Special Program Publications Packages: University of Washington - Silver Medal

Category 35: Special Program Publications Packages
University of Washington, Fifth Annual Recognition Gala

Contact: Cheryl Nations, associate director, marketing, 1200 Fifth Ave., Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98004, Phone: (206) 221-7041, e-mail:

Event Overview: Each fall, the University of Washington holds its Annual Recognition Gala. Invitees include the university’s most influential friends with lifetime gifts of $100,000. The gala’s venue is the historic Suzzallo Library Graduate Reading Room. Known for its elegance and beauty, it is one of the iconic places at the university in the hearts and minds of alumni, friends, and volunteers. The gala is the only event that is allowed in the Suzzallo Library Reading Room, where it seats up to 600 for a three-course gourmet sit-down dinner. This annual black-tie event is intended to ensure guests experience a splendid evening focused on the recognition of their support of the institution; as well as thanks for their continued partnership with the university during its continuing campaign.

Audience: UW Regental Laureates (lifetime giving of $10,000,000+), UW Laureates (lifetime giving of 1,000,000-9,999,999), UW Benefactors (lifetime giving of $100,000-999,999), Henry Suzzallo Society (bequest donors), President’s Club/Gold (annual donors of $10,000+), Campaign UW volunteers, Senior UW leadership.

Event Objectives: Primary: To recognize and thank the University of Washington’s most loyal alumni/friends, and volunteers – with special recognition to donors with lifetime giving levels of $100,00+, $1,000,00+, and $10,000,000+ and to the Gates Volunteer Service Award recipient, which annual honors alumni who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to the university through volunteerism. Secondary: To continue cultivation of alumni/friends to continue their support of the institution as well as to inspire friends to reach the next level of giving.

Publication Objectives: Primary: Developed to be an annual black-tie destination for some of Washington’s most influential community, business, and philanthropic leaders, the publications must correspond with the elegance of the gala and expectations of the Seattle market, but should be stylishly understated to not evoke excess of spending. Secondary: To develop a look and feel for the 2006 event that embodies the overall brand of the al Recognition Gala but can be utilized in a variety of applications- from the invitation package to the program to the table’s collateral to signage.

Publication Components:

  • Save the date package (includes stationery, panel card, and envelope)
  • Invitation package (includes invitation jacket/panel card, RSVP device)
  • Commemorative Program Booklet
  • Table collateral (table-tents, program/menu cards)


  • Printed 7,500 Save the date packages; 7,500 invitation packages; and 3,000 program books; 500 sheets of table-tent and program card preprints.
  • Total project cost: $58,506 (includes design/layout and printing)

Challenges: The challenge of this project was learning the embossing technique so that we could make this piece a success. Out photographs of the woodcarvings had to be precise so that the embosser could create a plate that would give us the detail that would portray the carvings on a solid color paper. We learned everything from how detailed the plate could be, to what weights of paper would be successful, and how to avoid cracking on the spine when embossing the entire cover.

Results: An amazing black-tie event that entertained, recognized, and honored nearly 600 of the university’s most influential and dedicated friends and volunteers.

  • An attractive hold the date card that created buzz about the event.
  • A remarkable, rich invitation with short fold wrap, panel card invite, and an RSVP device.
  • A two-color program booklet with an elegant and interesting cover presented as a take-away gift.
  • A flexible logo/mark that was used on various collateral pieces, including parking/directional signs, banners, and PowerPoint programs.

Overall, the event was a tremendous success, very well received, and enhanced the sophistication of the evening – and the event collateral and visual imagery were a great contribution.