Tom Galle: The Revolution Has Been Digitized

ADC Young Guns 12 winner explores digital creativity in physical ways

Can you hear that ticking sound? That’s the sound of the final deadline for ADC Young Guns 13 — the premiere global portfolio competition for creative professionals 30 years of age and under — coming to an end. Tomorrow is the last day to enter and possibly earn your spot in the thirteenth class of creative superstars.


As we head towards the deadline, we have been featuring the works and thoughts of Young Guns 12, the latest class to join this exclusive club of young creative professionals. We’ve also been sharing the thoughts of the judges who voted them in. This way, you’ll have some idea of what it takes to become a Young Gun — and the answers just might surprise you.

The next Young Guns 12 winner to be featured is a Belgian digital wizard who earned tons of advertising and design accolades — but waited until he was good and ready (and almost too old!) to enter Young Guns. Needless to say it was a wise decision for him.



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When did you first hear about Young Guns? 

I have first heard about it when I was working in Advertising in Belgium. ADC Young Guns is commonly known as a prestigious award for young creatives. I entered for the first time, a few months before I turned 30 :). I guess I wanted to wait until I had a good body of work.

What were your impressions of the competition before entering?

I like the philosophy of accepting so many different creative practices and have them judged by the same people, which results in much more variety in the work and winners than more classic industry-driven award shows.

Did that leave you with any pangs of doubt before entering, thinking you maybe weren’t good enough to join all of the big names that have won before?

Of course those names are intimidating, but on the internet I encounter creative people almost on a daily basis from all kinds of fields that make amazing work that could be intimidating or make me question my skills. I am proud of my work, and I feel that most of my work reflects who I am so I can’t really change that. I would have been proud on my work even if I hadn’t won Young Guns  — although I’m really happy I won!

How did you decide which pieces to submit? Was it a no-brainer or did you have to really think about your entry?

I have a few pieces which I definitely consider to be my best work. After that, it got a lot harder to choose. I probably randomly picked what felt best at that moment.

I would have been proud on my work even if I hadn’t won Young Guns  — although I’m really happy I won!

Tell us what it was like when you found out you won.

I felt honored to be part of those big names that came before me.

Which past Young Guns winners do you admire most?

So many! Tim Lahan (YGX),  Eric Hu (YG8), Masa Kawamura (YG6), Jamie Carreiro (YG11), Damien Correll (YG6), and from my own year Jono Brandel and Siavosh Zabeti.

What have you been up to since winning? Has Young Guns opened up any new doors for you since winning last fall?

I’ve had some interesting agencies and potential collaborators reach out, which is great.

What would you tell someone who was deciding whether or not to enter Young Guns 13?

Just do it, you’ve got nothing to lose!



JohnFulbrookCircle“When I voted for Tom Galle it was for many reasons. For one thing, he was pushing the boundaries of typography harnessing new technology with his project for Toyota. I believe that it is only in pushing limits and embracing new techniques and modern technologies that we will create the future of design. Secondly, he is using the simplest expressions (a type poster) and great thinking to raise money and awareness for oil spills. I believe simple great ideas always rise to the top. Third, he is creating personal art/design for things he wants to see out there with his Drake project. From big clients to global causes to personal art, Tom is using many different tools to create the change he wants to see in the world through design. That is why we got into design in the first place. ”

John Fulbrook



JulieGlassbergCircle“A font with a car? Seriously!? Man, that’s great. Just the complexity of the idea behind the concept deserves appraisal. Tom, you definitely know how to work in a team and mostly surround yourself with the right people to achieve your goal. I really enjoyed the diversity of your work. You definitely have strong creative qualities without locking yourself in a comfort zone. Every project is strong and singular and you convey powerful messages. Plus you have a great sense of humor, which is not a luxury these days. Keep up the great work.”

Julie Glassberg



WilsonBrownCircle“I love Tom’s work.  It’s rare to see such a healthy balance of creativity and technology, executed with sincerity and humor.  Tom presents good ideas in simple, digestible terms that are enhanced, but not obscured by technology, creating something that feels human.  I appreciate his craft, from the earnest to irreverent, and and am excited to see what he does in the future.”

Wilson Brown



Nicole Jacek


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