Awards
Design

Books

Nine Entries

Judges saw a wide variety of work from student/staff work all the way up to the finest illustrators in the country.

Comments on Winning Entries

Gold Award

American University of Beirut (Lebanon) - Lead, Innovate, Serve: A Visual History of the American University of Beirut's First One Hundred and Fifty Years

  • This was a beautiful book! The integration of history, photographs, narrative, and quotes was done with remarkable skill. The attention to detail was stellar. The typography is wonderful! The illustrated graphic features were at once charming and informative, mixing Arabic and Roman fonts.

Calendars

11 Entries

Category General Observations

Unfortunately there weren't any really innovative submissions in this category. There were several standard, well-designed calendars. Some made great use of space and exceptional photography. With all of the unique design trends that could have been utilized, the entries were a little disappointing.

Most of the entries were appropriate for the target audience. The majority of the entries deployed strong design, photography, and typography. Paper quality and budget were also given adequate consideration. 

Comments on Winning Entries

Bronze Award

The Williston Northampton School (Massachusetts) - The Williston Northampton School 2016-2017 Calendar

  • The pop-up photo studio approach made the calendar fun and inviting. The color choices added to the fun aspect of this piece. Using actual students in a natural setting also creates more desire for the calendar. Students want to see how it turned out and parents will definitely want one if their kid is featured on the calendar. Using this concept, the calendar had a clear vision and execution.

University of Central Florida - UCF Parent Calendar

  • This calendar gives parents information about campus events and student life. However, some of the events listed wouldn't be of interest to parents. Putting so much info on the calendar dates means the parents cannot add items to the calendar, which is a drawback. The imagery included on the calendar dates was a nice way to add more design elements to the piece. The helpful resources listed at the end were a nice touch. Overall, this was a well-designed informative piece.

Covers

67 Entries

Category General Observations

There were many exceptional entries in this category and it took the judges several rounds to narrow it down to our final award winners. We looked for covers that were innovative, engaging and eye-catching and that had unexpected elements that made them really stand out. There were many over-designed and typical looking covers so we took simplicity and style into account as well. We enjoyed that there were several unique paper stocks which encouraged us to pick up and feel the pieces. Trends we saw were soft touch aqueous coatings, a lot of matte paper stock and uncoated paper.

Comments on Winning Entries

Grand Gold Award

Oberlin College (Ohio) - Oberlin Alumni Magazine

  • We awarded the Grand Gold award to Oberlin College for their Fall 2016 Alumni Magazine cover. We felt like the overall look went above and beyond a typical Alumni magazine. This simple, yet snappy, eye-catching cover with its bright colors won the judges over immediately. We loved their use of a simple megaphone illustration to simply depict the theme of activism. The simplicity of the illustration along the boldness of the colors and the feel of the paper made us want to find out more. The judges loved the sleek, stylized treatment and simplicity of the text and masthead on the front as well. The back of the magazine was equally as stunning.

Gold Award

The Brearley School (New York) - Women in Finance, Winter 2016 Brearley Bulletin

  • The Brearley School was awarded the gold for their Winter 2016 issue of the Bulletin featuring alumnae in finance. The judges loved the clever illustration of George Washington on the front, and the added red lipstick provided a pop of color and addressed both elements that represented the topic of money and women. We loved that they took a more creative approach, pushed the envelope a bit, and avoided the financial or corporate look. The cover was unique, quirky and effective with only 2 main colors used. The heavy paper stock and smooth feel added to the appeal of the piece.

Silver Award 

Towson University (Maryland) - Arts & Culture Fall 2016 Cover

  • Towson University received the Silver award for its Arts & Culture Fall 2016 brochure. The overall size of the piece was just 4.5 w x 7 h, which made it instantly stand apart. The cover itself featured a bright yellow color, on a thick uncoated stock, with a die cut title revealing artistic elements underneath. We enjoyed the artistic simplicity of the piece, the layout of the text, and the simple die cut did an excellent job of compelling the viewer to open the piece and flip through it. The back cover was simple with just a mailing panel and return address. This piece would have earned a higher award with the judges, but pertinent, required information about budget and overall cost was left off the entry form.

Bronze Award

Boston University (Massachusetts) - SPH This Year

  • Boston University was awarded the bronze for their publication SPH This Year, a year-in-review publication from Boston University School of Public Health. The title on the cover "When rights go wrong and other dispatches from the edge" was portrayed brilliantly with just a simple illustration of a gun, with the barrel forming the number 1 in "2016." This stark, edgy cover was an instant favorite among the judges. The single bullet hole depicted on the back cover was a brilliant touch. The minimal design, treatment of the text and masthead, and paper stock all contributed to this stand-out piece. This would have scored higher with the judges if the tiny bullet hole on the back did not have a slight halo around it, an obvious, unfortunate design/ printer error.

