A club for “Creative Individuals”. BADC has always been a creative club, a club of individuals who worship the altar of the different, the original, the new and the unexpected. However, creativity is a character trait, not a job description. You don’t have to come from the creative department of an agency to be a creative person. You don’t have to be a director or an editor.
You could be a producer or an account director or a receptionist. Creative individuals love creativity, strive for it and go out of their way to culture it, from whatever position they occupy in a company.
The Brisbane Advertising and Design Club (formerly The Brisbane Art Directors Club) began in 1974 as a social club founded by Kevin Fielding (Creative Director of Masius, Brisbane), Ted Poulter (freelance illustrator), Stewart Powell (freelance designer) and David Laidley (Creative director of Peter Rodger Advertising). Its members enjoyed monthly social events, car rallys and of course, Christmas parties. A new calendar was printed each year and there was the all-important award night. In these days the Brisbane Art Directors had a large membership, the running of the club made possible by an annual membership fee. The BAD awards were to emerge as the most important aspect of the Club.
The first award judging was in June 1975. The judging panel was comprised mostly of locals plus at least one interstate judge. The first interstate judge was Paul Jones. Mr Jones was from Sydney and was highly regarded in the industry. Judging took the form of a ‘Pea in a pot’ system under the watchful eye of Don Baker of CBN sales. Don Baker filled this role for 10 years and was followed by Trevor Johnson.
By the fifth year all the judges of the awards were from out of Brisbane, namely from Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide. With the reputation of the club growing, particularly in the southern states, the awards had no trouble attracting some of the top names as judges. A look through the list of names of past judges shows a who’s who of Australian advertising.
The judging categories have changed and developed over the years. Categories were added to the list as they came into prominence. In 1982 , BADC were the first club in Australia to introduce a free-entry, student category. 1987 saw the introduction of the BAD Person of the Year award, designed to recognise outstanding contribution to the industry.
But the one thing that has kept the BADC going for all these years is their ability to throw a fantastic party. By 1979 Barrie Dye and Ted Poulter had begun to envisage the awards as a big party plus an awards night. The people liked the idea. The awards went from a crowd of 100 at the first awards night to a staggering 800 – 1000 by 1988. There was now a problem of finding a venue for so many people. A creatively modified City Hall was the only place in Brisbane big enough. The concept of catching up with old friends has certainly been a success.
Of course a party this big needs someone to pay for it. It was in the ninth year that sponsorship began, with categories being sponsored by suppliers and other associated businesses. The first sponsor was Brian Cassingham of Cass and Company.
But if there is a single continuing legacy that BADC have brought to Brisbane, it is their contribution to the standard of work being produced in Brisbane today. By forcing the industry to assess their work, the BADC awards have made a significant contribution to increasing standards of work in Brisbane today. This in turn has meant greater recognition of the talented people working out of Brisbane.
And that has been and always should be the aim of the Brisbane Advertising and Design Club, to promote the creative excellence of the Brisbane advertising and design industry.