Regional Design Awards Winners 2016: Southwest

The Regional Design Awards is America’s preeminent design competition. View the winners of the 2016 RDA from the Southwest below, or enter the 2017 Regional Design Awards.


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Southwest Regional Design Awards

What exactly does the famous 1989 debate between design greats Tibor Kalman and Joe Duffy have to do with the Southwest region of this year’s RDA, anyway? Everything—if you ask judge Marc English, who points out that he loves the work of both designers. As English explains, “Tibor argued that Joe’s work reeked of false nostalgia, whereas his own work was ‘smart’ and style-proof. … There is now so much false nostalgia that Tibor is clearly rolling in his grave,” English says.

While judging, English found good work and even some great work. But he noted an overabundance of generic-feeling projects in the larger body of submissions, ranging from the “over-designed” to the “not-even-clever-the-first-time, let-alone-any-other-time.” It took many forms, writes English, from the trusty centered layout to work that was void of a concept. Overall, English disliked entries that played it safe and lacked the staying power and vitality that both Duffy and Kalman’s work possessed.

He admits to having committed many of the fouls he decried while judging the RDA. He asks designers to take a moment to recognize their design deficits and failures, to learn from them, and to keep swinging. His advice for those aspiring to be great: Imagine a concept that has not been imagined. Create a layout that engages and enthralls. Be certain typographic utility and expression is exquisite. Apply color that sings. “Fight the good fight.”

[Read more about English’s work and his approach to design here.]

Best of Region

Bats of the Republic

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Zachary Thomas Dodson, El Paso, TX; www.zachdodson.com: Zachary Thomas Dodson (creative
director/art director/ designer); Doubleday (client)

[Read more about the Best of Region project here.]

Southwest Regional Design Awards Winners Gallery

1. An Extraordinary Endeavor

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Rigsby Hull, Houston; www.rigsbyhull.com: Lana Rigsby, Thomas Hull (creative directors/art directors/designers), Chris Shinn (photographer); Rigsby Hull (client)


2. Animal Activists

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Inky Lips Press, McKinney, TX; www.inkylipspress.com: Casey McGarr (creative director/art director/designer/illustrator/writer); Inky Lips Press (client)


“Researching 1950s pulp novels was the inspiration for the typography, layout and writing; the animals’ habitat is slowly disappearing and each one is fighting for a piece of land.”

—Inky Lips Press (02)


3. Art In Transit Tulsa: Visual Overload

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Dennis Schmickle Art & Design, Lubbock, TX; www.dennisschmickle.com: Dennis Schmickle (creative director/art director/designer); Dennis Schmickle Art & Design (client)


4. Banned Books Week Collateral

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Spindletop Design, Houston; www.spindletopdesign.com: Jennifer Blanco (creative director/art director/designer), John Earles (creative director/art director), Laura Thornock, Josh Higgins, Travis Smith (designers), Workhorse Printmakers (printing/assembly); Brazos Bookstore (client)


5. Big Game Theory

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Ghost, Oklahoma City; www.ghostokc.com: Matthew Pickett (creative director), Hannah Ashford, Ryan Fuller (designers); Science Museum Oklahoma (client)


6.The Brand Hatchery 10 Year Book

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The Brand Hatchery, Dallas; www.brandhatchery.com: Aaron Opsal (creative director/art director/ photographer/writer), Josue Olivas (designer); The Brand Hatchery (client)


7. Candid Camper Logo

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Banowetz + Company Inc., Dallas; www.banowetz.com: Leon Banowetz (creative director), Sarah Terrell (art director), Wes Phelan (designer); Candid Camper (client)


8. Cans for 11 Below Brewing Co.

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Caliber Creative, Dallas; www.calibercreative.com: Bret Sano, Brandon Murphy (creative directors), Elena Chudoba, Kevin Johnson, Kaitlyn Canfield, Justin King (designers), Karie Scuiller (account manager); 11 Below Brewing Company (client)


9. Carlson Wishstick Holiday Party Invite 2015

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The Matchbox Studio, Dallas; www.matchboxstudio.com: Liz Burnett (creative director), Katie Kitchens (art director/designer), Laura Walden (designer), Mitchell Ditto (writer); Carlson Capital L.P. (client)


10. Cassette Tote Bag

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Half Price Books, Dallas; www.hpb.com: Allyson Bradley (creative director), Meredith Mathews (creative director/art director), Mark McKenzie (designer); Half Price Books (client)


11. DAG Enterprises

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Mario Griego, Albuquerque, NM; www.mariogriego.com: Mario Griego (creative director/art director/designer/client)


12. Data Makes My Heart Beet

Spiceworks Inc., Austin, TX; www.spiceworks.com: Jon Pafk (creative director), Jessie Rump (art director/writer), Clarice Bajkowski (designer/illustrator), Angela Kohn (photographer); Spiceworks Inc. (client)


“Spiceworks wanted to alert researchersm in the tech market about our new research product offerings—and what better way than with food? We repurposed a food-themed online playbook, ‘6 Ingredients for Healthier B2B Research,’ into actual recipe cards.”

—Spiceworks Inc. (12)


13. Design Week Global

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IBM Design, Austin, TX; www.ibm.com/design: Oen Michael Hammonds (creative director/art director/designer/illustrator); IBM (client)


“In 2015 the IBM Design Education Team traveled to nine cities … to conduct
design-thinking workshops and activate attendees to conduct their own design-thinking practices with their teams. These screenprinted posters served as an announcement for the event in each city as well as a keepsake for those who participated.”

—IBM Design (13)


14. Fliip Football Board Game

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Caliber Creative, Dallas; www.calibercreative.com: Brandon Murphy (creative director), Bret Sano (creative director/designer), Karie Scuiller (account manager); Fliip Football (client)


15. Heritage Logo

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DeRouen & Co., Austin, TX; www.derouenco.com: Derrit DeRouen (creative director), Lisa Rogers (art director/designer); The Shady Grove (client)


16. Horsemen’s Feed & Supply Posters 2015

Rudi Backart Design, Corrales, NM; www.rudibackart.com: Rudi Backart (creative director/art director/designer), Nick Tauro Jr. (writer); Horsemen’s Feed & Supply (client)


17. Journey to Ethiopia: Integrated Campaign

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Merrygood, Austin, TX; www.merrygood.com: Nicole Fikes (creative director/art director), Autumn Hutchins (designer); Glimmer of Hope (client)


18. LMU Magazine “Game On”

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Pentagram, Austin, TX; www.pentagram.com: DJ Stout (creative director/art director), Barrett Fry (designer); Loyola Marymount University (client)


19. McCurtain County Tourism Authority Niche Fishing Campaign

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Cubic Inc., Tulsa, OK; www.cubiccreative.com: Winston Pereza (creative director), Katy Livingston (art director/designer), Libby Bender, Megan Shepherd (writers); McCurtain County Tourism Authority (client)


20. Met Park Logo

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CBRE Property Marketing Center, Houston: Kenneth Weaver (creative director), Jordan Greenwood (art director/designer); Met Park (client)

See more winners from the Southwest on Page 2 >>