Editorial Design

73 Entries

Category General Observations

Although there were a number of really fine entries, overall, there were not as many exceptional entries as in previous years. (We attribute this to so many entries focusing on the election and really just blending together in a puddle of red, white, and blue imagery that were not necessarily innovative.) About 1/3 of all the entries this year were considered great by our judging panel, but no one entry received unanimous praise by the entire panel as in years past. Many of the spreads were overly text heavy, utilized low-res/iPhone quality photos, or simply lacked design creativity. Our judges all wanted more white space on pages (hence, Columbia's Gold award, despite truly exceptional illustrations) as well as more attention and judiciousness / selectivity toward image selection. At the end of the day, we had 10 entries that multiple judges could agree were deserving of awards. We opted to select the truly exceptional designs. We should point out that if there were honorable mention prizes, the University of Central Florida, University of Richmond, Kenyon College, College of William and Mary, and Santa Clara University would most certainly be on that list, as would a second entry by the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Comments on Winning Entries

Gold Award

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Trial by Fired

  • The only entry that received near unanimous acclaim by the judging panel. The visuals were exceptional and uniquely different and that added to the story by having a mystery infused in them. UM-Ann Arbor had the right balance of text-to-page and smartly selected graphics that accentuated the article in a non-traditional manner. Well done!

Silver Award

Columbia University (New York) - Phillip Lopate Celebrates the Personal Essay

  • On a day when the judges had a hard time with consensus, the easiest thing to agree on was the illustrations by Demetrios Psillos for the article. Absolutely stunning. Half of the judges did not care for the title typography, finding its incorporation into the text difficult to read, but the other half liked the title treatment. Although everyone agreed the opening spread could still use a bit more white space, many found the design pleasing and innovative. One judge described it as "Kind of like the New Yorker, only a lot better." As always, Columbia University submitted a truly beautiful design. The distinction between the gold and silver came down to the title treatment. We all should be so fortunate as to have the skill that this team has.

Bronze Award

George Washington University (Washington D.C.) - "The Fight and the Fury of the Z-Man"

  • There really isn't much to say on this entry. Great typography. Great photo selection. A great read. A really well done entry. While it is not as strong creatively as the entries from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor or Columbia University, it is a nearly perfect example of how to utilize basic text and images and make them special. Well done.

 

Illustrations

40 Entries

Judges saw a wide variety of work from student/staff work all the way up to the finest illustrators in the country.

Comments on Winning Entries

Grand Gold Award

Columbia University (New York) - Phillip Lopate Celebrates the Personal Essay

  • The art showed an incredible uniqueness in style. The collage quality mixed with paint is striking. The colors are amazing. The use of color is amazing. The art makes you want to read the article.
    The level of detail is unsurpassed.

Gold Award

Columbia University (New York) - The Revenge of Jenji Kohan

  • The illustration of Jenji Kohan has personality. It looks like her. There is a human connection. The flat colors contrast deftly with the thin black lines adding detail in the face where it counts. The zing of the content matches the zing of the illustration.

The College of New Jersey - Kome Together: Ivan the Terrible and John Lennon had nothing in common UNTIL NOW"

  • The references are hilarious. The iconography is simply great. The vigorous line work in the background pattern draws the viewer in. The colors and the full use of space add to the overall success. The art is unexpectedly quirky and it breaks the mold.

Silver Award 

Stanford University (California) - Building a Better Drug

  • The illustration showed strength in the forced perspective, the asymmetry, and the abstract narrative of the background. It showed interesting use of negative space. The earth tone colors reflected the story content.

Bronze Award

University of Toronto (Canada) - The Hidden Epidemic

  • The line quality is minimal yet powerful, simple yet graphic. The art uses an interesting mix of styles. The illustration carries emotion and conveys the story. The seriousness of the topic is apparent.

Invitations

37 Entries

Category General Observations

There were several stunning, nice looking entries to review and it made narrowing down just 3 entries hard. There were a lot of high end, but over the top looking pieces as well, and the judges considered budget as well as overall look, functionality and creativity as part of their review. It was very hard to choose just 3 winners, so we wanted to give an official honorable mention to the Natural History Museum of Utah's piece for their Gala of Green invitation.

Comments on Winning Entries

Gold Award

Texas A&M University - The Gardens at Texas A&M University Groundbreaking Invitation

  • Texas A&M deserved the gold for their simple, elegant invitation to invite donors and perspective donors to a VIP Luncheon to promote a donor funded teaching garden followed by a groundbreaking ceremony on campus. This was the clear favorite of all the judges. We loved the traditional watercolor floral look, colors and design. The design felt modern and traditional at the same time and we liked that parking instructions and other relevant, useful information were included. The inclusion of seed paper to promote this event was a nice touch. Overall this got the gold from us because it was simple, budget friendly, yet elegant and effective to appeal to high-end donors without being over the top.

