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A Decade of American Graphic Design Awards

4 Jan

We Can't Afford to Treat Our ADHD

Adults section opener, ADDitude Magazine, Winter 2017


For the tenth consecutive year, I’m proud to be a winner of American Graphic Design Awards from GDUSA Magazine. I received two awards for my work in ADDitude Magazine in the 2017 competition.

Just under 10,000 entries were submitted, and only 15% were recognized with Certificates of Excellence. Receiving multiple awards is rare. My entries are published in the printed December 2017 issue of GDUSA, and in the online and digital American Graphic Design Awards Annuals.

Thank you to the Editors and Judges from GDUSA, as well as to Susan Caughman, New Hope Media’s CEO and ADDitude Editor-in-Chief, Wayne Kayln, ADDitude Editor, Ron Anteroinen, ADDitude Art Director, and all of my colleagues on the ADDitude team.



Tell Pratt To Ban Crowdsourcing and Spec Work

6 Nov
New branding for Pratt Institute Cannoneers, by alumnus Wayland Chew (B.F.A. Graphic Design ’06).

New branding for Pratt Institute Cannoneers, by alumnus Wayland Chew (B.F.A. Graphic Design ’06).

This spring, I wrote to Pratt Institute, my alma mater, to express my disappointment that they engaged in crowdsourcing to get a new mascot design for their athletic department identity. Although I received a response to my first letter, my follow up went unanswered. This week, the winning design was announced on the Pratt website. The artist, alumnus Wayland Chew (BFA Graphic Design, ’06), was compensated in the form of $1500 and two gala tickets. The other entrants submitted their work, which became the property of Pratt, for no compensation. I maintain my original position: This is a poor lesson for Pratt to be teaching students, contributes to a practice that is damaging to the industry in which they are expected to compete, and to the livelihoods of Pratt alumni.

I want Pratt to join me and other industry professionals in sending a clear message that this practice, which is denounced by AIGA and The Graphic Artists Guild, is unacceptable. Please sign my petition challenging Pratt Institute to formally adopt an official policy prohibiting any art and design work from being crowdsourced and banning spec work, and pledge not to donate to any fundraising campaigns until that happens.

2015 American Graphic Design Award

13 Sep


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I’m proud to announce that I have won a 2015 American Graphic Design Award From GDUSA Magazine, making this the eighth consecutive year that my work has received this honor. The award is for a handmade book that I created at the ADIM Conference—my projects from past ADIMs also won in 2013 and 2014—which took place in April in Pacific Grove, CA. Just under 10,000 entries were submitted, and only 15% were recognized with Certificates of Excellence. The piece will be published in the printed American Graphic Design Awards Annual, in the Online Winners Gallery, and in the Digital Annual.

Thank you to the Editors and Judges from GDUSA, as well as to Russell BrownAdobeThe Van Heyst Group, EpsonUniversal Laser SystemsRoland, and all my fellow attendees for the amazing experience that was ADIM15.

For a look at some of my past winning work, please click the following links:

2014 Award

2013 Award

2012 Award 1

2012 Award 2

And Now For Something Completely Different: John Cleese

19 Nov

Nice images of John Cleese and behind the scenes perspective of a photo shoot, by Brad Trent

Damn Ugly Photography


Click on any image for Full-Size

Even considering that I’ve had the good fortune to photograph some pretty impressive people over the years, when Ronnie Weil called from the Wall Street Journal and offered up John Cleese, it really knocked the wind outta me. People toss around the word ‘iconic’ a lot, but John Cleese is a true ICON. What he and the rest of the Pythons did to comedy in the early 70’s forever changed how people laughed. He is a manic genius who…to quote a famous Monty Python sketch…is a true master of sarcasm…dramatic irony, metaphor, pathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire!

And I was getting 15 minutes with him…

Mr. Fawlty was in New York as part of a tour to promote his new book, “So Anyway”, and we met him in a midtown hotel where we set up two situations in a…

View original post 198 more words

Stop Making that Annoying Little Sound, Facebook!

9 Feb

It took me awhile to realize what that tiny ding was every once in awhile. Was it my phone? Did I get an email? No. It was Facebook! The latest upgrade adds a tiny little ping to every new notification, and it’s driving many people nuts. Want to turn it off? No problem! Follow these easy steps.

Turn off Facebook's notification sounds in a few easy steps.

Turn off Facebook’s notification sounds in just a few clicks.

1. Sign into your Facebook account, and click the gear icon at the top right of your browser window, which will reveal a pop-up menu.

2. Click Account Settings in the pop-up menu.

3. Click Notifications in the list of options on the left side of your browser window.

4. Under How You Get Notifications, click view to the far right of On Facebook, then click the checkbox next to Play a sound when each notification is received. That’s it!

Now, when you get a notification, you’ll see a number next to the globe icon but no sound will play.

Join the iPad and Tablet Revolution

17 Jun

Graphic of Tablet ComputerIt’s hard to believe that the iPad has only been around since 2010. In a subway car a year ago, one or two people had an iPad or Android tablet, but now it seems like every fifth person has one. I’ve heard, “Print is dead,” several times during my career, but I don’t see that happening anytime, soon. I know that how we access books and magazines has changed forever. Publication designers need digital and interactive skills to stay competitive and marketable. If you’re ready to enter this exciting new world, I can help.

