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Award-Winning Work, and the Designers Behind It

Every year, we check in with winners of the Regional Design Annual to see why they entered, and if the competition has impacted their careers. Here, alongside their winning work, are their thoughts. Enter by Friday for a chance to be spotlighted in our 2016 RDA! 

Galen Smith, Hardscrabble Projects

Why did you enter the RDA? I have always used the Print RDA as a reference for what was interesting in the profession right now, looking for new names and ideas and checking on how well-known designers are evolving and relating to current trends. I entered because I wanted to be included in such a group, and I felt that my work could add something interesting to this presentation.

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? I think the recognition of a job well done is an amazing energy boost for me, and it’s important for the profession as well. So often we do good work on a good project and even if it’s commercially successful it leaves little impression in the field of design, but by being included in a selection showcasing the best efforts of designers across the country I feel that I’ve not only benefitted myself and my client but I’ve also added a bit of knowledge that is a benefit to other designers as well.

The Steampunk User’s Manual // Hardscrabble Projects: Galen Smith (creative director/art director/designer); Abrams Books (client)

Carrie Walters, Carrie, Ink

Why did you enter the RDA? I entered this particular piece into PRINT’s competition because I wanted to see how it stacked up against other pieces across the country. I knew it was well-received locally, but I thought it would be amazing—not only personally, but for my team and the local community—to have it recognized on a national level.

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? This was the first time I’ve entered a piece into a PRINT design competition, so to be a Best of Region winner is such an unexpected and amazing honor. This project was a true labor of love, and I wanted to make sure I portrayed Richmond not only as a top-notch culinary community but also as a top-notch design community. To have this book represent the South is a testament to the amazing creative environment Richmond has cultivated.

My work has been recognized on the local/regional level many times, but I think having such a well-respected National Honor under my belt will add an extra level of credibility and value to my experience and resume. As an independent creative, it’s valuable to me to show my clients that I’m able to compete on the National level. I concentrate on working with smaller businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs, but I want them to have the same quality of work as their big-budgeted competitors.

804ork // Carrie, Ink, Oilville, VA: Carrie Fleck Walters (creative director/art director/designer), Christophile Konstas, Molly Peterson, Kieran Wagner (photographers), Susan Howson, Chris Gatewood, Kate Bredimus (writers); Blunt Objects (client)

Mathieu Schmutzler, TBIB Creative LLC

Why did you enter the RDA? Partly to celebrate good work, the kind of work that was a success for both the agency and for the client. It feels good. Some agencies don’t ‘believe’ in competitions, but think it’s good to do so, to look at the other work, and to challenge one’s self to do better work.

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? To share and gain recognition amongst our peers and within the design community. And to be plainly honest, to have the exposure to be able say … whoo hoo … yes, this work was good, and to attract other clients for that caliber of work.

Power of the Purse—Campaign // TBIB Creative LLC, Portland, OR: Mathieu Schmutzler (creative director/art director/designer/ photographer/writer), Eric Wimberly (photographer); Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest (client)


Why did you enter the RDA? It is an annual tradition. PRINT magazine is an institution and we always look to the publication for inspiration from our peers.

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? PR, recognition in the design community, potential new business opportunities.

What impact has your RDA win had? It has gotten us exposure to new audiences and introduced us to new clients.

Bella Vita DVD Packaging // ITAL/C, Los Angeles: ITAL/C (creative direction/art direction/design/illustration), Jason Baffa, Nick LaVecchia (photographers); Jason Baffa Films (client)

33 Taps // ITAL/C, Los Angeles: ITAL/C (creative direction/art direction/design/illustration), Walter Iooss (photographer); 33 Taps (client)

Matt Hannigan, GoodThree

Why did you enter the RDA? The Regional Design Annual has always provided inspirational work that creates an impact amongst the design community and the audience it reaches. Those are the same qualities that we give our all to provide in all our projects, big or small. To be featured amongst a group of like-minded and stellar designers is a milestone worth achieving.

