The Best of Craft and Digital Collide in This Year’s PRINT Awards

Posted inThe PRINT Awards

Great design looks easy, but we know it’s painstaking work. Whether your medium is print or digital, illustration or photography, it takes focus, talent, and a little bit of magic to achieve an unforgettable visual impact.

The 2023 PRINT Awards celebrated outstanding design in every shape and form, from the delicate texture and exquisite form of print to digital design that married technical skill with precise craftsmanship.

Our stellar judges this year worked across a vast field of 24 categories, including advertising, book covers, concept work, illustration, and environmental design, as well as two new categories, Design for Social Impact and In-House Design. They ranked entries based on four key criteria:

  • Originality. That elusive quality that sets the best work apart from the rest. Our judges recognized design that brought vision, brand, and concept to life in ways that were unlike anything they’d seen before.
  • Innovation. One of the hardest parts of design is coming up with new ways to tell the story, whether by video, billboard, magazine cover, or some other medium. The innovation might be radical or nuanced, but offers a fresh take on communicating a message visually. Our judges were impressed this year with the elegance of messaging and commitment to inclusive storytelling in all mediums.
  • Longevity. We all love a trend, but the best design strikes the balance of timely and timeless: the logo that feels of-the-moment today and tomorrow, an annual report that simultaneously captures a year in the life of an organization and its enduring spirit, and type that draws the eye every time you see it. Across newer categories like Outdoor and Billboards to longstanding categories of Branding and Identity Systems, the selected winners from this year are sure to stand the test of time and remain in our memories for years to come.
  • Craft. Whether making beer and macrame potholders or digital and print design, superior craft sets the best apart from the rest. For the 2023 PRINT Awards, our judges rewarded the highest examples of technical proficiency across all categories. This year’s Award winners have honed their craft to the highest standards with inviting invitations, photography with exquisite lighting, and style that captured movement and moments.

After meticulously working through this year’s entries, our panel emerged with a final list of winners in each category as well as Best of Show, Agency of the Year, and Editors’ Choice. We hope you are as impressed and inspired by these amazing designs and designers as we all are here at PRINT!


DLR Group

North Kansas City Early Education Center


The winner of our Best in Show represents the project ranked the highest of every single entry in the competition. This marks the first time in the history of the PRINT Awards that an environmental design project has won Best in Show—and with a perfect score from the jury, the honor goes to DLR Group for their North Kansas City Early Education Center.

As DLR Group explains, the project “responds to a unique group of early learners. Both the need to consolidate the district’s Early Childhood Special Education program in one place, coupled with growing early childhood offerings in general, led the district to pursue adaptive reuse of an existing Hobby Lobby & Price Chopper. Being such a large scale, the building is broken down into seven different learning communities designed around biophilic themes in nature, ranging from honeycombs to butterflies. Each community is meant to give learners a smaller cohort to interact and engage with, while also having access to the facility’s many amenities including multipurpose spaces with sensory experiences, expanded outdoor play, pull-out spaces for de-escalation and testing, as well as expansive discovery zones for additional indoor play. 

“Interior finishes and planning have been carefully considered to make sure all learners, both special needs and others, are afforded equitable learning experiences. As part of a completely integrated design process, DLR Group also created a storybook that was based on the environmental graphics from the project. The book was printed in hardcover and shared with teachers and parents so they could read the story to their children before the first day of school, so that on day one children are welcomed by their friends from the storybook to help ease anxiety.”

Ultimately, DJR and their team that worked on this project—Chris Cox, Adam Wells, Ian Kilpatrick and Stacy Davis—created a moving project, and one that has real-world impact. To us, it represents the true power of design to not only solve problems, but create better futures for us all.


Base Design


The Agency of the Year category honors the highest-rated agency, studio or in-house brand in the entire competition, determined by the largest amount of total wins across all categories. With first-place victories in the Branding and Outdoor category for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Interaction category for the Meatpacking district app, 2023’s Agency of the Year is Base Design.

Base Design is an international network of creative studios specializing in branding and communications. When it comes to how they approach their craft, they describe it this way: 

“Your brand is part of an evolving, complex culture. The role it plays depends on one thing: influence. That influence is hard-earned. It’s fought for. That is why we challenge leaders to crystalize the story of what their brands stand for and why that matters. This narrative is a brand’s lifeforce. One that earns influence today, and evolves as people make it their own.”

Base Design’s winning projects in this year’s PRINT Awards are a reflection of that approach, and we’re honored to award the studio and the team involved in these projects—Min Lew, Jeffrey Waldman, Inva Cota, Bryan Chu, Shirlin Kao, Yaniv Fridman, Mirek Nisenbaum, Tom Fethers and Ji Park—as Agency of the Year.



Rozi Zhu


This is the project that our internal team particularly loved out of all the entries in the competition. This year, the award goes to Ferrofluid Type, by Rozi Zhu. As Zhu details, “​​Ferrofluid is a liquid which becomes highly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. The Ferrofluid Type is designed and presented through a display interface, which is made up of Arduino boards, 5×5 electromagnet matrix, relays, a power supply and a glass container with ferrofluid; all the letters and motions are controlled through this installation using code and physical computation.”

In addition to looking incredible and the fascinating concept underpinning it, we ultimately selected this entry because it truly embodies the theme of celebrating design in all its forms.