Take iPad Digital Design at NYU SCPS Department of Design Digital Arts and Film, where I’m an Adjunct Assistant Professor. While working with clients on tablet publications, I realized that people were hungry for help. That made sense: no one had really done much of it before. I approached my department, and was excited when they decided to offer the course and appointed me to teach it. My students learn how to plan and produce a user-friendly digital product for clients and the intended audience, and expand their design skills by solving problems within the limits of the emerging technology. We use Adobe InDesign and Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) to produce content for the iPad and Tablet. Find out more and register here.

Subscribe to my online course, iPad and Tablet Design Essentials, at This is an online cousin to the classroom course. You’ll find over five hours of downloadable content, mostly in the form of video demos that show exactly what you’ll see on your screen. Learn the essentials of interactive tablet design, and producing interactive PDFs, eMagazines, and eBooks using InDesign CS6, and CS5.5. Nearly half of the course is devoted to producing publications with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). There’s also a brief overview of Apps, three pages of resources, and downloadable templates and images used in the video lectures for students who want to follow along. Sign up here and get it for only $89 through June 30, 2012, over 30% off the regular price of $129

Do you work better with individual instruction? I can bring my experience to you with a customized curriculum to meet your goals, over one session or multiple ones that fit your schedule. Please contact me at Joseph[at]JosephCaserto[dot]com for rates and more details.

Which option should you choose? Online is great for students on a budget who want to work at their own pace. The NYU course is the best option for those in the New York City area, who like the structure of meeting once a week and working in a group. Individual sessions are for you if you want one-on-one attention and need to learn specific techniques. Regardless, if you’re working in the world of print publishing, digital and interactive skills are fast becoming mandatory. Successful designers and producers will start expanding their knowledge today, in order to deliver to the readers of tomorrow. So, what are you waiting for? Join me in the revolution!

Freelance Labor Isn’t Free

22 May

I have great clients who pay me as agreed. Unfortunately, many independent workers do not. The good news is that something’s being done to stop non-payment of independent contractors in New York State, but we need your help to make sure our efforts are successful! See the two simple steps that you can take to help get freelancers paid, after the jump.

unpaid wages flyer

Download this nifty flyer to attach to an email or post on your wall, and remind co-workers, friends, and family that they’re being ripped off, too!

Last year, according to estimates from a Rutgers University study, New York State saw a staggering $4.7 BILLION IN LOST WAGES! I had the privilege of traveling to Albany this week with the Freelancers Union (where I’m also running for a spot on the board) to lobby at the Capitol for the Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129/A6698). This bi-partisan bill gives NY State independent contractors the existing legal protections that traditional employees have under the Department of Labor. The legislation is self-funding: companies found liable by the DOL Commissioner will be fined 25% of the amount they owe, which will pay for the law’s enforcement. The investment of passing the bill—about $500,000 according to lobbyists’ estimates—would pay out exponentially by generating $323 MILLION in NY State tax revenue that’s not being collected, due to non-payment of independent contractors. We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure the bill is passed in the Senate before it adjourns for the summer, and we need your help!

1. Please call or write your NY State Senator to ask him or her to support our bill. Go to the New York State Senate website, enter your information in the “Find My Senator” fields at the top left of the window, and once you click submit, fill out the Contact Your Senator form (copy and paste the editable text below, or write your own). You can also call your senator’s office using the numbers listed, and use the text below as a script for your conversation. Or, even easier, use this form from Freelancers Union and edit the pre-written message, which will be sent to the appropriate legislators based on your address when you enter it.

2. Forward this post to friends and family, and ask them to support this legislation. Even if you’re not an Independent Worker, you know some of us, and likely work with or hire us.

Passing this bill will help to bring fairness to the Independent Workforce in NY State, which encompasses occupations such as Management, Arts, Entertainment, Transportation, Legal, and Healthcare, and pump millions of dollars into the State’s economy. The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Martin Golden (R) of Brooklyn, and as of right now, has 15 co-sponsors spanning both parties.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to help NY State’s economy and workers!

All best,


Cut and Paste this editable text and
email it to your New York State Senator

Co-Sponsor the Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129)

Editable Text:
As a resident of your district, and the (parent/sibling/relative/friend) of a New York freelancer, I know that Freelancers often struggle to collect owed wages from clients. Yet unlike traditional employees, Freelancers lack any labor protections to ensure that they get paid for the work they do. A recent study by Rutgers University economist William Rodgers shows that 42% of independent workers in New York State had trouble collecting payment last year, totaling an estimated $4.7 billion in lost wages.

The bipartisan Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129) was introduced this spring to provide the same wage protection to independent contractors that New York has provided to employees for decades. Rather than having independent contractors waste time and money pursuing owed wages on their own—through small claims court or by hiring an attorney—this bill would allow independent contractors to file a claim through the New York State Department of Labor. This solution not only helps the individual but also could help New York State recoup millions in state tax revenue that is lost every year due to client nonpayment.

As your constituent, I ask that you please co-sponsor S4129 to ensure that my (child/sibling/relative/friend)–and every worker–can collect the money that they have rightfully earned.


(Your Name)

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