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MCCC's Ad Design Students Earn Rave
Reviews from Grateful Nonprofit BIANJ


West Windsor, N.J.- In what has become an annual community service project, MCCC's advanced Advertising Design students have created soup-to-nuts marketing campaigns for this year's selected non-profit organization, the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey (BIANJ). On May 9, six student teams presented their semester's work before a panel of nine judges, focusing on a BIANJ special event, "Walk for Thought," to be held Oct. 1 at Mercer County Park. The campaigns included original logos, slogans, newsletter designs, web pages, posters, promotional items and more.

Praised for the continuity and cohesiveness of their campaign, the winning team included Steven Benci, of East Windsor, Michael Sadley of Lawrenceville, and Melissa Siedelhofer of Robbinsville. The judges gave high marks to the team's simple, yet strong, logo and their slogan, "The Power of Prevention."

The winning team was also recognized for its smooth presentation, right down to matching orange and black outfits. "It's as much about presentation as about content," observed judge Mark Britt, an MCCC adjunct instructor who teaches illustration and graphic design. Added former ad man Wally Kyle, who serves on BIANJ's Board of Directors, "This campaign could have come out of any agency in New York City."

Sadley, who has a relative with a brain injury, found the project very meaningful. He also appreciated the real world assignment. "It's great to work with an actual client," he said. "I am honored to be part of this project."

The judges began their critiques by acknowledging the tremendous talent in the room. Said BIANJ Board Member John Tiene, "Every team brought something to the table. We can use something from everyone."

One team's slogan, "Greatness begins with a single thought," earned strong reviews, as did newsletter designs that included real life stories and lots of pertinent facts. Especially appealing give-aways included one group's Teddy Bears and another group's bike helmets with white space for personalized messages.

The judges also offered some great suggestions, commenting on broad concepts and small details right down to font style. "When you are working with nonprofits, you must always keep budgets in mind," advised BIANJ's Cindy Dittfield. "You've really got to know your customer. Know their product better than they know it. Don't tell them, 'You can choose.' Come in with your strongest idea and pitch it."

Student Sarah McLaughlin, whose group's posters were judged as highly effective, said, "This is really good preparation for working in the field and for real life." Following graduation later this month, McLaughlin will continue her education at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Members of the winning team are also graduating this month. Benci graduates with honors and will attend TCNJ in the fall, Melissa Seidelhofer will attend Florida State University, and Mike Sadley is looking for full-time employment with dual degrees in Ad Design and Web Design.

Read more about MCCC's Advertising and Graphic Design program here.


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The winning design team included, from left, Steven Benci, Melissa Siedelhofer and Michael Sadley.
MCCC instructor Mark Britt offers his critiques. Also pictured are Lynn Tomaio of Bancroft, left, and BIANJ's Cindy Dittfield.
From left at front of room, students Harry Liu, Melissa Mott, James Pitonyak, and Christopher Findley present their campaign to classmates and the panel of judges.
Pictured with the winning student team are, back row from left, MCCC Ad Design Program Coordinator Tina LaPlaca; BIANJ President and CEO Barbara Geiger Parker; Board Member John Tiene; Bancroft's Lynn Tomaio; BIANJ Development Director Kit Hall; Rehabilitation Specialist Cindy Dittfield; BIANJ Communications Director Bill Kolbenschlag; MCCC Instructor Mark Britt; BIANJ Education Director Joanna Boyd; and BIANJ Board Member Wally Kyle.