First Place

All Vote No Play



All Vote No Play started as a call to action. In June 2020, former Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Associate Head Coach Eric Reveno tweeted that Election Day should be a day OFF from playing and a day ON for voting. The tweet quickly went viral, inspiring over 1,100 coaches to pledge the same.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Activism and Racial Survey results show that 75% of student-athletes seek civic engagement opportunities, but the resources and support for this needed to be improved. So the initiative worked with the NCAA and student-athlete leaders across the USA to unanimously pass legislation to make Election Day an annually dedicated day for civic engagement. The campaign has since become the leading provider of non-partisan civic programs, materials, and support for student-athletes, coaches, and athletic departments.

There are 500,000+ student-athletes and nearly 100,000 coaches and administrators on over 2,000 campuses nationwide. In order for their message to reach college athletes and their coaches, the client needed an engaging, completely non-partisan brand identity that elevated their story and stood out from other political initiatives.

The visual identity draws inspiration from college athletics, historic protest posters, and online GIF culture, creating politically engaged, urgent branding that immediately resonates with college-age audiences.

Much like the non-partisan nature of the movement, the type itself does not lean one way or another: we avoided using italics, so there is no left/right inclination. The type instead varies in weight and size to convey movement – and that civic change doesn’t happen without action.

This concept extends to the dynamic logo: the words “vote” and “play” constantly move back and forth in size and space, supporting the idea that sports and civic engagement need to share space to grow. Its dynamism also accounts for various applications on social media, websites, printed materials, and live webinar events.

The color palette developed from the classic red and blue of the American political parties into what we coined “Blurple” and “Reddish.” This establishes a neutral foundation while keeping the colors bold and exciting enough to impact a variety of digital touchpoints and online applications.

With a new look, amplified voice, and a vital purpose ahead, All Vote No Play held a virtual event in fall 2022 featuring Stephan Curry, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and Coach Tara VanDerveer. Over 2000 participants from 17 states and 26 teams joined, making it one of history’s most significant civic tailgating events. The concept of connecting the influence of student athletes and civic engagement was at the core of the experience, with the new branding supporting this messaging. The campaign continues to build a foundation of engaged, informed student-athletes for the 2024 election cycle, envisioning a future where all coaches and athletic departments prioritize civic engagement.

Second Place

Claim Every Voice

Meaghan Dee


While doing the Wordle one day, Meaghan Dee started thinking about all the small, silly things we spend our time doing many days. She thought that if someone has time to play a game on their phone every day, then they should be able to make the time to vote.

While not everyone has easy access to voting, those that have access don’t have an excuse for not making their voice heard.

She also reflected upon how voting is a way of using your voice, and unless everyone votes, not all voices are heard. Our goal should be to claim every voice that we can.

Third Place

Big Liars in July

Christopher Sperandio


The Big Lie that the 2020 elections were rigged is a threat to democracy. Christopher started “Big Liars in July” as a drawing challenge on Instagram because he thought that artists could play a role in shaping public opinion about extremist, anti-democratic politicians running for office. The work challenged artists to come up with black and white designs that they would give away for free to anyone who wanted to print political yard signs or make stickers. Every day in July, a different politician was the subject of our drawings. Big Liar in July drawings were produced, uploaded to Instagram, and tagged with the hashtag #BigLiarsinJuly.

Christopher believes that partisanship is one thing, but election denial is another thing completely, which has now turned to political violence in the US. There is an epidemic of nascent fascism here, so everyone needs to stand up, speak out, and show the Big Liars that their deceit won’t work.

In his contribution to the #BigLiarsinJuly project, Christopher used humor and simple messages to help alert voters to Big Lie candidates running for office. By making the images black and white, it cut production costs of the resultant signs and stickers, making the project as affordable as possible.


First Place

Poster House Block Party 2022

Zipeng Zhu + Poster House


On August 6, 2022, Poster House hosted its first Block Party in the Flatiron Plaza. It was a day of activities, tours, performances, giveaways, and more. Designer Zipeng Zhu and his practice Dazzle Studio collaborated with Poster House to create a suite of visual assets that included a wild posting poster campaign, social media outreach, signage and stage banners, and merchandise including T-shirts and pins. The design was intended to evoke community and all things New York, utilizing symbols and bright colors to attract attention to the public event. The resulting assets are a combination of Zhu’s individual style with Poster House branding.

Poster House is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to the global history and art of posters, located in the heart of Chelsea in New York City.

Second Place

Crafted & Cured Beer Packaging

Studio Malt


Crafted & Cured is a beer and cheese shop that recently moved locations into a historic former Art Deco bank in Troy, Ohio. The building’s façade features stone relief carvings highlighting Midwest industry from the 20’s & 30’s, which inspired a series of characters for our to-go beer can labels. Their illustrations, metallic foil, and banknote motifs nod to the bank’s interior accents and building history.

Third Place

Snow’s BBQ Drone Show



4:30 a.m. – It’s pitch dark on a crisp Saturday morning in the small town of Lexington, Texas. Population: 1,231. There are hundreds of people lined up for blocks outside of Snow’s BBQ. There’s a quiet murmur of anticipation and the smell of pit smoke in the air. The night sky is as black as ink, except for those big, bright stars Texans are always bragging about. Each person in line has a different story – a family on a mission to eat at each of the Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas this year, a couple who flew in from New York City to try this hailed spot, and locals who show up every week as religiously as they go to church on Sundays. But they all have one thing in common: they’re hoping to get a taste of pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz’s legendary pork shoulder steak, brisket, spare ribs, chicken, or sausage.

