As we gear up for our early bird deadline (March 1!), we asked a selection of winners from the latest Regional Design Awards why they entered—and how being published in the RDA has impacted their business. Here are some of their responses—along with their brilliant work.
Chad Cheek, Elephant in the Room
Why did you enter the RDA?I believe it is important to represent our region well. We have a cohort of very strong design firms in the area and we want to be recognized for our work—along with our talented peers.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?It benefits the region when we (and other local firms) are recognized in the RDA. It helps us attract talent, and it also increases exposure for the brands that we work hard for.
Has winning the RDA competition had any impact on your business or career?Our business has benefited by remaining relevant in conversations regarding “strong designers in the area.” Being recognized several times over the years (including the last three years, consecutively) allows us to attract a higher caliber of clients and partners to do great work with.
Elephant In The Room, Winston-Salem, NC; www.elephantintheroom.com: Will Hackley (art director/designer); AIGA Triad NC (client)
Karen Manganillo, KLP Designs
Why did you enter the RDA?The RDA has always been that design pinnacle to strive for. I would look through it each year and just hope that I’d ever create anything good enough to enter, let alone to win.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?Besides feeling personally validated that “I don’t suck” (like many designers fear regularly), I’ve already had four potential new business leads since winning.
Has winning the RDA competition had any impact on your business or career?I’ve seen the uptick in web traffic to my LinkedIn account and website, and for my current clients the win increased their pride and confidence in choosing me as their graphic designer.
KLP Designs, Apex, NC; www.klpdesigns.com: Karen Manganillo (creative director/art director/designer), Chris Emerson (illustrator); Carolina Brewing Company (client)
Annie Eischen, Flying Hippo
Why did you enter the RDA?I entered the Print Regional Design Annual to see if I had what it takes to compete against the best design talent in the U.S.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?The main benefits to winning the Print RDA is a new sense of confidence and a thirst to push myself and my designs even further.
Flying Hippo, Urbandale, IA; www.flyinghippo.com: Eric Groves (creative director/art director), Annie Eischen, John Anderson (designers); Flying Hippo (client)
Nicole Fikes, Merrygood
Why did you enter the RDA?Print is such a well-respected publication, we felt having our work presented in its pages would not only validate our capabilities but also build our credibility as an established firm.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?The exposure is great, as well as the bragging rights. Plus, being a part of such a talented group of people helps demonstrate to potential clients that you have a place at the grown-up table.
Has winning the RDA competition had any impact on your business or career?It’s definitely strengthened our position when pitching to new clients. It shows that we’re established, know what we’re doing and are thought-leaders in our industry.
Merrygood, Austin, TX; www.merrygood.com: Nicole Fikes (creative director/art director), Autumn Hutchins (designer); Glimmer of Hope (client)
Bethany Newman, ST8MNT Brand Agency
Why did you enter the RDA?I entered for the opportunity to be recognized amongst peers on a national esteemed platform.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?It adds validity to design firms that tout they “make great work.”
Has winning the RDA competition had any impact on your business or career?Winning is a motivator and positive feedback to the creative team involved. Additionally, the announcement lends credibility to our firm to potential clients, and potential future creative employees. It lets the public know we have a very high standard, which is highly beneficial in the creative industry.
ST8MNT Brand Agency, Nashville, TN; www.st8mnt.com: Josh Newman, Bethany Newman, Amanda Eckard (creative directors), Austin Hale, Aaron Rayburn (art directors/designers), Amber Brannon, Marty Filogamo, Alex Pearson (designers), Alan Knox (designer/illustrator); CMA (client)
C.J. Yeh, Cynda Media Lab
Why did you enter the RDA?The RDA is a unique award because of its long history, as well as a sense of creative community that you don’t get from the other awards.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?Being presented as one of the best in the country is an honor, as well as a way for me to check how our work stands up with the best design studios in the region.
Cynda Media Lab, Englewood Cliffs, NJ; www.cyndamedia.com: C. J. Yeh (creative director/designer), Christie Shin (art director/designer); Museum at FIT (client)
Jordan Fretz, Jordan Fretz Design
Why did you enter the RDA?Print was my first designer resource purchase as a student and it has always been a goal of mine to be included.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?As a young creative, getting included in Print has given me additional credibility and confidence.
Has winning the RDA competition had any impact on your business or career?Yes: added credibility with clients, motivation to improve and achieve more, added confidence to know you don’t have to be a keynote speaker or [have a] massive budget on a project for your work to stand out.
Jordan Fretz Design, Simpsonville, SC; www.jordanfretz.com: Jordan Fretz (creative director/art director/designer); Jordan Fretz Design (client)
Tad Carpenter, Carpenter Collective
Why did you enter the RDA?We love Print magazine and what it has done for the design community. We consider it a staple and fixture of our design community. To be included each year is an honor, and we love seeing our country’s best design projects all in one place.
What are the benefits of winning and appearing in the RDA?Being involved in the Print RDA each year gives you and your studio pride, energy and validation moving forward. We are always so honored to be included.
Has winning the RDA competition had any impact on your business or career?Yes. We have had potential clients tell us they saw a project or campaign in a design annual. That added value to the client and the services we offer.
Carpenter Collective, Kansas City, MO; www.carpentercollective.com: Jessica Carpenter, Tad Carpenter (creative directors/art directors/designers/illustrators), Bethany Hughes (photographer); Pipeline Productions (client)
Enter the most respected competition in graphic design—now open to both pros and students—for a chance to have your work published, win a pass to HOW Design Live, and more. 2017 Judges: Aaron Draplin / Jessica Hische / Pum Lefebure / Ellen Lupton / Eddie Opara / Paula Scher. Student work judges: PRINT editorial & creative director Debbie Millman and PRINT editor-in-chief Zachary Petit.