The 25 Winners of Print Celebrates Design

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Justin Ahrens challenges common ideas of what design success is and discusses how it is achieved by other means. This eye-opening video will broaden design’s potential for self-gratification and improving the world.

Designers are makers—all day, every day. And here at Print magazine, we like to celebrate the designs you create that commemorate an occasion, be it a holiday or special event. That’s why we created Print Celebrates Design, a design competition for your cards, gifts & invitations.

Randy J. Hunt, judge of 2014 Print Celebrates Design competition

Randy J. Hunt, creative director at Etsy, was thrilled to choose 25 winners, including one Best in Show, for this year’s Print Celebrates. A maker himself, Hunt founded design studio Citizen Scholar, wrote Product Design for the Web and designs prints. Prior to becoming creative director at Etsy, he was recognized as a Print New Visual Artist in 2009.

When asked about the driving force behind his impressive career, Hunt notes, “I do feel like I’ve been on a constant quest of self-improvement. I’ve got a ton of patience and like to stick with things for a while. In today’s design climate, that sometimes looks like an anomaly, but I like it.”

Take a look below at all the winners Hunt selected. You’ll find holiday design galore, including Halloween design and gift wrap design, as well as invitations, gifts and more. Afterward, you may even find that you’re inspired to start a new design project that might just earn recognition in next year’s design contests.

BEST IN SHOW WINNER: 15 Rewarding Years

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest
Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest; best in show
Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: It’s a Go Communication Creative Team: Nelri Rossum, Liam McAlpine, Kurt Linaker, Glenda Venn, Venessa Govender Client: It’s a Go Communications Description: To celebrate 15 years of rewarding projects and experiences, we sent each of our clients and delivery partners a set of 15 chocolate slabs. Each year was themed by a reflection on what had been rewarding or sweetly motivating for 12 months along with what we had learned in that year about what makes what we do rewarding.

Comments from judge Randy J. Hunt:The allure of small multiples is hard to escape. These well-packaged bars of chocolate look great as a set. The content concept—a rewarding or motivation lesson from each year—means there’s more than just sweets here. The illustrations are well-executed, and I enjoy the variety within the color and formal constraints. Also…chocolate.”

10th Annual Scholarship Luncheon

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: RISD Media Group Creative Team: Micah Barrett (art director), Kristin Silva (designer) Description: In recognition of student excellence and to celebrate scholarship recipients, RISD hosts an annual luncheon. The event allows the scholars and their supporters to meet and talk. Inspired by early learning nostalgia. The invitations were letterpressed.

4A’s Gold Forum Swag Bag


Firm: Meers Creative Team: Brandon Bennett (art director/designer), Dave Altis (executive creative director), Laura Piper (creative director), Laura Piper (copywriter) Client: Meers (self-promotion) Description: The 4A’s Gold Forum brings together advertising agency CEO’s from across the nation of similar size so they can discuss mutual problems their agencies are facing and exchange knowledge and ideas on how make their businesses better. To commemorate the forum coming to Kansas City, Meers wanted to say thank you for coming to our fair city. For each CEO we created a swag bag of all things Kansas City and also a pretty sweet shirt, too.

Assemble Your Own Jack-o-lope!

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: Rural Rooster Creative Team: J.J. Campbell (art director/designer) Description: Holiday card for clients and vendors.

Bat’s Feast / Halloween Card


Firm: Natalya Balnova Design Description: Three-color silkscreen card; 5″x7″, edition of 40.

Boissons de Madame Babineaux

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: Ultra Creative Creative Team: Jessica Ward Hill, JoEllen Martinson Davis, William Burns, Jen Sheeler (designers), Megan Auld-Wright (copywriter), Todd Schneider (production), First Impressions Group (printer) Client: Gift to all Ultra Creative clients Description: An unassuming box marked with 13/13 arrives on your doorstep. Curiosity reveals a custom wooden crate from the mysterious Madame Babineaux, thick with the mystique of the French Quarter’s darker corners. Inside, a black sealed packet unveils thirteen “cards of good riddance” that suggest a year-end pop culture cleansing ritual. Relax with a mug of hot chocolate elixir and reflect on 12 scourges that were visited upon us in 2013, and with good intentions, conjure a message from beyond to reveal what 2014 holds in store.

Capsule Thinking Putty


Firm: Capsule Creative Team: Brian Adducci (art director), Beth Sichtender (designer), Courtney Johnson Description: Capsule wanted to do something for the 2013 holiday season that inspired creative ideas. Inspiring a way for these ideas to become a reality, using the crafting skills of our own two hands, we used a favorite piece of inspiration to promote our design thinking philosophy. Putty. The finished product is a delicate, foil stamped putty tin and card design, inspired by “bright ideas” and the holiday season. Capsule’s Thinking Putty encourages recipients to shape, form and stretch thoughts and ideas into something tangible and inspiring for those around them.