Some of these folks have been in line since 7 p.m. the night before. Most brought coolers and tailgating chairs. Some brought blankets. The little ones are asleep on their mamas’ shoulders. See, Snow’s is only open on Saturday mornings, so these patrons are part of a pilgrimage. And it’s first come first served, so some will be walking away empty-handed come 9 a.m. But one thing was certain for everyone in the crowd on this particular morning: they were in for some entertainment in the sky, courtesy of Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages. Around 6:30 a.m., just before the break of dawn, 250 drones launched into the sky with a whir. They buzzed and danced and blinked in an eight-minute choreographed show, all to proclaim a most joyous message: Coca-Cola is now being served at Snow’s. It’s Coke and BBQ – the perfect pairing.

The crowd watched the spectacle in awe, erupting in cheers at various points in the show – whooping for Tootsie’s image as she ushered in the message that Snow’s BBQ Loves Coca-Cola. Spectators took, posted, and shared videos and photos across social media, helping to spread the word of this new, delicious partnership.


First Place

University of Virginia Library 2022 Annual Report

Watermark Design


A majority of the stories in the 2022 UVA Library annual report center around the themes of hidden meaning, counternarratives, and looking deeper into history. The cover uses texture and manipulated typography to reflect how history is often distorted to tell certain narratives and is just now being reframed to reveal the truth of the past. These details are enhanced with blind embossing on the creases of the folds to give the reader a tactile experience when holding and opening the book.

These textures carry throughout the minimal, yet elegant design of the interior. Its white and dark grey palette allows the full-color imagery of each story to sing, and to contrast past years’ heavy use of color. The limited color also emphasizes the typographical choices of Franklin Gothic as the primary typeface, complemented with a mono-weight font for the captions and an italicized serif for quotes. The full-color photography links to its corresponding caption through a custom symbol system built off of simple shapes (circles, triangles, etc.), instead of traditional letters or numbers. This works not only as a caption system, but as subtle graphic elements that help break up the monotony of large bodies of text.

Second Place

New York Public Radio –Resilience in Action –Annual Report Fiscal Year 2022

Ahoy Studios


New York Public Radio invited Ahoy Studios to refresh their look to bolden their impact and reach younger audiences, as well as underlying the importance and urgency to save local news outlets amidst rising levels of misinformation. The studio developed a new look and feel, enhancing NYPR’s design vocabulary in a bold, colorful, diverse, and very “upbeat New York” way. As a part of this revitalized look, Ahoy was tasked with designing NYPR’s Annual Report 2022. As New Yorkers ourselves, this year’s theme of “Resilience in Action” inspired them to visualize the unique character of our beloved city in many creative ways.

The design intertwines contextual line art with archetypal New York photography and iconic landmarks to showcase the prodigious and unique programming NYPR provides to New Yorkers from all walks of life. The photography captures authentic moments throughout the city that communicate a sense of community and identity that residents can enjoy through NYPR. The bold line art is cleverly used throughout the pages to “weave” together stories or formulate clear and compelling symbols that underline NYPR’s messaging.

Third Place

Land O’Lakes Annual Report

Human Design


Land O’Lakes, Inc. is an American farmer-owned cooperative, made up of four business units: Purina Animal Nutrition (animal feed and supplements), Winfield United (agronomy), Land O’Lakes Dairy (dairy products), and Truterra (sustainability). As the enterprise approached their 100-year anniversary, they made it a corporate mission to ensure agriculture’s future by being Rooted in Tomorrow – placing farmers at the center of creating a better world for everyone. However, in order to reintroduce themselves in a meaningful way, they first needed to set the stage: with a fresh, relevant, and dynamic creative platform – starting with a foundational document to be distributed to ALL of their internal Co-Op stakeholders and constituents.

As the new creative AOR, Human Design was responsible for designing a 2021 Annual Report that was modern, stunning, authentic to the brand’s persona and culture, inspired pride and excitement, and impressed any external recipients of the Annual Report kits. Their job was essentially to bring this 100-year-old co-op of over 3,100 farmers, retailers, and partners back under one enterprise umbrella.

So while public perception of the brand was important, it was even more essential for internal constituents to fully understand the brand’s true identity, purpose, and contributions.

And when a business is responsible for feeding the nation, creating a plentiful food supply, strengthening rural America, and reducing carbon footprints in a changing climate, every internal employee and constituent should be able to take pride and recognition in their work.


First Place

The Every

Volume Inc.


When the world’s largest search engine/social media company (the Circle) merges with the planet’s dominant e-commerce site, it creates the richest and most dangerous—and, oddly enough, most beloved—monopoly ever known: the Every.”
This contribution to a sprawling multi-cover series for Dave Eggers’ new novel uses the mouse-click arrow icon everyone online uses to select an article or Amazon purchase to visualize both the “Every” of the title and the novel’s protagonist, who has “one goal in mind: to take down the company from within.”

Second Place

Gene Sharp



In Gene Sharp: How to Start a Revolution, journalist, and filmmaker Ruaridh Arrow transposes his documentary portrait of Sharp into biography form. It tells the story of how Gene’s studies, strategies, and inspiration empowered a collective of people, and generations of modern revolutions in turn. The design and typography were inspired by ideas of collective action and revolution, and that one man with such a humble and low profile had such a quiet influence across the cultures of the world. Selman Team: John Paul Chirdon, Johnny Selman, Jordan Tran.

