Young Guns is the industry’s only global, cross-disciplinary, portfolio-based awards competition that identifies and celebrates today’s vanguard of young creatives. The program is open to creatives age 30 and under who have been working for at least two years, full-time or freelance.
Eligible entrants can submit a combination of professional and personal work in graphic design; advertising art direction and copywriting; architectural, environmental and interior design; industrial and product design; digital (UX/UI, experiential design, interactive, web design, apps, game development): film and animation (motion design, television, video); fashion; typography and lettering; illustration and photography.
The online entry system is open, with the reduced-fee early deadline of June 30, regular deadline July 14, 2022 and final deadline July 28, 2022. Winners will be announced in the fall.
The renowned competitions regularly attract entries from upwards of 45 countries, with more than half coming from outside the US. Winners will be selected by a jury made up of past Young Guns winners and other creative leaders, to be announced shortly.
Past Young Guns include rising stars who went on to become leaders in their chosen fields, including graphic designers James Victore (YG1), Stefan Sagmeister (YG1), Natasha Jen (YG3) and Jessica Walsh (YG8); ad creatives Rei Inamoto (YG4) and Menno Kluin (YG6); illustrators Christoph Niemann (YG2) and Deanne Cheuk (YG4); fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond (YG14); director Joseph Kosinski (YG4), artist/filmmaker Calmatic (YG16); director/photographer India Sleem (YG17); photographer Ryan McGuinness (YG2); typographers Alex Trochut (YG6) and Gemma O’Brien (YG13); film and video director Mike Mills, animation artist Todd St. John (YG1) and others.
All Young Guns winners receive a unique version of the iconic Young Guns Cube, designed exclusively for this year’s incoming class, and have their permanent profile page added to the Young Guns website. Winners also receive a complimentary one-year One Club for Creativity membership, permanent membership in the Young Guns network, a chance to be featured in Young Guns events and an assortment of career-boosting opportunities from Young Guns sponsors.
Program branding and design of the Cube award itself is reimagined each year by a past Young Gun winner. This year’s YG20 branding and award are designed by Zipeng Zhu (YG13), founder and creative director at Dazzle Studio New York, who said of the work “YG20 is all about celebration! It’s a celebration of the legacy, the now, and the future.”
He added “The identity is inspired by the word ‘pump’, getting pumped about celebrating and also pumping the balloons for the celebration. Using YG20 in the form of colorful metallic balloons floating in the air in front of a kinetic typography background, the clash of 2D and 3D creates an enormous contrast of the graphic to capture the playful yet daring energy of Young Guns.”
The font for the YG20 branding is created by NaN Berlin.
“Young Guns has a unique place in the creative world for considering a body of both professional and personal work from an individual, not just a single design or ad,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club. “Winning is special because we’re celebrating a creative person’s individuality, as well as elevating the next generation of creative leaders.”