As an individual, you can only do so much to affect the things you're passionate about. But as a creative who has the talent and means to persuade, you truly have the power to motivate people into action, whether it's something small like getting kids to brush their teeth, or something big like saving a species.


Find out if your work can move our panel of judges to win you a piece of $15,000 in best of category prizes and scholarships in the country's largest student creative competition.
Entry Submission Deadline is Sunday, February 28, 2016

Call For Entries to be Announced Soon!

View Rules


Susan Crawford


After giving marine biology a try in college, Susan decided to fall back on a more stable and lucrative profession: illustration. With her artist/writer husband Allen Crawford, they formed Plankton Art Company in 1999

Susan's stylized, graceful forms are largely inspired by nature and mid-century modernism. She clients include Target, Warner Bros., Hershey, Chronicle Books, Knopf, Ride Snowboards, Hasbro, National Geographic Kids Magazine, Discovery Channel and The Smithsonian National Zoo. One of her most ambitious project was a series of 400 hand-rendered identification key illustrations of fish, plants and other undersea creatures for The American Museum of Natural History's Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, where these drawings are on permanent display.

Susan's paintings, drawings and prints have been exhibited at numerous galleries, most notably Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Chelsea. She lives in a historic Quaker town in Central New Jersey, where she often goes on kayak trips in the Pine Barrens to look for tree frogs and orchids.

Sebron Snyder


A professional photographer now since the early ‘90s, Sebron's current focus is on editorial and advertising portraiture. He also creates conceptual images, anchored in just the right amount of truth; constantly searching for ways to bend reality in creative and subtle ways. He is known to capture the essence of his subject's personality and exposes the cleverness and beauty of the profound and the mundane. Sebron has also served as a freelance Art Director and Designer for local creative firms. This experience as a former art director, has allowed Sebron to bring his vast commercial art experience to his present work.

Cardon Webb


New Mexico-born, Idaho-raised, and New York City-based, Cardon Webb studied under Paul Sahre at the School of Visual Arts before working first, with Louise Fili at her New York studio, and subsequently with John Gall at Vintage Books. Currently he is the Assoc. Art Director of Broadway Books at Crown.

Cardon's thesis project, Cardon Copy, a visual exploration of self-distributed street fliers and tear-offs, was honored with a solo exhibition at the Type Directors Club highlighting his project. He is also the curator of several TDC shows and auctions, including Beautifully Banal, and Posters of Fortune. The renowned designers and artists who have collaborated with Cardon on the TDC shows are too many to list, but include: Niklaus Troxler, Carin Goldberg, James Victore, and Alex Trochut.

Cardon had the privilege of working on-site with established contemporary artist David Salle on typographical explorations. His work at Vintage books has been praised by Design Bureau and Frame magazines, and his innovative designs for the complete works of Oliver Sacks were included in PRINT magazine's best book covers of 2011.

In his non-existent spare time, Cardon recently completed a Post Graduate degree in Typeface Design from the Cooper Union (Type@Cooper). Outside of design Cardon enjoys rock climbing, skate and snowboarding, thrifting and raising his newly born daughter Cree and son Koos with his beautiful wife Kelly Sue.

Leo Santos

Senior Creative Director

Following a brief career as a copywriter for small agencies, Leo Santos left his native Brazil to pursue an Art Direction degree at the traditional Portfolio Center, in Atlanta. There, he earned the Grand Prize for best student portfolio in the country in the Mother Of All Portfolio Contests, held by Bates Worldwide. Since then, he's helped turn a small, under-the-radar agency in Lower Alabama into Agency Of The Year in their local chapter of the AAF, survived the weather in Detroit while helping on the often-parodied “Real Stories” campaign for OnStar, and finally made his was to Dallas for a stint with The Richards Group. Since 2006, Leo has been in the trenches for Doritos® and other Frito-Lay accounts at The Marketing Arm, the most awarded Promotional Agency in the country for the last four years straight.

Josh Boston

Graphic Designer

Josh Boston is an American graphic designer, illustrator and creative director working across multiple disciplines to hopefully make stuff you feel in your tummy or at least nod your head. He has previously been an art director for Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon as well as serving as a design lead at Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder, Colorado. His work has been featured in various publications and he's been awarded by Cannes, Andy's, Adobe Site of the Day and apparently has an Appy award but is not sure if that's even a real thing. In 2015 he cofounded the brand design agency Briefcase with offices in San Diego, California and Portland, Oregon. He is tall, happy and lives in Portland, Oregon with his super cool wife.

NEW THIS YEAR! For the first time, we'll be doing a direct school-on-school competition. One poster from one school will win a special design prize, and will determine which cause or organization will receive a portion of the proceeds we'll be donating from this year's event.