Third Place

Rational Simplicity: Rudolph de Harak, Graphic Designer

Poulin + Morris Inc.


The design solution for this book cover conveys Rudolph de Harak’s commitment to the tenets of modernism, idealism, and pragmatism. While his work often reflected reductive, simplified visual elements, it was never devoid of inspiration, intimacy, and beauty. This cover visually represents the dual nature of his creative freedom and constraint that he pursued throughout  his career. The featured image is a detail from a magazine cover de Harak designed for “Perspectives USA,” No. 7 in 1954.


First Place

60 Years of Department of Design

KID Design


The Art Academy of Latvia marks 60 years of design education with a series of events as well as a publication. The aim was to emphasize the procedural nature of design— a way of working, thinking, and looking at the heritage and craftsmanship of the multi-layered department. Six authors looked at the development of the Academy’s design education, each reflecting on one of its decades, emphasizing the most important events both in the department and political developments in the country.

The design also references the process with a notebook of a different size for each decade, representing growth and continuous progress. Sketchpads collages, and the initial stages of the creative process serve as the inspiration for the anniversary identity, the form of the edition, and the graphic solution. These things form an archive of designer’s work, which serves as a powerful source of inspiration throughout one’s creative life.

Second Place

Process Music: songs, stories and studies of graphic culture

Ephemeral States


Process Music: Songs, Stories, and Studies of Graphic Culture is a collection of writing about graphic design ranging from extended critical examinations of design figures and artifacts to short personal memoirs directly and indirectly addressing design’s influence on culture. The book’s design scheme seeks to embody and highlight methods of critical self-examination. It also means to represent the writer, who often takes an idiosyncratic and irreverent view of design, its conventions and conventioneers. This begins with the cover design which is itself an original essay (“Go Now”) that discusses a well-known sel-freferential design artifact—the Hipgnosis album cover design for XTC’s Go 2—and questions the role of cover designs (both albums and books). The standard book cover material (title and author, blurbs, author’s bio) is presented on forward flaps that can be folded back to read the text—and suggests gatefold LP covers. Features such as the scuffing patterns are understood through reading the cover text. The verso of the covers lists the book’s index, highlighting and foregrounding its unadorned inventory, inverting book layout norms. The meta concept is carried throughout the book, with chapter pages continuing the design and voice of the cover text. The book overall can be seen as all cover: entirely framing. Or with no cover: all inside story.

Third Place

TOC | The Other Collection | Spiekermann, Dulkinys, Schmitz

TOC Publishing GmbH


Even in the 21st Century, editing and publishing literature is rewarding and a privilege. Essential books deserve the best materials, design, and printing. This conviction lies at the heart of TOC: bringing together the best of contemporary literature with exceptional design and printing. 

These books are designed on desktops, using modern typographic tools, and printed on a legendary Heidelberger Cylinder Press from 1954. At TOC, they connect modern taste with the quality and artisanship of centuries-old book printing. By transferring the layouts onto polymer plates with a laser setter and improving print quality, step by step, on a Heidelberg Cylinder press, TOC combines the virtues of analog and digital processes. This results in the best of both worlds: refined digital typography and a smooth analog reading experience. This new style of printing makes a startling difference to the quality of a page, paying homage to the knowledge, craftsmanship, and beauty of historical printing.

The books are a limited run of 998 copies, numbered and signed by the authors. Linen hardcovers are blind-embossed with the author’s name, the title, and the TOC logo; endpapers change colors with each edition, as well as the custom-colored headband and reading ribbon. Sewn binding ensures that the book is easy to open. 

The jackets follow a theme of textile patterns and are printed on Gmund Cotton paper in three colors, celebrating rather than hiding the imperfections inherent in the manual process.

Typography is specified both from a conceptual and practical viewpoint. Reading literature must be effortless and pleasurable. Again, rather than reiterating the nostalgia, TOC books are set in contemporary typefaces designed for today’s book lovers. They work with outstanding bookbinders, paper manufacturers, and printers who understand and love their craft. The result is a remastered, luxurious, and sustainable edition.


First Place

London Public Library

Bruce Mau Design


Libraries are a critical part of communities, providing the social infrastructure that benefits new mothers, newcomers, seniors, young children, and everyone in between. The London Public Library’s role is no different, not just as a place for books and reading, but increasingly becoming the go-to destination for diverse community programming.

The Library’s goal was to create a visual identity that connects with their audiences on a more human-to-human level and to illuminate the often unacknowledged role of libraries in our communities. We essentially wanted to take the Library “beyond books.”

BMD created a flexible identity that celebrates this notion with a playful, engaging, dynamic logo. The two “L”s in the shortform (LPL) do double duty as a set of legs, carrying the “P” drawn as a speech bubble to emphasize dialogue and engagement. The “P” can change form, creating a variety of anthropomorphic characters that can represent the many aspects of the LPL in a light and lively way.

The system is easy to use and the Library can create more illustrations as they create new programming. These plug-and-play assets are perfect for an organization with a small marketing budget and a big ambition to welcome everyone.

