The Best Designs of the Year: Midwest

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As we gear up for Print’s 2015 Regional Design Annual—the 35th anniversary of the competition—we’re bringing you the Best of Region winners from 2014. Last year, for the first time, we asked our judges to select their top design from each of the six regions of the RDA (Far West, Midwest, Southwest, South, East and NYC). We’ll be doing so again in 2015. Don’t miss the chance to have your work spotlighted among the best designs in the country, in our most popular issue of the year.

And the winner for the Midwest is …

Title: Cut Spike Packaging

Design Firm: Archrival, Lincoln, NE

Creative Team: Nate Custard (creative director), Michael Nielsen (art director/designer), Kevin Fuller (art director)

Client: Cut Spike Distillery

An artisan distillery that does as much work as possible by hand needs packaging that not only stays true to its brand, but also proves to whiskey and vodka lovers that such a philosophy produces excellence on all levels—from the label to the very last drop. That’s why design firm Archrival handled each element with care when designing the packaging for two of Cut Spike Distillery’s premium spirits.

Archrival’s final products reflect the distillery’s nod to railroad history, with a minimal color palette and letterpressed labels (created in partnership with Spark Letterpress) that invoke the spirit of hard work in every bottle.

According to Archrival, “The biggest challenge from a design perspective by far was sourcing and deciding on the right adhesive label paper stock. It ultimately needed to find a balance of being functional, premium and having that overt letterpressed impression.”

Archrival’s designs resonated with RDA judge Joseph Duffy, firming up his belief that it was the strongest from the Midwest. “Call me a sucker for packaging, the use of gold and black, anything whiskey, and really well done ‘hipster’ design,” he says.