Learn More


Our nationally renowned keynote and breakout session speakers will talk about how they have incite people to get moving, and inspire you to do the same. And as always, you’ll get great feedback on your work at our portfolio review and job fair from leading industry professionals, see working creative agencies on the studio tours, and get energized from a ton of breakout sessions and workshops. Conference dates are April 7-9, 2016.

Conference tickets on sale soon

Keynote Speakers

Connie Birdsall
Creative Director

Connie leads the design practice at Lippincott and is a member of the Lippincott Management Team. Her experience encompasses over 20 years of directing and designing global corporate and brand identity, marketing communications, information design, launch and implementation programs and developing the tools and processes for successful brand management.

She has directed programs for Ameriprise, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Comcast, DaimlerChrysler, Delta Airlines, Earth Pledge, eBay, FedEx Services, Goldman Sachs, The Hershey Company, IBM, Lighthouse International, Loeb, Samsung Group, Signature Flight Support, SK Group, Sprint, Starbucks, Time Warner, UPS and USG.

Connie has held positions on the national board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and served on the New York Chapter board as secretary/treasurer. She is also a member of the Design Management Institute. The magazines AIGA, Communication Arts and Graphis have all cited her work for excellence. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum featured the Continental Airlines program in their exhibition “Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture.” She has won international design awards for her work with IBM. Connie also speaks frequently on the power of design success and lectures on identity and design management, best practices for identity development and brand management.

Tony Madalone

Tony is a graduate of Ashland University and owner of one of Cleveland's most well-known apparel companies, Fresh Brewed Tees. Fresh Brewed Tees is licensed by the MLB Players Association and works closely with professional athletes from all sports to help them build their brands. He's built one of Cleveland's most dedicated fan bases via social media, is passionate about Cleveland and enjoys giving back to the community.

Tony decided after earning his Bachelor's degree that he'd stick around Ashland, coach, and get his Master's. At 24, with a degree in finance, an MBA, and an opportunity to work on Wall Street, Tony did what any educated 24-year-old would do, he decided to move back home and start his own t-shirt company.

Putting his love for Cleveland into action, Tony has also served as co-director of Ohio Homecoming and co-chair of Cleveland Rocks New Years Eve. Along with a team of community-minded young people, Ohio Homecoming looks for opportunities to promote and revitalize the city.

To take advantage of his talent for marketing, in 2012 Tony founded The Social Dudes, a marketing and social media company. The Social Dudes works with professional athletes, brands, and small businesses to help them solidify their brands and establish an online presence.

more speakers to be announced soon

Venue & Hotel Info

Doubletree Dallas - Campbell Centre
8250 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75206
T: 214-691-8700

Award Gala Tickets

Join us at the Awards Gala where you’ll find out if you’re among the 12th Annual Student Show winners, if you helped your program to be named School of the Year, and who will be the winner of our first special competition.

ticket sales upcoming


With over $15,000 in scholarships and best-of-category prizes, there's plenty to go around.


The grand prize senior portfolio winner will be awarded a whopping $3,000. Please put this money to good use beginning your new career, and don't spend it on Starbucks and skinny jeans. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.


The second place winner will be awarded a $2,000 prize. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.


The third place winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.


$1,000 award for the best overall sophomore portfolio. Students must have less than 60 credit hours to be eligible.


$2,000 award for the best overall Junior portfolio. In addition, this Junior will receive five business cards from creative directors across the country that have seen their work and offered a personal portfolio review. Students must have more than 60 and less than 90 credit hours to be eligible.


Each judge will select their favorite piece from the show. $500 cash award.


$125 cash award for each category


An additional $500 cash award for the best overall entry from the “Best of Category” winners.


$1,000 awarded to the college, university, or art school whose students, as a whole, exhibit the highest level of work.


$500 scholarship


$500 scholarship


COLOSSAL sponsors this scholarship. $500


Jeff Barfoot sponsors this scholarship.


Clampitt Paper Company sponsors this scholarship.


As educators, your impact on the next generation of visual communication students is unparalleled. We invite you to join in our rally cry to affect change by providing formal and informal educator focused sessions for you to discuss the issues challenging your design programs with colleagues from across the nation. Together we hope to shape the future of design education.

We are hoping to grow our educator focused programming but we need your input to do so. Join our Facebook group to interact directly with the NSSC committee, submit ideas of improvement and create a support community to help you address your design program related needs.

Join The Conversation Online

Social Hour

We're keeping things fast and loose with this one. Come join us for a happy hour introduction, meet the committee behind this year's events and mingle with other educators in a mixer style event, all while enjoying a sip of your favorite cocktail, on us.


This breakout session is a chance to gain inspiration by hearing from one of your own speak on a topic relevant to design educators. Last year was our inaugural year for this and we know you loved it so we're keeping it. If you would like to be this year's featured speaker please submit your session ideas to