Second Place

Sinéad O’Dwyer


United Kingdom

Sinéad O’Dwyer is a Dublin-born fashion designer and graduate of the Royal College of Art. She has been continuously working to change the representation of female-identifying bodies in fashion, creating wearable sculptures with silicone pieces cast directly from women’s bodies. O’Dwyer’s work is underpinned by themes of the body, celebration, collaboration, creativity, and inclusivity, aiming to change stereotypes and narratives around certain bodies. Through her collections, O’Dwyer creates a language of beauty and acceptance available to everyone regardless of their size. We were tasked to create a brand identity that expressed these qualities, summarized through the strategic thought of “For the love of every body.”

The Greenspace creative team were inspired by the ever-changing, “imperfect” nature of body form and the materials O’Dwyer works with regularly, such as silicone. They went on to collaborate with Swiss Typefaces on a flexible wordmark inspired by the appearance of bodies and how skin and fat “pinches” and “folds.” This wordmark led to the creation of a custom display typeface named “Every Body Suisse”: a customized version of Swiss Typefaces’ font Suisse Int’l Condensed. Each letter form in both the wordmark and typeface has an alternate “body form” character used to create distinctive typographic statements that feel at ease alongside O’Dwyer’s collections. Animation brought the typeface to life, referencing not only how bodies look, but also how they move. Greenspace combined the typographic approach with a series of graphic assets, motion styles, and print techniques that stood out in the often stark world of fashion. Color palettes were derived from recent collections, and the creative team celebrated O’Dwyer’s materials with layers of tactile print techniques.

The identity culminated in a thoughtful, sensitive, and forward-thinking brand that conveys the character of O’Dwyer and her work.

Third Place

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Base Design



First Place

Campo Grafico 1933/1939



Campo Grafico 1933/1939: the birth of graphic design’ at the ADI Design Museum, was on display from 25 March to 10 April 2022, curated by Gaetano Grizzanti for the Campo Grafico Association [], and published by AIAP Editions.

On the eve of the 90th anniversary of ‘30s Italian journal Campo Grafico – Rivista di estetica e di tecnica grafica, all 66 cover issues were exhibited for the first time to mark the importance of a cultural work recognized around the world.

The “Campo Grafico” history features over 100 images with a limited edition catalog of 500 numbered copies with an illustrated poster of all 66 covers and the transcription (with English language translation by James Clough) of 12 original articles of the Journal.

This publication designed by Gaetano Grizzanti and Giancarlo Tosoni is explicitly inspired by the “campista” style, expressing all the facets of this multifaceted phenomenon.

“Campo Grafico” was born in Milan as a bet of free spirits, exploiting the historical chance formed in the first half of the ‘30s– between the rise of Nazism and the abyss of racial laws, under the influence of the great cultural and artistic avant-gardes of the 20th century.

Campo Grafico quickly became the fertile ground for the aesthetic trends and lines of thought that will give rise to the Italian Style in Typography and Visual Communication.

Second Place

ArtCenter Viewbook 2023-24

ArtCenter College of Design


ArtCenter recently reimagined its Viewbook, the College’s biennial set of publications whose primary purpose is to recruit prospective students. The undergraduate and graduate volumes of the 2023–24 edition were designed with the understanding that students are now most likely to discover ArtCenter through either its website or its presence on social media. At the same time, supply chain issues and the rising costs of paper and printing pointed to the need for a more focused and intentional use of print. The answer was to do more with less, and to emphasize the things that print does best. Fluorescent inks, diecutting, and foil stamping were employed to create a memorable physical object, with a precision and attention to detail that suggests the quality of the art and design education a prospective student can expect to receive at the College. Images of impactful student work are the main emphasis, but the finished work is accompanied by a visual focus on works-in-progress and student experience, along with a warmer, more accessible approach to copywriting. QR codes direct prospective students to the College’s website, and the design clearly presents next steps for applying to the College.

Third Place

A beautiful mistake



“A Beautiful Mistake” is the official catalog of OFFF Tel Aviv 2022, the Israeli edition of the well-known OFFF Barcelona creativity and design festival.

To represent the theme of the edition—“OFFF*UCK, let’s celebrate mistakes”—Zetafonts decided to transform its catalog into a real manifesto of graphic and typographic errors. These unexpectedly play with the readers and accompany the contributions of international artists and studios, such as Tina Touli, Burton Rast, Kiel M, Territory Studio, and many others.

The concept of the festival underlines how errors are an essential part of the creative process, so the catalog collects them as much as possible, from low resolution images and missing fonts to misaligned texts, bad overprints, lorem ipsum leftovers, and even an upside cover.

The project follows Erik Spiekermann’s lesson “Better done than perfect” and reminds us that it is only thanks to mistakes that we can push ourselves beyond canons that we (wrongly) believe untouchable.


First Place


Studio MMBB


While living in San Francisco, Mel Barat Bours encountered a fascinating writer that was experimenting with perfume as a means of self-care and was considering starting a business. The writer was incredibly well traveled and wanted to bring much of that experience to her creations. She knew what her company’s ethos would be, but needed a hand making it tangible. After pitching several ideas and working through some, the project came to an end.

Time moved forward, but this project still occupied space in the back of Mel’s mind. And, last spring it was resurrected. After digging through sketches to find an unchosen logo that she absolutely loved, she hit the ground running.

The name Amar means many things in different languages: forever, immortal, long-lived, moon, and to love. The ideas of alchemy, timelessness, and anointing were at the core of the perfumer’s practice. Mel wanted to create a visual system that incorporated both an icon and wordmark that conveyed these amorphous and quite magical ideas in a way that was both elegant and a little unexpected.

