Assistant Professor, School of Communication Design
Jeff grew up in a large family and is quick to suggest that having seven sisters likely taught him to be flexible, to collaborate and sometimes just go for it – and is likely why his imagination would take him down an unexpected path. For over 30 years he helped other companies flourish. Then the halcyon call from his alma mater ACAD where he’s been able to find a variety of outlets for his nerdy pop-culture obsessions, love of visual communication and preoccupation with “what if”. Over the course of Jeff’s career, he has been recognized for doing great work, but he’s much happier talking about his family, travel to Italy and the challenges of the one match campfire.
Portrait by Silas Kaufman
MFA equivalent Advertising Design Practise
Diploma VCD, Alberta College of Art
Selected Professional Activity:
At the 2017 Anvil Awards. Jeff was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award and what follows is what they said about him.
Jeff never intended to go into advertising, He attended the Alberta College of Art to learn how to create something – create some act of imagination and craft that could make a difference and quickly was inspired by the Visual Communications program. He liked the idea of a competitive program, that fed his many interests. That was the idea. He ended up taking the best course, as it turns out. Jeff followed his heart. He always did. It’s strange and wonderful that it led to advertising.
Jeff is quick to remind everyone that he always worked in Calgary. Though many of his client work took him around the world. He never left to find greener pastures. He didn’t have to. He was part of that formative group of Calgary creatives and entrepreneurs, a designer at heart, looking for better ways, helping clients understand the power of creative to affect change.
You’ve probably come face to face with Jeff’s work without realizing it. Remember imagining the freedom of winning the Lotto 6/49? Signing up for the Olympic Torch Relay or a bottle of Molson Canadian catch your eye in the liquor store? Perhaps you’ve been inspired to take a trip down to the Calgary Stampede or found yourself humming moo moo moo moo cow. Or been online and landed at kelloggs.com, wonderville.ca or vendemmia.ca. They’re all part of the Jeff Lennard portfolio that won countless advertising and design awards and, more importantly, success in the marketplace for his clients.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment is more interesting than the work and more relevant to this honour.
Jeff has always had that deep interest in people. His practical and considered optimism. His wicked sense of humour about the dark side of human nature. And Jeff’s, “Hell, we can do that,” sense of confidence. That willingness to collaborate also made him a great teacher. In 1998 he started teaching as a sessional and become a permanent faculty and Advertising lead at his alma mater ACAD where he led the introduction of the creation of the Advertising stream. And not surprising was recognized last year with the ACAD Teaching Excellence Award. He was also invited by the One Club as the only Canadian advertising teacher to the global advertising conference, the Creative Leaders Retreat in San Diego. And in 2018 in Scottsdale Arizona.
His industry relevant assignments and critiques in the classroom are memorable for their brutal honesty, dead-on accuracy and inspiration. Not surprisingly, whenever his former pupils are interviewed, they never fail to thank Jeff for helping them achieve their many successes. Where many of his graduates have gone on to become art and creative directors, agency owners and award winners.
Jeff is quick to remind us that the Lifetime Achievement Award does not mean that he’s retiring or finished. The AdRodeo Association is the celebration of creative excellence in the Prairie provinces. Each year, the AdRodeo provides creative professionals with the opportunity to meet, talk, learn, mentor and celebrate what they do through several events that culminate in an annual event. The Anvil Awards represents the special talent and effort it takes to be recognized by your peers for creating the very best.