CCTC’s RoundUp

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: CWP Design Studio Creative Team: Corey Pontz (art director), Britt Larson (designer) Client: Children’s Crisis Treatment Center Description: Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC), a non-profit organization that specializes in providing behavioral health services to children and their families in Philadelphia, throws an annual event, a western-themed RoundUp. Roughly 300 guests show up to dance, dine and mingle in cowboy attire. In 2012 they raised more than $160,000. We have been designing their invitations since 2011 and each year we come up with a different design. This year we went full color and pattern with the invite, a stark contrast the monochromatic look of the previous year’s.

Emily & Tyler Wedding Invitation


Firm: Ceci New York Creative Team: Ceci Johnson (art director), Michelle Wengrod (designer) Client: Emily Maynard Description: It was a truly incredible experience to work on former Bachelorette Emily Maynard’s surprise wedding invitation designs. We had so much fun putting our own spin on Emily’s affair, which was a sweet and relaxed yet elegant event. To create Emily’s designs, we drew upon her feminine and fashion-forward style, as well as her own jewelry line. We incorporated these patterns into her whimsical View-Master invitations, and as they suited her perfectly, they even ended up on the cake and tote bags.

Heath Newton Halloween Cards


Firm: Noise 13 Creative Team: Dava Guthmiller (art director), Christine Lee (designer), Gamma Nine (photography), Press Arts (printer) Client: Heath Newton LLP Description: Heath Newton, a family law firm in San Francisco, sends out cards to their clients every year at Halloween instead of Christmas, and cleverly plays off their name by including a Heath Bar and Fig Newton in each mailer. The 2012 mailer incorporated the Dia de los Muertos theme into a unique origami kit.

Howard Family Holiday Greeting


Firm: konnectDesign Creative Team: Karen Knecht (art director), Braden Wise (designer) Client: The Howard Family Description: Letterpress Holiday Recipe booklet sent as a Holiday greeting.

Luminocity Invitation

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: Ellen Bruss Design Creative Team: Ellen Bruss (art director/designer) Client: Museum of Contemporary Art Denver Description: We are excited about our latest project for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver—the Luminocity 2014 Invitation! Luminocity is the premier fundraising event for MCA Denver’s ambitious exhibition program. The special guest artist, Mark Mothersbaugh (founding member of DEVO), gave us a huge collection of his artwork to use for this project. Check out the mult-layered, pop-up, riveted, fold-out, eye-catching day-goo result.



Firm: Studio Martinez Creative Team: Miguel A. Martinez (art director/designer) Client: Ric Howard & Liliana Martinez Description: Capture the couples love for the city of Austin, Texas, which is where they first met, and then married at.

New Year Greeting Self-Promo


Firm: konnectDesign Creative Team: Karen Knecht (art director), Sarah Rainwater, Bryan Kestall (designers) Description: Letterpress coasters sent to our clients as a New Year greeting.

Pamella Roland

Pamella-ROland; Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: Conduit Studio Creative Team: John O’Neill (art director), Kelly O’Hara, Ryan Mitchell (designers), Amy O’Hare, The Printery Client: A.K. Rikk’s and Pamella Roland Description: We designed a luxury invitation suite for a trunk show to introduce the Pamella Roland Spring 2015 collection at fashion retailer A.K. Rikk’s. We were challenged to draw direction from the floral, Japanese theme of the collection. We designed an origami-inspired invitation that shares the hexagonal shape of the A.K. Rikk’s logo and blooms open to reveal the event details. The soft textures and glittering details evoke the spirit Pamella’s designs are known for.

Same Sh*t, Different Year


Firm: BEAMY Creative Team: Ronn Lee (art director/creative director), Linz Lim (designer), Bao Ching (copywriter), Yutien Peng (account director) Description: We realize that often, corporate calendars have the same ubiquitous look and many corporate gifts exchanged during the festive season are hardly made good use of. New Year resolutions made also never last beyond the 2nd of January. Hence, we decided to take matters in our own hands (quite literally) and create our own New Year survival kit—titled Same Sh*t, Different Year—that says it like it is and showcases our passion for design and dark brand of humor. The kit contains a calendar highlighting milestone dates (not actual holidays, because that’s just too practical), postcards, gift tags, wrapping paper and raffia string that you can use for gifting, re-gifting or perhaps not even gifting. On each page of our calendar is also a witty one liner that pokes fun at a festival or a milestone event happening in the month.

September Twentieth

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: Wes Kull Creative Team: Wes Kull (art director/designer), Craig Dransfield at Abnormal Allies (printer) Client: JuLee Leopard and Dave Colner Description: Combining the Art Deco architecture of New York and structural details of the Manhattan Bridge, 19th century blueprints, the Great Gatsby, the book covers of Hemingway and Radiohead’s Kid A, this save-the-date poster celebrates the interests of the couple whose wedding it announces and the city where it was to take place.