The icon is inspired by sacred geometry and a sense of wholeness. Alternating rows of droplet shapes mimic the ball terminals in Schick Toikka’s typeface Saol and bring to mind the center of a sunflower, or droplets of oil forming on the surface of still water. The palette is anchored in a deep emerald green – speaking to wet rocks, verdant forests, and mysterious skies. Marbled texture from the British Library adds additional motion and speaks to traditional alchemical crafts.

Barat Bours designed a two-tiered hollow disk-like vessel meant to impart the feeling of carrying a heavy river stone in one’s hand. It was important for the bottle to have both visual and physical weight. It comes in a telescoping box with a slightly metallic marbled lid with discrete branding to encourage reuse as a keepsake container at home.

Second Place

The Letterpress Quilt Project



The Letterpress Quilt Project is a handmade, one-of-a-kind letterpress quilt designed, printed, and produced by Associate Professor Brenda McManus of Pace University and Professor Ned Drew of Rutgers University-Newark.

The Letterpress Quilt Project unfolded during the darkest days of the global pandemic during the search for comfort and familiarity during the fear and uncertainty of the time. Seeking solace in the focused, systematic, and labor-intensive nature of letterpress, BRED chose to experiment with printing on fabric that provided them with a creative source of relief and growth in a time of unimaginable stress.

The black, silver, and blue letterpressed 12” x 12” compositions were the product of a playful game of chance compositions utilizing our large woodblock type. 56 square pieces were printed on a white cotton fabric on two Universal III Vandercook presses. These squares were then arranged in eight rows of seven units, sewn together on an old Singer sewing machine in the studio. The border and back are made from a contrasting bright orange cotton flannel sheet, and the binding was outsourced and is the only commercially stitched component. Finally, it was hand-quilted with embroidery thread to echo some of the geometric patterns in the typographic compositions. These dynamic groupings of rectangles, circles, squares, and diagonals highlight the typographic forms’ innate structure.

The Letterpress Quilt Project not only serves as a source of comfort in a much-needed time but perhaps, more importantly, a visual reminder of our devotion to preserving the typographic objects we all love while expanding their possibilities for others to experience.


First Place

GenCup – Generative World Cup 2022

Zeh Fernandes & Marco Vincit


GenCup is a unique generative art project that combines elements of graphic design, football, and data to create a visually striking and emotional experience. The project leverages the randomness of the real world by transforming data generated by the 22 players on the field into visual elements.

This project brings a unique and innovative approach to capturing the memories of the World Cup, the largest sporting event in the world with a viewership of over 3 billion people. Utilizing real-time statistics from FIFA APIs, the team transformed various match elements such as ball possession, goals, number of passes, completion rate, attempts on target, fouls, corners, and game intensity into visually appealing shapes, colors, and symbols.

By using JavaScript and the Canvas API, they were able to compose dynamic posters and export them in JPG format. The final images were printed on fine-art Photo Rag 308g paper, offering a high-quality finish suitable for display.

The project offers a three-step experience for the spectator. First, the spectator is transported into a world of shapes and colors that embody the emotions of the match. Second, the spectator can compare the artworks side-by-side to gain a deeper understanding of the elements by connecting them to their memories of the event. Finally, the spectator can fully comprehend the artwork by breaking it down into its individual details.

In the cultural context, GenCup draws inspiration from the universal passion for football and the data-driven world we live in. By combining these elements, the project creates a unique, engaging experience for audiences of all backgrounds. The use of generative art also adds a contemporary twist to the traditional representation of sports, making it accessible to a wider audience and opening up new possibilities for creative expression. Additionally, the project’s emphasis on the use of real-world data highlights the importance of understanding and interpreting the world around us in new and innovative ways. GenCup offers a fresh perspective on the intersection of sports, design, and technology, making it a truly unique and culturally relevant project.

Second Place

Genetic Artifacts

Courtney Barr


This ongoing series visualizes “DNA barcodes,” short snippets of DNA sequences scientists use to identify species, accessible in open-source scientific databases. This work utilizes a custom SVG color font, “DNA Strands,” to represent DNA sequences of extinct species.

The visualized data design comes in a small case below a magnifying lens to inspire a sense of preciousness and rarity in the “specimen.” While the heart of the piece is a digitally produced visualization of DNA, the exterior housing is a wooden box with laser cut forms and engraved typography. Working with wood and glass helps to “ground” the content in the real world.

Third Place

The New Happy


The New Happy turns scientific research into simple, useful, and beautiful designs that help millions of people with their happiness and well-being. They seek to address one of the biggest problems in our world — unhappiness. 

There is a huge amount of academic research that has identified key insights and practices that improve well-being. Unfortunately, this information is inaccessible to the average person. Not only is most of it hidden away in academic journals, it’s not translated into actionable tools.

The New Happy’s team closes this gap by translating research into a brand new visual language, influenced by abstract impressionism and the Bauhaus movement, and shaped by an intuitive sense about the way that forms and colors represent emotions and actions. This visual language makes it possible to communicate the research and break down complex topics like purpose, relationships, responsibility, compassion, and grief, sparking insights that change beliefs and behavior. Through this new form of communication, the viewer is empowered and equipped to treat themselves and others with more compassion. 

