Young Guns recognizes the vanguard of creative professionals 30 years of age and under. Founded in 1996, the portfolio-based competition has grown to become one of the most coveted awards for young creatives aroundthe globe. For many, being named a YG winner is a sure sign of a skyrocketing career, as well as a source of validation for all of the stressful days and sleepless nights that have come with early successes.
Program branding and design of the Cube award itself is reimagined each year by a past Young Gun winner. This year’s YG20 branding and award are designed by Zipeng Zhu (YG13), Founder and Creative Director of Dazzle Studio. The font for the YG20 branding is created by NaN.
First of all, let’s give these people a hand; Young Guns is an extremely difficult honor to win, and the people competing in it are among the best in the world. Making it this far is an accomplishment in itself.
That said, it’s far from over. These finalists now move on to one last round of voting and spirited discussion. When the smoke clears, we will at last have our YG20 winners.
The new class will be publicly revealed on Wednesday, November 2, with the famously raucous ceremony and party taking place on Wednesday, November 16 at Sony Hall in New York City. Tickets are on sale now, with early bird prices continuing until October 31.
COLORFUL: A PRELUDE TO YOUNG GUNS 20
Since 1996, Young Guns has been an elite portfolio-based competition that takes the profiles of young creative professionals already on the rise and helps elevate them even further. And while the program has made major strides since the days of being jokingly thought of as an award for "extremely talented white designers and illustrators from Williamsburg", there's always room for more diversity.
Enter COLORFUL: A Prelude To Young Guns 20. Last year, we teamed up with acclaimed first-generation Filipinx designer and Young Guns 8 winner Rich Tu to co-found this free portfolio competition and grant exclusively for young BIPOC creative professionals who qualify for Young Guns — they just haven't entered and won it yet.
After receiving submissions from across the globe, a jury made up of 13 BIPOC creative superstars — all previous Young Guns winners themselves — went over every single entry, grading them not only on the strength of their work but also on how they intend to use the $3000 creative grant, should they win. Runner up will receive a $2,000 grant, and two third-place winners will each receive $1,000. The jury convened to discuss and debate which entrants stood above others as the overall winners of the grants, as well as to assemble a class of finalists. The winners and the finalists will all be welcomed to enter YG20 completely free of charge, with the confidence that comes with knowing they've already impressed a jury that knows exactly what it takes to win Young Guns.
Young Guns has long been a goal for countless young creatives around the world to aspire to. With COLORFUL, we hope to put more Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous talent into that spotlight.
COLORFUL is made possible by a donation from Russell's Reserve and Rich Tu. Branding for COLORFUL was created by Leandro Assis(YG18).