The Mill Design Studio crafts a bespoke design system for the AICP Awards at the MoMA

All in one night, one event, and one design package to tie it all together.
Work June 10, 2022

Last night, the AICP Awards held their annual awards gala at the MoMA, which marked the return of all three shows to an in-person format, and the first time all shows were held within one event.

The AICP Awards is an ongoing archival project with cultural and artistic significance, recognizing all moving parts of commercial making. The awards are judged by members of the advertising and production industry and are assembled by a curatorial panel of prominent leaders. The AICP Awards comprises three competitions – The AICP Show: The Art & Technique of the Commercial; The AICP Next Awards and The AICP Post Awards.

The AICP looked to the Mill Design Studio to conceptualize and create a unified branding system across motion, digital, and print for its three-day event at the MoMA. Creatively Directed by Head of Design Mike Schaeffer out of our New York studio and tapping into our global network of artists, the team crafted a brand system that spanned all mediums. Following the gala, the work will be archived in the MoMA’s permanent collection.

Based on Art Director James Isaaks’ concept, the Design Team started with a seed of loose, colorful, painterly abstract art that inherited motion with a technique of style transfer. This technique pairs motion with a style, or texture, and is then run through a system to interpret the motion and the machine tries or retain the original texture through each clip.

The loose and unpredictable nature of style transfer was reigned in with a grid system layout to formalize the typography and layouts, much in the same way distinctive styles of art are organized in a physical gallery space.

The highest goal of the motion and edit was to weave poetic narratives through a humanistic celebration, through natural movement yet highly art directed framing and composition. Our team – together in person during an Action Art Day, as well as at home – created many styles of abstract art in constrained color palettes for each specific show package.

As this year’s event marked a return and the first time that all three events are in one night we pushed to create a bold, bright, jubilant vibe. The three palettes of each show laddered up to a combined color scheme for the Sponsor Reel, representing the event as whole.




The Mill Design Studio created all the visual branding system for the event at the MoMA, from digital to print, including the ticket to the event, banner ads, social posts, brochures and more. Brand Guidelines were established to be followed in order to keep a uniform feel throughout all pieces of work across the three shows, and the team thoughtfully selected specific design to lead the audience’s experience of the system from the theater to the bar.

“Utilizing a holistic approach as a way to showcase our design systems processes, we continuously challenged ourselves to stay true to what we set out to do. We wanted to create something that would make a graphic design professor happy.”
-Mike Schaeffer, Head of Design NY

Stay tuned for more insights from our collaboration with AICP.

You can get in touch with our Design Studio via our contact page. Follow The Mill Design Studio on Instagram, @millchanneldesign.