Monthly Archives: October 2021

A Tribute for Tom Pope


Hello students,

It’s never an easy thing to announce the passing of a prominent and respected member of the AAU community. Today, we’d like to take a moment to recognize and celebrate the incredible life of one of our most amazing instructors, Tom Pope.

Not only was Tom an accomplished professional, he led a remarkably interesting life. He spent many years working at classic ad agencies like BBDO before moving to Los Angeles, where he worked at record companies, movie studios, and television networks. Over the years, through his relentless pursuit of excellence and passion for his work, Tom’s life grew a vibrant network of designers, art directors, and photographers (among others)—even Don Novello, who created the famous Father Guido Sarducci character for Saturday Night Live.

Becoming a part of a creative community was a paramount philosophy Tom passed down to his students, rooted in his work with fantastic people and influences that drove him forward and deepened his passion. When Tom came to AAU, the community learned quickly that he was singularly gifted at using his experiences to breathe life and inspiration into the classroom setting. In Tom’s own words, creativity was the most enjoyable way to live one’s life, and passion was about “lighting a fire in your mind.”

Tom wasn’t just an instructor—he was a mentor. His contributions to the Academy will never be forgotten, nor will the wisdom he imparted on the next generation of creatives. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family. Tom will most certainly be missed.

The American Advertising Awards 2021


Hello students! The American Advertising Awards Greater San Francisco Competition 2022 competition is now open and will continue to accept all entries online only due to the Covid-19 virus.  With over 200 categories covering all aspects of advertising in the Professional Division and 50 categories in the Student Division, the American Advertising Awards Greater San Francisco competition is the first step in the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting about 30,000 entries every year in local American Advertising Awards competitions.

The deadline for entries is January 21, 2022 and covers advertising that appeared January 1 through December 31, 2021.

NOTE: Due to the Pandemic, there are revised rules on entering.
Please see the rules or the GSFAC Website for more details.

Conducted annually by the Greater San Francisco Ad Club,  the local Greater San Francisco American Advertising Awards is the first of a three-tier, national competition. Concurrently, all across the country, local entrants vie for recognition as the very best in their markets.  At the second tier, local winners compete against other winners in one of 15 District competitions. District winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the national American Advertising Awards competition. Entry in the American Advertising Awards Greater San Francisco competition is the first step toward winning a national ADDY®


STUDENTS, be sure to fill out the department form for your project/entry fees to be sponsored. The deadline is January 17th: Department Form


Competition Website:

There are over 200 categories in the following Divisions:

  • Sales Promotion
  • Collateral Material
  • Direct Marketing
  • Out of Home
  • Ambient Media
  • Magazine Advertising
  • Newspaper Advertising
  • Online/Interactive Media
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Cross Platform Integrated Campaigns
  • Photography
  • Sound
  • Illustration

And More!!
Plus 50 Student Categories!

Greater San Francisco Ad Club Web Site
More Competition Information
Professional Rules
Student Rules
Enter the Competition (Professionals) 
Enter the Competition (Students)



Visit the Monarch Mural!

Have you stopped by the new mural going up on the corner of New Montgomery & Mission? Fabulous work by @art.ofthe.endangered a.k.a. Jonathan Martinez & @creativitybybri a.k.a. Brittney. Share your selfies with hashtag #artumonarch – We’ll share our favorite photos on Facebook. Follow @academy_of_art on Instagram for more art in action! This project would not be possible without our friends @generalpencil & @blickartmaterials

#butterfly #mural #muralart #artschool #artist #artwork #artistsoninstagram #artoftheday #artprocess #environment #conservation

Ghirardelli Square and the Academy of Art University’s Christmas Tree Grove

Hello students! Ghirardelli Square is happy to partner with the Academy of Art University to bring a festive
holiday tree stroll to the square for a second year. Fifteen trees will be selected to be displayed
at various locations throughout Ghirardelli Square for the holiday season. Each will feature a
descriptive sign with team member names and what inspired the particular design.



This year, teams are not restricted to using a traditional Christmas tree as a base. We ask that
you use your creativity and design a festive, tree-inspired structure that has a 3’ maximum
radius and is approximately 5’-6’ tall. If you choose to decorate a traditional tree, please make
sure it also fits within those size requirements.

  • Designs must reflect a holiday and/or department theme
  • If you are not choosing to decorate a traditional Christmas tree, then your
    structure should be holiday themed/inspired.
  • Designs must be reviewed by the instructor before submission to confirm materials are
    available upon build out and comply with requirements/restrictions.
  •  Students must not alter their design after submission and should be an exact replication
    of their submitted sketch
  • Execution should be professionally done (i.e. no dripping glue, unfinished or sloppy
    work, hardware to secure decor coming apart or falling off, etc.)
  • Sloppy or unfinished designs will be removed from display if not complete by November



Ghirardelli Square sees a significant amount of wind, fog and people during the holiday season.

