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from best of show to run of show.


Each year, United Adworkers hosts the Milwaukee 99, an award show that celebrates the best of advertising in the area. Agencies are invited to submit work for a variety of categories, such as PSA campaign, photography, design and more. The top 99 pieces are selected and displayed at the event, and especially noteworthy pieces are awarded bronze, silver and gold medal nuts. Finally, one agency is awarded the coveted Best in Show wrench, the top award of the night. There is a tradition that the agency who wins this award is tasked with designing next year’s book. After Manifesto’s big win in 2018 for Meat Sweats, we were tasked with the design and run of show for this year’s 99.

After a few years of transition and change, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding United Adworkers. Manifesto’s win seemed like the perfect opportunity to articulate the importance of the Adworkers to the community and unite competing agencies through a brand manifesto. While we passed on the wrench, we hope this manifesto lives on to help remind our Adworkers of the strength of our community and the power of our work.


We are united by the difference in our perspective, and by the belief that our perspective can make a difference. We are building a culture of cultures, where all are welcome and all are represented. A community of dot-connectors and combiners who see correlations no one else sees. Who merge insight with instinct to exponentialize our thinking as a way of changing the way others think. There is truth in what we do. And the truth is, we don’t interpret reality. We render it. And, we revel in it. We are united by celebration. Driven by a desire to honor not just the work, but the people behind the work. The thinkers, the doers, the collaborators who push progress, influence trends, and shape the world. Because when we do this together, we are united. We are honest. We are hardworking. We are true. We are the United Adworkers.

Adam Pryor, Creative Director at Manifesto, said, “There have been a lot of interesting designs and themes throughout the years, but never before has the DNA of an agency been so strong in the book.” He continued, sharing how it was crafted with the intention to live beyond the single night, and to drive the Adworkers community for years to come. In order to keep this powerful manifesto at the center of the book and branding, our creative team opted for a sleek black cover with hand painted lettering that gave it a high-end finish. We took a more analog approach, with the intent of making the book more of a display piece than just another awards show artifact. We designed the pages in black, added texture and tactility to the cover, and developed purposeful layouts to accommodate the wide variety of work contained within it. We also hand painted the United Adworkers’ manifesto upwards of 50 times on individual sheets to scan into the computer. It is this work – this commitment to making – that gives our book the gritty look that makes it so powerful. 

In the final book, all the hand painted elements form a complete manifesto from start to finish. This “mural,” of sorts, currently lives on the front wall of our Milwaukee office. 

Overall, it was an honor to drive the design and organization of this year’s show, a celebration of the Milwaukee ad community. Check out photos from the book and from the event below! And if you are part of the Milwaukee or Madison ad community and want to join United Adworkers, find more information by visiting


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