The Best Designs of the Year: Far West

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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 Far West is …

Title: Arcana Academy Apparel

Design Firm: Arcana Academy, Los Angeles

Creative Team: Lee Walters (creative director/art director/designer), Shane Hutton (creative director/art director), Lorene Grinberg, Elizabeth Miller, Jessica Darke, Agustin Sanchez, Alex Esseveld, Jackson Morton, Rebecca Sun (photographers)

Client: Arcana Academy

Vacant faces peer from a bleak background, their bearers all dressed in uniform. The namesake of Arcana Academy, an LA-based design firm, is taken to the next level in its “class” photo, in which the team is clad in a custom designed tongue-and-cheek apparel line that mimics that of a prestigious private school.

“We wanted to have some clothing with our name on it. But we didn’t want to hit the default button and just order a bunch of polo shirts with our logo printed on the front. So we decided to design our own,” says Lee Walters, Arcana Academy executive creative director.

The look and humor behind it certainly resonated with Far West judge Michael Vanderbyl. “It’s rare that an entry has me laughing out loud. It’s one thing to have an off-the-wall concept, it’s another to execute it beautifully. … I’d love to be a fly on the wall at one [of] their client meetings with the staff wearing these uniforms. And I want them to design uniforms for my staff … maybe with a Dutch theme,” he says.