Cannes Juror Q&A w/ Gabe Usadel
Prior to this year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we sat down with our Ogilvy colleagues serving as jurors at this year's Festival to pick their brains about the category their judging, what they're expecting this year, and more.
Gabe Usadel, Executive Design Director, Ogilvy Chicago (Industry Craft Lions Juror)
What makes assessing craft particularly challenging and different from other categories?
I can't speak to judging other categories (I am sure they're all intense in their own way), but evaluating craft is like reverse engineering a giant puzzle.
To me, craft is about the proper execution of so many important details (color palette, layout composition, visual hierarchy, choice of typeface, typesetting, cropping, symmetries, size/scale, tone of voice, use of white space, etc). And most importantly, how well the craft reflects a given strategy, concept and/or brand.
When operating at a high level, impeccable craft can make a mediocre concept look like a better idea (but when paired with a great idea can be timeless or even legendary). It also works the other way around, too.
What types of craft trends are you seeing across the industry?
This year I see a fair amount of early experimentation with AI. It's obviously still in its early stages, but we can clearly see its potential and it will be exciting to see where it goes and how quickly.
Is craft subjective? Or are there particular elements that you know need to be included in order for something to be worthy of attention for craft?
There is certainly a degree of subjectivity to craft, but the proof isn't just superficial beauty. Excellent craftsmanship adds intelligence and performance to any work. Brands that value these details stand apart from the rest.