SIEGE! (2nd Solo Show Invitation)


Designer: Jooyoun Sun Description: My 2nd Solo Show has several works to raise our awareness of how our lives are invaded by mobile devices. I think continuous distractions from mobile phones are a kind of endless battle. Even though we try to ignore and defend the distractions, we seems to be surrounded by them. The battle map is a visual cue to the meaning as a metaphor, and facing arrows in the battle map contrast my military with my enemies. I arrange the title twice in two different colors and they are facing each other. On the other page, it has gallery information including website, address and map as well. The arrows from this battle map are highlighting the location where people should visit for my show. At the same time, people can easily get the sense of feeling that they are surrounded by something, before they come to the sho

Suka Thank You


Firm: Suka Creative Creative Team: Jen Pressley, Esteban Perez (art directors) Description: Each year we remember the many things we are thankful for—health, happiness and clients/partners. To show our gratitude, we created this interactive piece and we cordially invite you to help us spread the love. View interactive entry here.

Type Face Cards


Firm: Truscott Studios Creative Team: Brandon T. Truscott (art director/designer) Client: BYU–Hawaii Description: In my typography course this semester, the students selected face cards and hand-lettered the name of the card with chalk onto blackboard signs. The signs were exhibited in the MAF Gallery on BYUH Campus. I created this hand-lettered ink postcard to advertise the exhibition. I based the letter forms on two typefaces: Rand Holub’s Gillot 291 became the basis of Intertype’s Monterey. Holub’s original script was redesigned by Alejandro Paul as Feel Script. I also used Tiki Holiday owned by Brand Design Co., Inc./House Industries. I took still images of my progress and completed a time-lapse video in After Effects.

Visual / Senses

Print Celebrates Design Competition winner; design contest

Firm: Designing Cultures Studio Creative Team: Jesvin Yeo (art director), Alvin Ng Client: Red Top Beijing Description: This exhibition catalogue, Visual / Senses, not only captures with tenderness the texture of decorative elements of traditional Chinese temples in glorious black and white, but also the scent of a temple. It is printed with special aroma ink that is similar to the scent of a temple to engage viewers through the senses of sight and smell as memories are evoked; new possibilities are imagined and personal connections are explored. The book sleeve can double as an invitation flyer.

Warpping Paper


Firm: The Alchemedia Project Creative Team: Mike Dockery (art director/designer), Brad Hill (art director), Shawn Finger (executive creative director), Sarah Jenkins (copywriter), Myke Bates (web developer), Tom Davis (photographer), Brian Infante (producer), Jason Stanley (executive producer), Ryan Popp (motion media director), Claire McMillin (account service), Tim Bade (chief creative officer) Client: The Marlin Network Description: Warpping Paper was the 2013 holiday card from the Marlin Network, mailed to our clients, vendors and agency friends. The campaign included a website, video, email and physical mailer with custom-designed holiday gift wrap, encouraging recipients to wrap up some weird with prints such as Holiday Sweater, Rusty Wall, Black Leather and Skin (with hairy mole).

Wooden Postcard


Designers: Cristina Gonzalez & Catalina Rojas Description: Designed as an alternative to the traditional card, these postcards are printed letterpress on balsa wood and are a fun, textural way to show someone you’re thinking about them.

Yankee Stadium Gala Invitation


Firm: John Kneapler Design Creative Team: John Kneapler (creative director), Nicole Audette (designer) Client: Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation Description: This invitation was for Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation’s Annual Recognition Gala, held at Yankee Stadium. The Foundation wanted a special and memorable invitation, so we designed a pop-up of the stadium, with simple, elegant and modern graphics, that really let the structure take the stage. The popup was constructed from one piece of paper, for economical assembly.

Year of The Horse


Firm: MM Brand Agency Creative Team: Cathleen Mitchell (creative director), Crissy Saint (copy director), Julie Baker (art director), Paul Dunbar (art director/designer), Victor Vasquez (Illustrator), Adam Hanse (copywriter), Jarrod Joachim Film (photography) Description: Here at MM, we design and coordinate an annual direct mail campaign to promote brand awareness, bring together the creative community, and cultivate potential business relationships in good chemistry. We realized that there
is a direct correlation with the seasons of the year and a deck of cards, and set forth to create a calendar that could double as a deck of playing cards.


Thinking of entering the 2015 RDA? Here are two reasons why you should: “Print is one of the most influential publications in our industry; having the opportunity to even be considered for inclusion in the RDA is a no-brainer.” 2e Creative “We are proud to be able to talk about our Print RDA award on our website and in social media. We hope that it will boost our studio’s recognition within the design community. We also think potential clients view award-winning design studios as a valuable partner that can potentially produce award-winning work for them too.” —Jen Thomas, The Beauty Shop