2011 SILVER AWARD - Mike Fountain
Great Designers Dismiss The Superflous — So That The Essential Can Shine.
Mike Fountain, this year’s Silver Award winner, had little formal design training. At 19, married with a baby, he wrangled a job at the JC Penney design center in Los Angeles.
Tired of commutes that could last six hours, Mike brought his young family to Syracuse, where he got his first agency job at Barlow Johnson.
Soon he joined “the best group in the place” at Rochester’s Rumrill-Hoyt, where he introduced a meticulous elegance to outdoor lifestyle accounts like Remington Arms and consumer products like Molson’s Ale.
But it was at ICE Communications — a promotional house that Mike transformed into a regional creative force — that his talent as a creative director was most influential.
Mike could recognize and motivate talent. He led by example, and had an instinctual gift for making other people’s work better — often without them realizing it.
During his decade as executive creative director at ICE, he hired, taught and encouraged a generation of writers, art directors and creative directors whose work has populated the pages of this book year after year.
These men and women have, in turn, urged others to push themselves to conceptual excellence — no matter what the assignment. Because, to Mike Fountain, that was absolutely essential.