MICHAEL DUNN

AWARDS

PRESS

2013 ADDY AWARDS

2012 AIGA LAS VEGAS WORK SHOW

2009 ADDY AWARDS

2004 AIGA LAS VEGAS WORK SHOW

2003 AIGA LAS VEGAS WORK SHOW

2003 ADDY AWARDS

2003 IABC BRONZE QUILL AWARDS

2002 TRI-STATE PRSA AWARDS

2002 AIGA PEEP SHOW

2002 ADDY AWARDS

GDUSA

LAS VEGAS BUSINESS PRESS

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

As an art director with Brown & Partners Advertising, Michael Dunn makes a living being creative. His latest project, however, has special meaning to him, as it was inspired by the death of a colleague.

Dunn, 32, has been a member of the Las Vegas chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts since it began in 1998. The group serves as an educational venue for graphic designers and offers seminars on everything from ethics to printing techniques.

The chapter has an annual competition, and members of the group were asked to submit designs for materials to be used at the 2003 Work Show, set for Saturday. The materials include a call for entries, the ceremony invitation, souvenir program, and winners' and judges' commentary book.

This year's show is dedicated to Scott Wizell, 34, a founding member of the Las Vegas chapter, who died in January of an apparent heart attack. Dunn decided to submit designs in memory of his friend.

Four people submitted ideas, but it was Dunn's designs that were chosen as the materials to promote the competition, which was formerly known as the Peep Show.

Dunn remembered that Wizell's favorite movie was "Pulp Fiction," so he decided to work with the theme of pulp fiction, the magazine printed on rough paper stock that was especially popular in the '30s and '40s for tales of adventure, mystery and science fiction.

"It has a very distinctive look," Dunn says of pulp fiction.

After doing research, Dunn contacted David Saunders, son of late artist and illustrator Norman Saunders. Saunders' son allowed Dunn to use his father's images in hopes of giving his father's work new exposure.

According to Dunn, it's the first time the illustrations were used in a promotional package and he says the designs were well-received.

"I'm excited about it because it came out really well," he says. "Its connection to Scott makes it more special to me."

He says he doesn't plan on designing materials for future competitions, as his involvement was prompted by the show's dedication to Wizell, and because the work is labor intensive. However, he might get involved in the future planning of the show.

"I think he would've liked it," Dunn says of his friend. "But I don't think he would've liked the attention."

 

CITYLIFE

"GRAPHIC INTRIGUE: AIGA LAS VEGAS CHAPTER UNVEILS ITS 2003 WORK SHOW" (Excerpt)

By JARRET KEENE, JULY 2003

If the work on display is anything like the invitation that was mailed to CityLife and other media outlets, then the 2003 Work Show should be a stylish affair. The invitation, designed by Michael Dunn of Brown & Partners, is a gorgeous recreation of a '50s-era pulp novel, complete with Charles Atlas fitness ads demonstrating how attending the Work Show will help garner more respect from clients.

"It's stunning," I tell Rodriguez. "Why didn't Treasure Island hire Dunn to design its new sign? That thing is ugly."

"Maybe he did design it," Rodriguez replies, laughing. "You need to understand the back story. Treasure Island wanted to transform its image from a family-oriented hotel-casino into a more sophisticated one. That was the challenge, and I think the new design communicates that perfectly. There's more to it than pretty pictures. We can do pretty pictures all day long."

 

LAS VEGAS VIEW

"GRAPHIC ARTS: PAYING TRIBUTE TO PULP"

By JAN HOGAN, July 2003

There are morning people. There are night people. In Michael Dunn's case, he fits somewhere in the middle, rising at 3 a.m. to work on his art.

Lately, that art has been an involved project, designing multiple pieces for the prestigious Graphic Artists - Las Vegas Chapter 2003 Work Show awards event, scheduled for Saturday at Chameleon Studios, Near Sunset Road and Valley View Boulevard.

As art director for Brown & Partners, 3275 S. Jones Blvd., he is normally responsible for anything from logos to print ads to promotional pieces. Rarely does he work on a project involving multiple pieces.

But in February, Dunn, an active member in the American Institute of Graphic Arts, submitted his design idea for the awards event's needs. His design used art from 1940s and 1950s pulp fiction magazines done by the late Norman Saunders, known for his gritty, action-packed images.

Dunn contacted the Saunders family in New York City and got permission from the artist's son to use them. After receiving the scanned images, Dunn digitally removed magazine mastheads, story titles and other verbiage and replaced them with the AIGA logo and retro-style copy promoting the Work Show. Then he gave them a time-worn look by adding creases, scratches and tears.

The idea to use the images sprang from Dunn's desire to pay tribute to the late Scott Wizell, one of the founders of the Las Vegas AIGA. Wizell died in January and one of his favorite movies was "Pulp Fiction."

After the local AIGA chapter unanimously selected Dunn's entry, work began in earnest. Brown & Partners allowed Dunn to work on the project at the office and supplied the necessary tools and supplies. But mostly, he did the work at home in the wee hours.

"Michael's 'Pulp' idea looked intriguing, had a great twist for the Work Show and just flat out did the job," said Rob Catalano, co-creative director and a partner at Brown. "It's never easy designing something that other artists would love to pick apart. Michael went for it, full out, and everyone loved it."

The art includes the cover of "Smashing Detective Stories" from September 1954. It depicts a shapely blonde frantically calling for help as big brutes lurk behind her. The invitation piece depicts cops raiding an illegal casino as an undercover policewoman discreetly lifts a pistol from her handbag behind the back of a man embracing her. Then there's the souvenir piece which came from "Black Mask Detective Magazine" of March 1950, showing a just-crowned beauty queen using her awards statuette to whack a thug over the head.

"I had to force myself to be true to the look, the style they used," Dunn said. "Sometimes I'd be working on it and I had to stop myself and say, 'No, they wouldn't have done that.' I had to make sure they didn't look too glossy or polished because they didn't do it that way back then."

The toughest part was listing all the winners, a tedious task rather than a artistic one. Dunn had help on the project from Lawrence Granada, who scanned images and worked on the photography, and Chris Smith, a copywriter.

Dunn was born and raised in Las Vegas. He graduated from Chaparral High School and attended both the Community College of Southern Nevada and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His art training came from various classes but was mostly on-the-job training. He also likes to write, a skill that came in handy when he was art director for What's On Magazine.

 

Image ©2003 Las Vegas Review-Journal