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The Bells Can Wait

Compete To Exhibition


Note: The deadline to enter work has been extended until July 24th, enter your work here.

Nearly six weeks ago, despite the fact that we had been warned it was coming, everything changed. Crisis hit every facet of our lives, and it seemed to be taking no prisoners. No one was immune to its effects, and ICAD needed to adapt to survive in a way it has never had to do before. The Institute had spent months, perhaps even years, laying the foundations for a project that we felt would mark a sea-change in its existence. A project that would highlight the importance of our collective industries’ role in society and the value of creativity. Those plans were thrown out of the window by an invisible force before we even had a chance to open it, and in the weeks that followed our collective boards were faced with monumental challenges, both in their own lives and in their capacity as members responsible for the survival and governance of the Institute. Forced to examine the purpose of ICAD, the responsibilities incumbent on us as board members and the role of the Institute for its members, we had to start anew, so we began to sacrifice our time, our work, our ambitions and our plans, at the centre of it all our awards. By consensus the collective boards of ICAD realigned its focus for 2020 and perhaps indefinitely, we examined each aspect, programme and mechanism available to ICAD and began to repurpose everything at our disposal to provide our community with support, and in doing so understand that this was our new priority. In the intervening weeks we have worked hard to develop a series of initiatives with a view to supporting and promoting our members through these uncertain times: creating new spaces to explore the issues facing our community; supporting new graduates; creating platforms for practical advice where our members’ voices can be heard; and collaborating with our partners to provide industry training and courses.

However, the question remained, how do we celebrate our members’ work in 2020? What will become of the awards programme? Should we do anything, and if we do, how might it address the economic and financial realities that face our members during this unprecedented crisis? How could we reward the work and maintain a parity so that the breadth of our members’ output was fully represented?

The 2020 ICAD awards will utilise its existing platform to award entries to commendation level, or what was traditionally the ICAD exhibition standard. Entry costs for our members will be fixed at €25. The awards will be judged to the same standards that currently make an ICAD award at any level a recognised benchmark. Entries to this year’s awards that achieve the exhibition standard will proceed to competition in 2021, and in November ICAD plan to mount a major public exhibition of that work, in a cost-effective and impactful way, providing a creative response to meet the unique challenge this institute now faces, and to promote our members’ work at a time when we feel it is vital to do so. Our goal is to provide that community with something to look forward to, a moment to strive for, a point in the future where we can celebrate the thing that binds us together: the work. A moment that, while conforming to our new norm, will offer each of us an opportunity to celebrate, and to do so together.

Ours is a project like no other on this island, an organisation and awards programme that celebrates those in our respective industry who truly believe and understand the value of creativity. ICAD was never intended to be an awards factory, where bottom lines are defined by cost versus profit. This is a membership-led not-for-profit, and that fact not only distinguishes us, it defines us. Our members are the shareholders, and any profit or funds raised are redistributed across our programme work, so our membership in their entirety is the beneficiary. The awards programme is both an economic and a promotional vehicle for the Institute and those it represents, and the revenue it generates ensures that this social project is maintained, our community engaged and represented and importantly that their achievements are recognised.

No matter what your reasoning for entering into the ICAD awards, let’s not shy away from the simple fact that to win at ICAD no matter what the level is a good feeling, and that’s ok, because the price that feeling comes at ensures our ability to continue this social project and support this community. It services the steps on the ladder of not only our own careers but the careers of those who will come after us. A collective responsibility which belongs to all of us to ensure that the opportunities we have been afforded and the supports and benefits we have received continue to exist for those who will become ICAD.

This year’s awards simply have to mean more. They are about creating that moment. It’s about celebrating the best of Irish advertising and design and providing our community with a positive point in the future to aim for.

As for the bells, we will all just have to wait.

Call for Entries Launch, May 5th 2020.

The Institute of Creative Advertising and Design in the 62nd year of its existence once again calls for your entries, your commitment, your support, your ambition. We are assembling the juries for 2020 and in the coming weeks as those members are confirmed we will announce this year’s juries. Our awards system opens on May 5th and closes.

Enter Your Work Here