Shayla Krygier’s passion for graphic design soon could earn her accolades from the nation’s oldest advertising trade association.
Krygier, who earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Saginaw Valley State University last Saturday, recently turned a pet project into a contender at the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards scheduled June 7 in Hollywood.
The Bay City native months ago created a mock marketing campaign proposal for a faux company called "Gray Dog Grooming,” which appears to cater to animal lovers looking to keep their canines clean. While both the business and the marketing materials were products of Krygier’s mind, the passion for graphic design work that inspired those creations was very real, she said. Krygier began the project for fun from home and later utilized the work in a portfolio assignment for one of her final SVSU classes earlier this year. She eventually entered "Gray Dog Grooming" into the American Advertising Federation’s awards circuit, skeptical of its chances at success.
Its chances for success turned out to be excellent.
The entry was honored first by the American Advertising Federation’s Great Lakes Bay chapter, winning a top prize in February at the regional organization's event known as The ADDY Awards. That successful turn advanced the entry to the awards competition for American Advertising Federation’s District 6, which covers 13 regional chapters from Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Krygier received accolades at that level too, moving her creation into contention for the organization’s final contest featuring the best work from across the U.S.
Krygier’s project will be among 22 entries up for the top prize in the Integrated Brand Identity Campaign category at the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards.
"Making it to the national level in the competition was something I never imagined when I was developing this campaign,” she said. “I am excited for what the future holds and grateful for such an amazing platform and opportunity to showcase my work.”
The “Gray Dog Grooming” entry features several graphic design elements including a company logo, marketing language and layouts for a proposed pamphlet — all of which are punctuated by images of dogs being groomed. Krygier's inspiration for the project was simple, she said.
"I'm a big dog person,” she said. “I was trying to think of a business I could create that would cater to dogs. I decided to pick a grooming company and then chose a name that was fun. I thought that the incorporation of a color into the title would give me a good basis for creating a cohesive feel."
Krygier was a marketing minor at SVSU. She said the skills learned in those classes worked hand-in-hand with her graphic design abilities while creating the marketing campaign.
"Marketing is something that can simultaneously flow with design,” she said. “With graphic design in particular, a brand that one creates does not mean much if can't be marketed toward an audience. You need the two — working together — to make a campaign successful.”
A website featuring some of Krygier's work is available at
For more information about the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards, click here.