FUEL Collects Haul at ADAI Exhibition

The Art Directors Association of Iowa’s 63rd Annual ADAI Exhibition took place on July 23 in Des Moines. Appropriately themed “Life’s a Glitch”, the judged exhibition included work completed in 2020, a year for the history books.

FUEL brought home 13 Excellence Awards across a wide range of categories, in addition to a Best of Category for Editorial Design.

Best of Category

Excellence Award

While it may be cliche to talk about the past year or so and the COVID/derecho influence on the lives of so many in Eastern Iowa, it’s tough to avoid it. The FUEL Studio space was a key component to collaboration for our team. The pandemic forced our hand into a remote work environment. Then, at the height of the pandemic, the derecho caused further disruption as our homes were damaged and power outages impacted much of the team’s ability to work from afar. Couple this with a steady workload thanks to the good fortune of our “essential business” clients, and it made for an interesting year, to say the least.

“It has been said, out of adversity comes some of the greatest innovation and creativity known to exist,” said FUEL’s owner and co-founder, John Moes. “These awards symbolize our collective triumph over a virus and a way of working turned upside down for a year, then ravaged by one huge natural disaster.”

Also of note: FUEL is one of the few design agencies from this side of the state that dips its toes in the ADAI competition.

“It’s a good opportunity to test how our work stacks up next to the Des Moines market,” said founder and Creative Director Bill Bollman. “From web to video to traditional design pieces, we had a nice cross section of work that won.”

That range of winning works speaks volumes about the pool of competitors that may often be viewed as specialists in certain areas of design and marketing communications.

“Anytime an agency can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best our state has to offer, it is an honor and a privilege,” said Moes. “This Exhibition was juried by professionals from top agencies Wieden + Kennedy, Zeus Jones, and Daake. It’s a good bellwether to our clients that confirms for them that they are working with a top performing agency in FUEL, too. And after the year we’ve had, it is good to see the FUEL team, our suppliers, and our clients gaining the recognition they deserve for their world-class work on a larger stage.”

Learn more about the 63rd ADAI Design Exhibition.

Bill Bollman
Creative Director

Bill Bollman is FUEL’s Creative Director. Before co-founding FUEL in 2001, he worked for Horizon Communications, JW Morton and Basler Design Group. Bill studied Illustration at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo, Iowa. An expert in the “old ways” of hands-on print production, these skills influence his work in the digital world to this day. His work throughout his career has been featured in international publications including Graphis, How International Design, Communication Arts, and The One Book as well as numerous design annuals and reference books.

Hometown: West Union, Iowa
Involved in Design and Marketing since 1988
Interests: Fitness, Travel, Movies