Silver Award

Rockefeller University (New York) - The Rockefeller University Science Saturday Invitation

  • The judges enjoyed this fun and approachable design to target parents, educators and children to promote their annual Science Saturday event. Using mainly 3 colors, the kid-friendly design was clean and modern looking yet fun. We loved the doodles/illustrations of scientific objects that were incorporated into the overall look. We also liked the carryover of the design on the front and back of the mailing envelope. We thought the inclusion of the activities booklets and passports was a smart and creative way to help the attendees stay engaged during the event.

Bronze Award

University of Wisconsin Madison - Reunion Invitation

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison got the bronze for their retro-feel invitation to their 1966 Class Reunion event. The judges were drawn to the cover of this invitation right away. The cover photograph is brilliant and the overall design is clean, simple and modern, yet portrays the sense of nostalgia intended for a 1960s class reunion. The school used minimal branding colors and a simple paper stock to effectively create an engaging, nostalgic piece.

 


Multi-Page Publications

73 Entries

Category General Observations

Overall, the judges thought this was an very strong group of entries.  An overwhelming number of fabulous designs made judging extremely difficult. Multiple rounds of judging were conducted to distill down to our four winning entries. If we could, we would have given awards to more than half of the entries. Most were both visually engaging and very appropriate for their audience/use. In the first round the judges looked at cover design or would you really want to stop and pick up the piece for a closer look. The second round entailed surfing through these publications looking for continuity of theme and design, use of color, quality of photographs and graphics, quality of printing and bindery, embossing etc. and use of paper stock. On the third round, we concentrated on whether or not the design was appropriate for the target audience, and was the monetary amount spent on production a good investment.

 Gold Award

University of Alberta (Canada) - Be the Catalyst: Faculty of Science Case for Support

Silver Award

The Catholic University of America (Washington D.C.) - The Catholic University of America Admit Pack

University of Maryland College Park - Viewbook of School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation at University of Maryland

Columbia College Chicago (Illinois) - Viewbook 2016

Bronze Award

MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kansas) - MNU 2016 Travel/Road Piece

McGill University (Canada) - Redefining the Possible: The Impact of Your Support

Simon Fraser University (Canada) - Day One


Periodicals

45 Entries

Category General Observations

As Judges explored all of the entries, we realized we collectively dismissed periodical designs that played it safe, were conservative, and didn't take risks. As impassive observers with no emotional attachment to or history with the institutions, we were not drawn in or compelled to read more when the designs were "vanilla" and boring. In general, we were not drawn to photography that featured posed, smiling portraits of people. We would prefer to see more engaging, compelling, natural photos where the subject is doing something in their environment. Judges liked it when institutions took risks. For example, we liked how Carleton College's "Voice" used a fuzzy treatment on the cover, and they also included an alumni photography portfolio pull-out booklet inside, but because the rest of the magazine didn't deliver on those surprising and well-executed innovations, we didn't award that entry

Comments on Winning Entries

Gold Award

University of Central Florida - Pegasus Magazine, Summer 2016

  • Stood head and shoulders above all other entries; all judges unanimously agreed this entry should receive Gold
  • Consistent excellence throughout the publication
  • Every spread was different, unexpected, surprising - delight after delight
  • Excellent visual storytelling - sucks you in to want to read every word 
  • Excellent flow and cohesive throughout
  • Breathtaking photography-"eye candy" 
  • Color palette was rich and consistent throughout
  • Interesting combination of photography and illustration throughout
  • Large, tabloid size and uncoated paper is perfect for this design
  • The only improvement recommended would be in the print production/bindery phase: Improve crossover images on the double truck pages.

Silver Award

Duke University (North Carolina) - Duke Magazine Special Issue: The Language Issue

  • Well executed theme throughout
  • Cover: Risky, but compelling
  • Startling simplicity
  • Whimsical typography and graphics
  • Interior: Excellent use of white space, minimalism, intriguing use of color (black/white with bright spots of color), 2-3 color designs, playful, graphical typography
  • A higher quality paper choice (heavier weight) would have improved the publication

Bronze Award

Oberlin College (Ohio) - Oberlin Conservatory Magazine 2016

  • Because the cover is simple and clean, featuring red, black, and white, along with a simple graphics and fonts, it stands out from the rest. Judges like how the front and back covers feature reverse images of the same object.
  • Bold and elegant
  • An appealing mix of traditional and modern without being discordant; a nice blend of old and new
  • Nice use of humor in the photography for the "Joe Blow" story (pp. 38-41).
  • Beautiful photography
  • Paper choice is spot on; size of magazine is a bit different and nice, which sets it apart from other publications

Posters

26 Entries

Category General Observations

The overall strengths of the category were the uses of typography. Many different styles were reflected and most were done effectively. The use of illustration was also very strong throughout the category. Most illustrations enhanced the design of the posters and presented the message in a strong visual manner.