One of The New Happy’s unique differentiators is the way that they involve their community of over 700,000 people in their design process. Every week, the team asks their community to share what they’re struggling with and the problems they need help with. Selecting several out of hundreds of responses, the team sources the relevant research, translates it into a core insight or tool, and then embarks upon the visual design process. Every piece is a direct response to a real person’s need. 

The New Happy’s work reaches over 4 million people every month through a daily newsletter, podcast, social channels, and online platform. Their work has been featured in publications such as PRINT, FastCompany, Design Milk, Grazia, Tatler, and CNBC, and is used by governments, companies, schools, and organizations all around the world.


First Place

See Words: Anywhere

See Word Design / Learning By Design Lab

Illiteracy affects all aspects of an individual’s life from childhood through adulthood. Those with low literacy skills are far more likely to live in poverty, face health problems, and become increasingly isolated. Research demonstrates a positive correlation between an individual’s ability to read and their overall success in life. See Words: Anywhere and its special font, SeeType, were developed to address this important social need. As a digital reading proficiency system and learning method, See Words Anywhere not only aids emerging readers young and old, but the dedicated teacher. Whether an adult learning to read or a third grader still trying to master reading, See Word Anywhere patiently tutors whenever and wherever.

Along with SeeType, which harnesses variable font technology, together they teach phonetics while in the context of reading. Additionally, the application supports struggling readers with other early reading skills like vocabulary, grammar, prefix/suffixes, and spelling.

The patented Seetype font also works with AR technology to help support struggling readers in physical spaces. Development of this instructional experience was guided by design principles, educational science, and research. Using a co-design methodology, the Learning by Design team collaborated with linguists, educators, and reading specialists. Working from a generated object word list, SeeType font glyphs cover all forty-four sounds of the English language. By cuing the reading learner to see and hear the letters’ sounds this association is reassured for future recall.

Second Place

All Vote No Play



Also the winner of the Citizen Design Award this year, All Vote No Play started as a call to action. In June 2020, Coach Eric Reveno, then Associate Head Coach for Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball, tweeted that Election Day should be a day OFF from playing and a day ON for voting. The tweet quickly went viral, inspiring over 1,100 coaches to pledge to do the same.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Activism and Racial Survey results show that 75% of student-athletes seek civic engagement opportunities. Yet, the resources and support for this needed to be improved. So the initiative worked with the NCAA and student-athlete leaders across the USA to unanimously pass legislation to make Election Day a dedicated day for civic engagement annually. The campaign has since become the leading provider of non-partisan civic programs, materials, and support for student-athletes, coaches, and athletic departments.

Third Place

Hong Kong

Áron Borbély & Gergő Faragó, Compact Studio


In 2019, a series of demonstrations that had never been seen and experienced before swept through the East Asian city-state Hong Kong, some of them were well-thought-out and organized, while others were drastic, spontaneous and violent. These events are followed throughout our artist’s book, in which the objective, brief presentation of the demonstrations and their events is contrasted with the subjective experiences of the three students, complemented by our own graphic solutions and language, thus creating a mixed, multidisciplinary work of art. Photos in the book made by Gábor Bácsfai capture the atmosphere of the events up close.


First Place

HUE, the Magazine of FIT, The Fashion Institute of Technology

Magazine Redesign

Alexander Isley Inc.


The mandate: Make it big, bold, and fun to read, with each page a surprise. HUE isn’t on newsstands, so there was no need to have a large nameplate or cover lines. The covers of the redesigned magazine are somewhat enigmatic, hinting at what’s to come inside. In this case, the T-shirt introduces the issue’s lead feature, “What Is American Style?” 

The accompanying digital edition was created in association with the team’s colleagues at GoodFolk Agency.

Second Place

New York Times Best of 2022

Sunday Afternoon / Juan Carlos Pagan


The New York Times Arts & Leisure cover – Best of 2022 celebrated the music, film, television, art, theater, dance, podcasts, and comedy that kept us going in 2022. The design is one long track of typography– overlapping, stretching, and connecting with a variety colors which inspired us through the entire year of 2022.

Third Place

Remembering Columbia

Texas Tech University


Evermore shares the emotional stories of Texas Tech University’s best and brightest, from the bold pioneers who laid its foundation a century ago to those who now propel our national research institution into the future. This values-centric publication honors the alumni who have faithfully supported the university throughout its growth, the faculty and researchers conducting world-altering work, and the students who will carry on the legacy. The project endeavors to reinforce that quintessential Texas Tech ideal: From Here, It’s Possible. This magazine strives to bridge the successes of the past with the opportunities of the future, providing historical context to the issues of today while looking ahead and inspiring our readers to take action. Like the university it represents, Evermore weaves together a sense of community, possibility, and the grit of Fearless Champions.

In Issue 3, there was one major focus, a fact that was already well-known in the community, but is still sensitive in nature: that two members on the doomed final Columbia space shuttle mission 20 years ago had Texas Tech ties. Commander Rick Husband was a Texas Tech alumnus, and pilot Willie McCool was the son of two faculty members. But there were also other Red Raiders who played important roles in and around Columbia’s final flight –Issue 3, shared their full story.

The goal of this issue was to pay homage to the seven lives lost aboard Columbia and honor the bravery of the next of kin who continue to tell their stories 20 years later. As such, the Columbia spread packs a punch, and the story’s design takes readers on the same riveting and emotional journey as those who experienced it.