2SOL Annual Report // GoodThree, York, PA: Matt Hannigan (creative director/art director/designer), Kelsey Hare (photographer/writer), Rachel Vaichus (photographer), Ally Self, Matthew Poganski (writers); 2 Seconds Or Less (client)

Stephanie Archuleta, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Public Affairs

Why did you enter the RDA? I’ve noticed in many design annuals, there’s a significant lack of federal government design amongst the winning entries. Federal government design has a reputation for being dry and outdated. And our projects are shrouded in mystery because our work is not heavily circulated. But that trend is changing. There are creatives whose mission is to continually elevate government design. And I wanted an opportunity to showcase some of our work, and let the design community know that federal designers care just as deeply about visual communication. 

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? This win helps the design community see what kind of projects we conduct in the federal government. And hopefully it will encourage more creatives to apply to federal jobs in efforts to continue to elevate government design.

What impact has your RDA win had? More respect from leadership in our agency. We are not only Public Affairs—we are now referred to as the award-winning Public Affairs team

Year in Review, Confronting Danger // Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Public Affairs, Arlington, VA: Grace Moe (creative director), Stephanie Archuleta (art director/designer), Lawrence Neal (writer); Bureau of Diplomatic Security (client)

Yvonne Perez Emerson, The Study

Why did you enter the RDA? I have been subscribing and reading PRINT magazine for over 15 years. I think it’s important to share our work and get a pat on the back once in awhile for the work we do, especially when we are working with brands that have purpose. The work we submitted was for the local nonprofit WeMake; it’s a grassroots organization that helps to foster design in Portland’s creative community. With little to no budget they have raised over $40,000 for arts education in the last four years. Our team has done all of the design and social media for them. It’s really great that through entering their campaign in PRINT’s design annual, they too get national recognition. We are stoked!

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? Awards and resignations are not only a way of validation by our peers, but also motivation to stay on top of our game.

WeMake Celebrates // The Study, Portland, OR: Yvonne Perez Emerson (creative director/art director/designer), Celestia Caredio (production designer), Jill Dryer (illustrator), Jeremy Pair (photographer); WeMake (client)

Gail Marowitz, The Visual Strategist

Why did you enter the RDA? I’ve been a fan of the PRINT magazine RDA for over 30 years. I use it as reference and inspiration.

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? It’s great for our confidence and morale when we win a prestigious award, particularly one judged by two of our design idols.

What impact has your RDA win had? It’s good on the resume and I believe it has helped me to get more speaking engagements with university students.

The Bacon Brothers CD 36¢ // The Visual Strategist: Gail Marowitz (creative director/designer), The Visual Strategist (art direction), Ed Sherman (designer/illustrator), Stefan Malzkorn (photographer); The Bacon Brothers (client)

Brian Authement, Odie and Partners

Why did you enter the RDA? The PRINT RDA competition is an opportunity to have our work judged and compared to the best work in the country. We strive for creative excellence and it is a chance to see how our work is thought of by our peers. Being featured in the RDA is validation for lots of hard work.

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? There is great opportunity for exposure. It allows our work to reach further. It’s attractive to new talent for our firm to say that we not only enter our work, but occasionally win.

McKenzie Miller Films, www.mckenziemillerfilms.com // Odie and Partners, Birmingham, AL: Brian Authement (creative director/designer), Heidi Hunter (art director/designer), Stephen DeVries Photography (photography); McKenzie Miller Films (client)

Oxlot 9 // Odie and Partners, Birmingham, AL: Brian Authement (creative director/art director), Heidi Hunter (designer), Stephen DeVries Photography (photography), David Ytterberg, Annalise DeVries (writers); Oxlot 9 (client)

Anthony Morais, Overlook Press

Why did you enter the RDA? I wanted to get my name out there.  

What do you see as the benefits of the RDA? Networking with new people and opening doors for bigger projects.

What impact has your RDA win had? I have been receiving a lot of great freelance work.

Waiting for the Electricity // Overlook Press: Anthony Morais (creative director/art director/designer); Overlook Press (client)

Enter the 2016 Regional Design Annual today for a chance to be featured among the country’s best design work in Print magazine! Our judges: Jessica Walsh, Gail Anderson, Timothy Goodman, Marc English, Bill Grant and Jennifer Morla.

#RDA #RegionalDesignAnnual