Rebel Yell: Anja Steinig

ADC Design Jury Member pushes back

The ADC 96th Annual Awards Design discipline features perhaps the most eclectic group of jury members in the whole ADC/One Show universe. Calligraphers who toil in ink judge right alongside renowned photographers and pixel magicians in order to honor an equally diverse collection of show-stopping design entries.

We’ve been catching a few moments between judging sessions to chat with the various jury members who will ultimately choose the most Cube-worthy work of the past year.

1976_anja-steinigAnja Steinig
Founder & Creative Director, STUDIO F, Berlin
ADC Design Jury


When did you know that you wanted to become a designer?

I believe that my foray into the world of design was a form of protest. As a child, I rebelled against children’s television programs; I was more interested in funny TV commercials. I rebelled against my parents and my school, who all wanted me to take a more traditional career path. Instead I wanted to go my own way, studying design in Düsseldorf. In 1993, I started my first internship, where I helped design the ADC Germany Annual.

Eventually I worked at various advertising agencies, like DDB and Euro RSCG. While I was initially excited to work on clients such as Microsoft, I found that after some time I hated that kind of environment, the people and the politics. And so in 1998 I rebelled again. I quit my job and formed my own design studio called Formwechsel, which I’ve since renamed STUDIO F.

Do you remember your first award?

I most certainly do! It was 1996 when I had won a Clio Award for perfume packaging design. It was very exciting to get to travel to New York to receive such an honor.

What does design mean in 2017?

Design is something that makes life easier. Design is not decoration. I believe that design is content and can be used to change the world for the better.

Is there anything that you’ve seen while judging that really impressed you, perhaps something that you had never seen before until now?

I am continually amazed by the submissions that I’ve seen from the Asian markets, particularly from Japan. So much of this work is never seen in Europe, and so it’s a treat to be able to expand my horizons while judging.

There is one Japanese project in particular that caught my eye. It was a campaign to brand a not particularly exciting yet very green area of Tokyo into a place that people would want to live and visit. They did so by crowdsourcing residents’ photos of green items in town, and then converting them into a collection of green paints. I had never seen this campaign before, but I loved every part of it.

The 2017 One Show and ADC 96th Annual Awards will be presented during Creative Week, May 8–12, 2017.

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