  • Structures must be able to stand freely and any decorative elements must be secured to
    prevent them from flying off or being pulled off. We do not recommend including any
    paper elements as these have not typically fared well in fog and rain. Any dyed or
    painted material should not bleed when wet. Your structure must be able to withstand the
    elements (heavy wind, rain, mist, etc., i.e. materials should be waterproofed). Any
    structures showing significant damage will be removed from display.
  • Structures must incorporate a battery or solar operated light element, no electrical power
    will be provided. Please test lights during installation, but lights must be turned off until
    November 26th.
  • Materials must be sourced before submitting design to ensure on time delivery to fully
    execute design as described.
  • Structure must include a secure base (preferably sandbags)
  • Students should be mindful of the weight of materials being used to execute design. If additional support is needed, please make sure it is hidden and does not distract fromthe overall display.
  • Structures will be displayed throughout the square for one month. These locations have been pre-determined by Ghirardelli Square and cannot be relocated once installed.
  • Selected locations are in place for safety purposes and accessibility.
  •  Trees must be delivered to Ghirardelli Square for installation on Monday, November 22nd and Tuesday, November 23rd.



Finalists will be determined by the following submission criteria. Please be thorough in
your sketches/renderings and descriptions. Incomplete submissions will not be

Colored sketch or 3D rendering of your design
List of materials you will be using
Brief description of your design
Department name and director
Participant names
Inspiration behind the design (50 words max for tree placard which will be placed
next to your tree)
Charitable organization you would like us to donate to if you win (this will not impact
judging, but we would like to have this information ready when we announce the

  • Final designs submitted by Wednesday, November 3rd by 3PM to Michael Petricca at
  • The Ghirardelli Square team will select 15 finalists and informed by Friday, November
  • Structures must be delivered to Ghirardelli Square November 22nd and 23rd. Please
    coordinate delivery with Greg Grundstrom.
  • Teardown/removal must be completed on December 27th and 28th. Please coordinate
    with Greg Grundstrom.


On Friday, November 26th, our judges will walk and score structures on specific criteria (see
attached sample judging form) and announce one winner. The winning team will receive a
framed certificate, a $1000 donation to the charitable organization of their choice and a gift
basket of items from Ghirardelli Square merchants (estimated value of $1000). The structure will also have a special placard displayed for the rest of the month. This year, we are also including an interactive element in which visitors are welcome to vote for
a People’s Choice award winner. Voting will take place from November 26th through December
10th and a winner will be announced via social media for bragging rights and a select prize from
one of our retailers.

REMINDER: Fall ’21 Online Director Town Hall is tomorrow!

Hello students! Join us online in a Zoom webinar for our department to share information about upcoming events and announce any new classes.

If you haven’t already, this is also a great chance for you to meet the directors! There will also be an opportunity to ask questions live and have any concerns addressed by members of our department.

When: Thursday, October 21st at 3:00pm Pacific Time (PDT)
Where: Online, via Zoom Webinar (register to receive access instructions)

Click here to register!

College + Amazon Design Creative Jam


Hello students! We’ve got another Creative Jam headed your way – it’s an opportunity to compete with hundreds of talented college student and work with Amazon design leaders to showcase your talent!
Grab a friend and develop new skills together for a chance to earn prizes. All the fun begins on October 20.
Create a team when you register, invite a friend to join, and then get ready to rumble. New to Adobe XD or Creative Cloud? Not a problem! You’ll learn all you need to know at the Kick Off.
This event is open to all currently-enrolled college students in the United States, Canada (excluding Quebec), Australia and New Zealand.
Registration must be in teams of two and closes on October 19 @ 11:59 pm PDT.
For more information and registration, click here.

Student Reps – Fall 2021

Hello students! We know you’ve been having a busy semester, but we’d like to take a moment to shine the spotlight on your amazing students reps!

As a reminder, the reps are here to help you with any and all concerns, questions, etc. that you might have. Everything from your experiences in classes, at AAU, to anything else you might want to know or have concerns about.


Paul Smith – ADV

Edvard Dagur

Shiny Fernandez


Remember, the student reps are committed to offering the best possible representation on behalf of you, the student! They are here to help and are enthusiastic to connect with you, so don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello to them!

Creative Jam – Improve your public speaking!


Hello students! Today, we’re having a presentation party to help students improve their public speaking skills.

 The Creative Jam is focused on public speaking and storytelling and designing a quick presentation in PowerPoint, Keynote, etc… with Stock images to support your story. Speaking Coach Mike Ganino will be giving great lessons on public speaking at the Jam. Students will get a $15 gift card just for submitting and can win up to $500 if they make the Finale!

Register here ( and receive a link to where we will all be meeting to kick off the fun!

For more information, visit:

Fall 2021 Online Town Hall

Hello students! Join us online in a Zoom webinar for our department to share information about upcoming events and announce any new classes.

If you haven’t already, this is also a great chance for you to meet the directors! There will also be an opportunity to ask questions live and have any concerns addressed by members of our department.

When: Thursday, October 21st at 3:00pm Pacific Time (PDT)
Where: Online, via Zoom Webinar (register to receive access instructions)

Click here to register!