Following the spectacular premieres of the AICP Show: The Art & Technique of the Commercial, the AICP Next Awards, and the AICP Post Awards at The Museum of Modern Art, the talents from Cutters Studios and its sibling companies Cutters, Another Country, and Flavor are deeply honored to detail their artistic contributions. 

With its design artistry also impacting all facets of this year’s AICP Week seminars and panels, Flavor once again led the campaign to unify the overall visual packaging for all events, all three awards presentations and much more. Also, for the second straight year, Another Country designed a bespoke soundscape for all three awards programs, which continues to earn the creative industry’s highest praise.

“The work of Cutters, Flavor and Another Country not only provided an inspiring design motif for all of our AICP Week events and awards premieres, it also underscored the importance of craft, which provides the foundation for everything that the AICP Awards recognizes and celebrates,” said Matt Miller, President & CEO of AICP. “We’re deeply appreciative of the thought, creativity, insight and overall excellence they brought to this assignment, which set an appropriate tone for the outstanding work honored in our competitions and the high level of discussion, information and knowledge that was shared at our panels.”

“Cutters, Flavor and Another Country created a mesmerizing and completely original opening title sequence for this year’s show,” said O Positive Founding Partner/Executive Producer Ralph Laucella, Chairperson of the 2024 AICP Show. “We all loved the surreal look and feel to the piece. It was a great experience to see this creative collaboration evolve into something very special.”

2024 AICP Show Packages for The AICP Show, The AICP Post Awards, and The AICP Next Awards

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The Big Picture

Last year, Flavor became the first company in the AICP Show’s 32-year history to take on overall design spanning the specific design requirements of multiple AICP awards shows. From custom title sequences to sponsor reels, and graphics for all branded content, the 2023 efforts built strong affinity with Miller and his All-Star AICP colleagues. This time around, yet again, Flavor’s campaign involved Managing Director Neal Cohen, Executive Producer Kate Smith, Producer Brittany Maddock, Executive Creative Director Brian McCauley, Associate Creative Directors Brad Backofen and Colby Capes, Senior Art Director Mack Neaton, and many talented artists.

“A key requirement was for us to use a hand-animated style,” said Cohen. “With the buzz of AI in the air, Matt and the AICP team wanted something traditional to show off human artistry. That was a key point in our direction of the chosen style.”

From there, according to McCauley, from various concepts presented, the choice was made to illustrate the entirety of our universal human story in three chapters: Before, during, and after humanity. “Ultimately,” he explained, “we were all really excited about capturing the creative process as told through a journey through the cosmic landscape. It’s a bit of a surreal exploration, in a distinct visual style.”

Starting with the concept of life arising from a single spark, Backofen mapped out Flavor’s narrative approach. “Each awards premiere represented a different phase of the journey,” he confirmed. “In the Post Awards, we see the spark bringing together disparate building blocks of matter to create something new, then in the AICP Show, we see the spark's influence on the living human world. Finally, in the Next Awards, the spark escapes into the cosmos to seed life in new worlds.”

On behalf of her team, Neaton further illuminated the hand-drawn design philosophy, which proved especially poignant for all involved. “We incorporated brush strokes, watercolor splotches, and film grain to give our designs a familiar touch, so that the physical act of creation is reflected throughout, evoking the emotional connection artists have with creating,” she said.

The Sonic Arc

For Another Country, full credit for this year’s soundscape goes to Executive Producer Louise Rider, Creative Director and Composer/Sound Designer Joe Philips, Managing Director Tim Konn, Producer Josh Hunnicutt, Mixer Logan Vines, and Audio Assistant Nora Strickstein.

Out of the gate, the group’s core objective was to continue building upon last year’s signature melody by connecting disparate media through consistent mnemonic artistry. From there, unsurprisingly, Philips and company went much, much deeper.

Based on extensive explorations with Flavor’s entire team, one recurring descriptor for this year’s campaign got Philips’ undivided attention: meditative. In his words: “I immediately thought about bells, their vibrations and frequencies, and how that could correlate to the light we watch journey across the screen throughout the entire show package.”

Philips continued: “I found myself working with headphones often, and auditioned sounds through the lens of maximum sonic-sensory pleasure. I looked for moments where warm, enveloping lows or soft, stimulating highs could support the visuals and excite the ear simultaneously. Music and Sound Design were created with each other in mind, ensuring they layered together purposefully and stayed out of each other's space. There’s a lot going on in these opening titles, and the sponsor reel has some of my favorite tonal moments, where I feel like I'm floating.”

With Cutters Studios President and Managing Director Craig Duncan chosen as Chairperson of the 2024 AICP Post Awards, his involvement with the AICP Week festivities hit an all-time high. Notably, Cutters Executive Producer Heather Richardson and Assistant Editor Leah Fishwick once again provided far-ranging editorial support for this year’s awards shows, and Cutters Studios wound up having 8 projects shortlisted, with winning entries in both the AICP Show and the AICP Post Awards.

“Without a doubt, being selected for this role is the pinnacle of my career,” Duncan began. “Our Curatorial Committee was absolutely the best of the best in every single discipline, and my endless thanks go out to Matt Miller, everyone at AICP, Ralph Laucella, and Goodby Silverstein & Partners Chief Creative Officer & Partner Margaret Johnson, who served as Judging Chair for the AICP Next Awards.

“Beyond that,” he added, “I could not be more proud of the artistry of my colleagues at Flavor, Another Country, and Cutters. Over the past two years – in association with the AICP, which is the North Star of advertising excellence – we have created multiple museum-worthy masterpieces that will now live on forever in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. What could be greater than that?”