, and DC Comics; and Ivan Despi, illustrator, designer, and animator who along with his wife Pauline, runs the Acid House.

They shared the panel with adobo magazine founder, president and EIC Angel Guerrero and adobo magazine Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Janelle Barretto Squires. Together, they answered questions from various journalists that included those from newspaper, magazine, and online publications. The creative industry stalwarts revealed what makes Asian design, and Filipino design in particular, distinct.


Jayme notes that Filipino creativity often stems from ingenuity, making do with less. Silva-Ong and Cabral highlighted Filipino adaptability. Tolibao revealed his own provincial upbringing and how design and artistry, once thought of as an impractical luxury that was at best done as a hobby, can be the key to good livelihood and international acclaim.

Asia to the world

The event also showed video highlights of last year’s aDAA as well as that D&AD, the UK-based educational organization known for their staging of the world’s toughest creative competition and most coveted design accolade, that once again has partnered with aDAA for the second straight year.

Sixteen Professional Categories patterned loosely after the D&AD include: Press and Poster, Corporate/Brand Identity, Typography, Illustration, Book Design, Magazine and Newspaper Design, Film Advertising, Videos, Short Film, Film/Video Craft, Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Outdoor, Environmental/Spatial, Product Design, Wearable Design, Production Design, Photography, Digital/Interactive, and Mobile.

There will be an Open Category which welcomes entries from professionals, freelancers and students. This category calls for new work in any format that adheres to this year’s theme “Inspiring Humanity Through Design.” Select categories are supported by event partners such as Globe Telecom for the Mobile App Design for Social Good, which will recognize entries in the mobile application format that present creative solutions to social issues. Meantime, Nestle’s Bear Brand supports the Photography category, which will recognize entries that show the strength of will of Filipino families.

Winners for these categories will receive cash prizes and/or special awards courtesy of the sponsors.

The adobo Design Awards Asia 2017 deadline for submission is on March 11. Judging takes place from March 27 to 28 at the Green Sun’s Anima exhibition space. A special exhibit showcasing D&AD’s top winners for 2016 are also in the plans during this period. To cap off “adobo Design week,” select members of the jury including jury head and D&AD president Bruce Duckworth will lead the talks during the adobo Design Series, a mini conference on design which will be held on March 29. Awarding ceremonies will be held on April 5.

This year’s jury includes D&AD president Bruce Duckworth, Merlee Jayme of Dentsu Jayme Syfu, Jowee Alviar of Team Manila, Dave Ferrer of J. Walter Thompson, calligrapher Patrick Cabral, Dan Matutina of Plus63 Design, Robert Alejandro of RAD Design, Quark Henares of Globe Studios, Ivan Despi of Acid House, internationally acclaimed art photographer Wawi Navarroza, Tokyo-based creative director Yoshihiro Yagi of Dentsu Inc, and DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Dark Horse Comics artist Harvey Tolibao.

adobo Design Awards Asia 2017 is made possible with the participation of event partners Samsung, Globe Telecom, Nestle Bear Brand, Green Bulb PR, Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Green Sun, Filmex, and PWC.

It’s time once again for the best of Asian design to be recognized. Be part of the adobo Design Awards Asia.

For more information on how to enter, or sponsorship opportunities, visit or email

Partner with adobo Magazine

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