Some weaknesses observed in the poster category were the uses of photography in the design. Most photo treatments were bland and did not push any boundaries. Also, many posters had a large amount of copy incorporated into the design and layout, which seemed to take away from the overall message of the poster.

Comments on Winning Entries

Grand Gold Award

Brigham Young University (Utah) - BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts

  • Comments:
    • Excellent minimalistic interpretations of season shows.
    • Consistent color palette added immense impact to the overall look and feel.
    • Strong typographical treatment.

Gold Award

Brigham Young University (Utah) - Kennedy Center Department Posters

  • Comments:
    • Illustrations were very well thought out and organized
    • Excellent type treatment
    • Color choices fit well within the layout of poster

Bronze Award

The University of Hong Kong - Mentorship 2016-17 Program: Animal Attraction

  • Comments:
    • Excellent use of photography to enhance the message/concept of the poster
    • Typography made the poster easy to understand and interact with.

Single-Page Publications

15 Entries

Category General Observations

The winners in this category presented publications that balanced strong design and clear messaging to create pieces that flowed well visually and were easy to navigate. The use of folds to navigate materials was very good - despite in some cases not matching the impact of the fold.

Some pieces were not completely integrated into the institutions overall brand - losing value and impact. Many layout design strategies seemed to look very template-like - did not push any boundaries in regards to layout and organization.

Comments on Winning Entries

Silver Award

University of Rochester (New York) - Meliora Weekend 2016: Better Than Ever

  • Comments:
    • Hierarchy of type treatment made information easy to consume
    • Color palette was casual and inviting - which reflected the event
    • Excellent incorporation of theme into entire publication

Bronze Award 

University of Toronto (Canada) - Boundless Campaign Infographic

  • Comments:
    • Overall infographic was precise and flowed well visually
    • Consistent and custom icon styles were refreshing
    • Fold of the piece matched the overall tone and purpose


Specialty Pieces

46 Entries

Category General Observations

Many of the panel members have judged a variety of competitions in the past and we all agreed this was a tough one to judge. The entries were all varied. There were some superb examples. It was difficult to compare some of the items. This category had a lot of unique entries making it a challenge to narrow it down.

Many of the entries were well designed, used quality photography and typography and were budget friendly. So, the comparison came down to innovation and achieving the purpose.

Comments on Winning Entries

Gold Award

Harvey Mudd College (California) - Harvey Mudd College Viewbook

  • This was by far the most innovative viewbook that the judging panel has seen! At first glance, panelists were hesitant, thinking most teenagers are not going to read all of this information. But the deeper we looked, the more impressed we became. This would probably not work for most institutions.
  • However, Harvey Mudd has an expert grasp on its audience. For the type of student applying to Harvey Mudd, this deck of cards is ingenious. It is clearly a terrific match for the institution's specific audience with the complex overlays of suits and the special code to break.
  • Harvey Mudd demonstrated an impressive array of content well and concisely presented. This viewbook was such a clever idea executed skillfully and with a great budget! 

Silver Award

SUNY Adirondack (New York) - Love Our Library Campaign

  • In a time of everything going digital, it was refreshing to see a new take on an old concept. The panel was thoroughly impressed by the modernization of these bookmarks. One may think bookmarks would not be an effective marketing piece, but according to the university these were extremely well received. And the panel could see why! The hashtags were smart and relatable. The designs were fresh and bold. Using 2-color designs and uncoated paper made this collateral quite affordable. This modern bookmark is an excellent example that you do not have to spend a fortune to create a good marketing piece.

Princeton University (New Jersey) - 1746 Society Silk Tie and Scarf

  • The quality of the design on the scarf and tie is remarkable. While most schools feel the need to make their logo a dominant design element on products like this, Princeton took a different route. Incorporating campus architectural components to create a pattern was imaginative and resourceful. The end results were two beautiful accessories that alumni would be proud to wear. The accompanying brochure explaining the thought behind the pattern is very effective

Bronze Award

  • Duke University (North Carolina) - Alumni Association Trading Card DeckThese cards turned the usually dull, no-one-really-wants-to-keep-it keepsake program on its ear and made it fun for folks to talk about during the event as well as afterward. Also, very clever to create the Pop Art-style color splashes, which help bind together what must have been a wide variety of images submitted.
  • The information provided about how the deck was used and received gave the panel a good feel for its effectiveness. The substantial paper quality and design make this item more of a keepsake.