Archived on August 20, 2012. Visit www.aiga.org for more information.

Video of the competition now online!

Missed the conference? Want to relive your favorite moment from this crowd favorite?

Command X

Through a series of design problems, solved during the conference and presented on the main stage, a panel of esteemed designers judged a select group of seven young designers down to one winner—in front of 2,000 peers, heroes and potential bosses. The winner, Nichelle Narcisi, took home the Command X title of “the next great designer” along with these fabulous prizes:
  • $1000 in cash (actually a check)
  • Adobe CS3 (an actual licensed copy!)
  • ITC Type Library (1,500 fonts, a $6,000 value)
  • A spread in STEP Inside Design magazine
  • A complete set of limited edition Punc't posters (all of them signed!)
  • Glory

For their hardwork and dedication, the 1st runner up received $500, the 2nd runner up received $250 and the four eliminated contestants all received iPod Nanos. All contestants will be mentioned in an upcoming STEP Inside Design magazine.

Read the Command X recap!

Contestants and their challenges
Nichelle Narcisi, Lancaster, PA [Winner]
Assignment 1, redesign the Denver Broncos logo (PDF, 772 KB)
Assignment 2, redesign the Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick packaging (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Assignment 3, design a voting campaign targeting your age group (PDF, 360 KB)
Kelly Dorsey, Chardon, OH [1st runner up]
Assignment 1, redesign the Denver Broncos logo (PDF, 228 KB)
Assignment 2, redesign the Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick packaging (PDF, 5.9 MB)
Assignment 3, design a voting campaign targeting your age group (PDF, 352 KB)
Matthew Muñoz, Raleigh, NC [2nd runner up]
Assignment 1, redesign the Denver Broncos logo (PDF, 220 KB)
Assignment 2, redesign the Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick packaging (PDF, 336 KB)
Assignment 3, design a voting campaign targeting your age group (PDF, 348 KB)
Elaine Chernov, Long Beach, CA
Assignment 1, redesign the Denver Broncos logo (PDF, 196 KB)
Assignment 2, redesign the Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick packaging (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Ryan Smoker, Lancaster, PA
Assignment 1, redesign the Denver Broncos logo (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Assignment 2, redesign the Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick packaging (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Mike Burton, Cleveland, OH
Assignment 1, redesign the Denver Broncos logo (PDF, 652 KB)
Scott Gunderson, Atlanta, GA
Assignment 1, redesign the Denver Broncos logo (PDF, 300 KB)

Who were the judges?
Command X was hosted by Pentagram partner, Michael Bierut, and judged by Emily Oberman and Bonnie Siegler of Number Seventeen,  Noreen Morioka of AdamsMorioka, and Brian Collins, Ogilvy & Mather.

Command X recap
On Day One of the conference, the super seven presented the results of their premiere challenge: to redesign the Denver Broncos logo. Annie Hellerstein, creative director for the Broncos, served as a guest judge. Scott Gunderson and Mike Burton were eliminated while the remaining five were assigned the next challenge, due the following day.

The Day Two challenge had the fantastic five redesigning the packaging for Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick. On the panel, Michael Vanderbyl served as a stellar substitute for Brian Collins, who had to leave Denver for the day for a very important meeting with Nobel Prize–winner Al Gore. The judges narrowed the contestants down to just three, eliminating Elaine Chernov and Ryan Smoker. And things took a more serious turn when the next and final challenge was presented: to get people ages 18 to 24 to vote.

All the original jurors were back on Day Three, as the entire conference buzzed in anticipation of the final Command X presentations. The thrilling three didn’t disappoint. While all three voting campaigns showed admirable effort and stood out for their strengths, Nichelle Narcisi was unanimously declared the winner by both the audience (measured by applause) and the jury. Kelly Dorsey took the first runner-up prize, while Matthew Muñoz was named second runner-up.

Only one designer walked away the champion, but seven up-and-coming designers were discovered at Next.

For more coverage of Command X, see Alissa Walker's UnBeige.

Eligibility and application instructions
To apply, participants had to be 26 years old or younger and an AIGA member. Each applicant had to follow these instructions to be considered as a participant. No exceptions!

  • In one PDF please submit five (5) images of your best design work and a 100–150 word statement about yourself and why you should be considered as a Command X participant.
  • The pdf must be titled with your name in this format: firstname.lastname.pdf
  • Email your application to: commandx@aiga.org.
Thank you to all applicants!