Regional Design Awards Winners 2017: Midwest

The Regional Design Awards is America’s preeminent design competition. View the winners of the 2017 RDA from the Midwest below.


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Midwest Regional Design Awards

AARON DRAPLIN, Midwest region judge

Midwestern proud and loud, Draplin Design Co. founder Aaron Draplin says, “Flyover country? Hell no. More like, ‘Drive-through-it’ country and ‘spend-some-time-there’ country.” Although the Detroit-born designer moved west to Portland, OR, he embraces his roots like a bear hug, and he’s got something to tell you about the Midwest as it compares to its larger cosmopolitan coastal companions: “It’s just as cool as those other places, and you can breathe,” he says. “Sorry to let the secret out.”

If you’ve ever heard Draplin speak, perhaps on his recent Pretty Much Everything book tour across the U.S., you know that he draws much creative inspiration from the Midwest and doesn’t take his upbringing for granted. (He was practically destined to be snagged as an RDA juror for the region.)

While judging what the Midwest had to offer this year, Draplin knew exactly what he was on the hunt for in a winning entry: “Things that are memorable, or where you can tell that folks went the extra mile—even if they didn’t have to. That’s the stuff I love the most,” he says. It’s that oomph that goes beyond mere client expectations and elevates the work to new levels.

“Don’t be afraid to make things as great as they can be,” he says. “It shows! It resonates!”


Best of Region Winner

Dixon Wedding Suite

Studio Dixon, Columbus, OH; www.studiodixon.co: Meredith Dixon (creative director/art director/designer/ illustrator), Drue Dixon (creative director/art director/designer), Vanessa Jean Speckman (patch concept), Made By Cooper (pin and patch design), Clove St. Press (letterpress); Meredith Dixon, Drue Dixon (clients)


Midwest Regional Design Awards Winners Gallery

1. 10-Year Freelance Copywriting Anniversary Tour Poster

Aesthetic Apparatus, Minneapolis; www.aestheticapparatus.com: Michael Byzewski, Tom Riddle, Michael Braley (designers), Crosshair Chicago (screen printing); Colin Corcoran (creative director/art director/writer/client)


2. 2017 Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar

Studio On Fire, Saint Paul, MN; www.studioonfire.com: Emma Trithart, Brian Gunderson, Lunar Saloon, Pavlov Visuals, Brave the Woods (illustration); Studio On Fire (creative direction/art direction/design/illustration/client)


3. AAF Omaha AAF Open Mini Golf 2016

Webster, Omaha, NE; www.websterdesign.com: Sean Heisler (creative director/art director/designer/illustrator); AAF Omaha (client)


4. AAF Omaha Bowl a Rama 2017

Webster, Omaha, NE; www.websterdesign.com: Sean Heisler (creative director/art director/designer/illustrator); AAF Omaha (client)


5. AAF Omaha Team Dodgeball—Dodge & Burn

Webster, Omaha, NE; www.websterdesign.com: Sean Heisler (creative director/art director/designer/illustrator); AAF Omaha (client)


6. AIGA: Get Out the Vote

Studio of Christine Wisnieski, Cleveland; www.christinewisnieski.com: Christine Wisnieski (creative director/designer), Jennifer Visocky O’Grady (art director), Lauren McAndrews (designer), Sarah Rutherford (writer); AIGA (writer/client)


7. Anew Identity

Atomicdust, St. Louis; www.atomicdust.com: Mike Spakowski (creative director), Jessica Davis (art director/ designer), James Dixson, Taylor Dixson (photographers), Rich Heend (writer); Big Brothers Big Sisters (client)


8. Beard Tax Bottle Label

Timber Design Co., Indianapolis; www.timberdesignco.com: Lars Lawson (creative director/art director/designer); Black Acre Brewing Co. (client)


9. Boehme’s Batch, Sweet Butter Toffee

Carpenter Collective, Kansas City, MO; www.carpentercollective.com: Tad Carpenter, Jessica Carpenter (creative directors/art directors/designers); Bill Boehme & Carpenter Collective (client)


10. Boulevard Brewing Co. Tours & Recreation Experience

Carpenter Collective, Kansas City, MO; www.carpentercollective.com: Tad Carpenter, Jessica Carpenter (creative directors/art directors/designers), Michael Robinson (photographer), Jeff Krum, Amber Ayres, Brent Anderson (writers), Dimensional Innovation, Midtown Signs (fabrication); Boulevard Brewing Co. (client)


11. Carpenter Collective Holiday Card

Carpenter Collective, Kansas City, MO; www.carpentercollective.com: Tad Carpenter, Jessica Carpenter (creative directors/art directors/designers); Carpenter Collective (client)


12. Case Packaging

Shine United, Madison, WI; www.shineunited.com: Michael Kriefski (creative director), John Krull (creative director/art director), Erik Johnson (designer); Lake Louie (client)


13. CC Coffee Poster

Christiansen Creative, Hudson, WI; www.think-cc.com: Tricia Christiansen (creative director/art director), Ellie Alexander (designer), Connor Blacksher (illustrator); Christiansen Creative (client)


14. Cincinnati Design Week 2016

Hyperquake, Cincinnati; www.hyperquake.com: Dan Barczak (creative director), Andria Mierzwiak, Dustin Blankenship, David Maley (designers); AIGA Cincinnati (client)


15. County Soil Brand Packaging

Wink, Minneapolis; www.wink-mpls.com: Scott Thares (creative director/art director/designer/illustrator), Mark Field (creative director), Tim Cronin (designer/illustrator), Jenny Moran (designer); Scotts (client)


16. Element Three Onboarding Kit

Element Three, Indianapolis; www.elementthree.com: Darren Halbig (creative director), Bart Fish (art director/ designer), Bob Ewing (illustrator), Tom Aschauer (writer); Element Three (client)


17. Fleri

Latitude, Minneapolis; www.latitudeelevates.com: Jason Strong (creative director), Eric Anthony (creative director/art director), Levi Lowell (designer); Fleri (client)


18. Franklin Press Identity

Sussner Design Company, Minneapolis; www.sussner.com: Derek Sussner (creative director/art director), Tanya Naylor (designer); Franklin Press Inc. (client)


19. French Disney Castle

Charles S. Anderson Design Co., Minneapolis; www.csadesign.com: Charles S. Anderson (creative director/ art director), Jovaney Hollingsworth (designer/illustrator); French Paper Co. (client)


20. French Foil Packaging Posters—Series 1 & 2

Charles S. Anderson Design Co., Minneapolis; www.csadesign.com: Charles S. Anderson (creative director/ art director), Jovaney Hollingsworth (designer), Erik Johnson (writer); French Paper Co. (client)

See more winners from the Midwest on Page 2 >>