Announcing the winners of the 2020 Adobe Government Creativity Awards

Thumbnails of winner's art

This year the Adobe Government Creativity Awards (ACGA) reached yet another milestone, with 21% more creative projects submitted for consideration from around the world than in 2019.

Now in its fifth year, the ACGA recognizes the talent of creative professionals working in government. Many submissions showed how the public sector quickly responded to the COVID-19 crisis, which only underscores the importance of design and creativity in communicating critical information to citizens.

A tough job for judges

The judges considered design, effectiveness, creativity, and skill when evaluating projects across six categories: photography, web design; mobile application design; video editing, post-production, animation, and motion graphics; multi-channel campaign; and graphics, print design, or illustration.

The strength of submissions made it hard to narrow the field – but also highlighted the incredible work being done in communities worldwide. It also reinforced how much there is to learn from one another.

“What most surprised me is the diversity in content that government, military, and nonprofit professionals all over the world communicate every day,” says judge Marianique Santos, non-commissioned officer in charge, strategic communications, public affairs at Army and Air Force Exchange Service. “It reminds me how large our community is and how beneficial it is to come together to see what our peers are doing. It’s inspiring to view their work and come away with ideas about how to improve our own skills.”

A total of 22 projects were recognized, including six single-category winners and 16 finalists.

View the 2020 winners and finalists.

Bringing vital ideas to life

According to judge and award-winning graphic designer and illustrator Shangning Wang, creatives in government play a critical role in their organizations’ ability to communicate to intended audiences.

“Visual elements such as charts, infographics, illustration, video, and maps are effective in helping to convey messages and ideas,” he says.

One message that came through loud and clear this year was the environment.

Florida’s City of Gainesville’s Rethink Waste winning campaign in the video category features a 60-second animation created using Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects. The video uses visuals of local landmarks – from Bo Diddley Plaza to the La Chua Trail – to draw citizens’ attention to the impact of trash as the city aims to become a zero-waste city by 2040.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority won the web design category with Setting the Example: Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility – a new landing page that captures the uniqueness of its sustainability story. The team created the interactive page mockup in Adobe XD, and the final page is home to vector graphics designed in Illustrator, photos touched up in Lightroom, and videos edited in Premiere Pro with graphics animated in After Effects.

“Creativity is a building block toward ingenuity, development, and overall effectiveness in government,” says judge Peter Bossio, associate creative director at the New York City Department of Probation.

Creativity knows no borders

The appeal of the ACGA Awards continues to spread globally, with this year’s submissions coming from eight countries.

Inner West, one of Sydney, Australia’s oldest and most eclectic communities, was recognized as the winner of the multi-channel campaign category with its new identity displayed across flyers, signage, murals, and even tote bags. From the other side of the globe, Grand Tours des Ecrins, a branding initiative for Écrins National Park in France, won in the graphics, print design, or illustration category.

Winners shine among industry peers

Celebrating the best creative work in government fosters a strong community of industry professionals while raising the visibility of their work among private-sector peers.

“Some submissions remind you of what you would see in photo exhibits or in comprehensive visual marketing campaigns by huge companies,” Santos says.

For example, the Vietnam Veterans Portrait Project, which won the photography category, was created at the Miami VA Medical System in Miami, Florida. The project features stunning black-and-white photos that collectively draw viewers in and help them connect more personally with veterans.

And, of course, no creative awards program would be complete without a mobile category. This year’s winner tackled diversity and inclusion, another important issue, via MoonQuake, an experiential learning tool developed for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Workforce and Organization Development Department. All graphics for the datapad app were created using Photoshop and Illustrator, and tutorial animations were made with After Effects and Premiere Pro.

“Creative professionals in government have a unique opportunity to present a different view of today’s important issues,” says Cecilia Piedrahita, senior enterprise marketing programs manager at Adobe. “It’s inspiring to view the work of people who, every day, use their talent for good.”

View all 2020 submissions at the ACGA Virtual Gallery.