In Part 1, as Husband and McCool’s hopeful childhoods and trek to join the Columbia crew is shared, the color palette reflects the bright morning sky. In Part 2, as those on the ground learn of the shuttle’s destruction and begin to deal with the aftereffects, the colors become starker, like the harsh light of noon. In Part 3, as the search and recovery efforts begin, the colors shift into the gold and orange of late afternoon. In Part 4, a starry night frames the legacy and lessons of Columbia.

This transition through the story uses the familiar progression through the day as a framework to help readers know where they are. After all, the spread is a whopping 24 pages of often emotionally challenging material, and this framework clues readers that they’re near the end. With that end comes the payoff for the readers’ choice to invest their time and mental bandwidth. It reminds them that the same values on display through the characters in the story are the values they prize in themselves as Red Raiders, and through those values, we are all connected.


First Place

North Kansas City Early Education Center

DLR Group


DLR Group’s design of North Kansas City Schools Early Education Center responds to a unique group of early learners. The need to consolidate the district’s Early Childhood Special Education program with growing early childhood offerings in one place led the district to pursue adaptive reuse of an existing Hobby Lobby & Price Chopper. This large-scale operation breaks the building down into seven different learning communities designed around biophilic themes in nature, ranging from honeycomb to butterflies. Each community gives learners a smaller cohort for interaction and engagement as well as access to facility amenities, including multipurpose spaces with sensory experiences, expanded outdoor play, pull out spaces for de-escalation and testing, and expansive discovery zones for additional indoor play. The inclusion of teacher equanimity spaces is equally important, as it affords educators a space that is intended for adult interaction and collaboration.

The 112,000 SF facility houses approximately 900 early learners from ages 3-5, making it one of the largest early childhood facilities in the State of Missouri. Approximately 50% of that population are special needs learners moving from an existing facility that was underperforming. Interior finishes and planning have been carefully considered to make sure all learners are afforded equitable learning experiences. As part of a completely integrated design process, DLR Group created a storybook that was based on the environmental graphics from the project. One of the project architects, who is also a mother to young children, served as the author for the exercise. The book was printed as a hardcover and PDF and shared with each of the schools’ teachers to give parents so they could read the story to their children before the first day of school. The goal is that on day one, the children’s “friends” from the storybook will greet them and help ease the anxiety of their first day of school.

Second Place

Wish Fountain



Wish Fountain is an interactive experience that transforms visitors’ wishes into a colorful, water-like light show across a ripple-shaped wooden bench and wall-mounted screens. The installation is part of a series of unique digital artworks, created for newly renovated highrises in San Diego, that serves to build community, give visitors a canvas to impact the space, and reflect on local culture. 

Inspired by San Diego’s natural environment and ocean landscape, Wish Fountain depicts the ripples on the surface of water when a coin is dropped in a wishing well. With the appearance of an abstract landscape model of San Diego, the undulating surface of alternating plywood and resin recalls the area’s abundant natural waterways sandwiched in between hills. Beyond these natural elements, Wish Fountain incorporates digital portrayal of local fish species–such as mahi mahi, mackerel, and garibaldi–to create an effect like that of a koi pond which offers peacefulness and brings good luck in many cultures.

Visitors share their wishes via text message to a posted phone number, as an image or text, in response to a prompt displayed on the screens. Each wish is a secret between the sender and the fountain, resulting in a unique and captivating animation of colors across the bench and adjacent digital screens.

The AI engine powering Wish Fountain utilizes a natural language processor to decipher the mood and content of each visitor’s text. The installation then changes its colors, motion, and fish species to respond to the wish, resulting in reflective and distinctive animations of each visitor’s thoughts and feelings.

To keep the prompts timely, the building owner has access to a cloud-based content management system, allowing them to update the wish prompts to reflect current events, holidays, or relevant local themes.

The project teams are committed to adaptive reuse, and Wish Fountain is the perfect answer to creatively breathe new life into a familiar space. Digital installations such as Wish Fountain have an evergreen quality; by creating a unique experience for each user, they consistently provide dynamic value to their space.

Third Place

Chameleon Wall



Chameleon Wall is a nature-inspired interactive digital wall that translates text messages into unique, beautiful displays of colors and images. Regent Properties tasked SOSO to design a series of unique digital artworks for 701 B Street that builds community, gives visitors a canvas to impact the space, and reflects on local San Diego culture.

Just as chameleons change their skin color to mimic their environment or express their mood, Chameleon Wall expresses the moods of its visitors via SMS. To achieve this color shifting ability, Chameleon Wall looks deeper into the physical mechanism of chameleons’ skin and uses that as the basis for its optical design.

On a nano scale, chameleons alter the structure of photonic crystals within their skin to change how light is refracted and reflected, resulting in different colors. These photonic crystals are hexagonally packed, giving the shape to each Chameleon Wall module while the spiky texture of chameleons’ outer skin layer inspired the form of the outermost lens. In total, Chameleon Wall uses 4 optical layers–just like real chameleon skin–to transform this natural wonder into a mesmerizing artwork.

When a visitor texts the Chameleon Wall, a cloud server analyzes the message, and the reflective crystals take on the colors and patterns of the image in breath-like strokes. If someone sends a picture, the Wall extracts the dominant colors and creates organic designs made of those colors. If they send text, a custom algorithm transforms those words and phrases into their quintessential colors, turning them into animations. The wall displays a sequence of curated images when no one is interacting with it.

The server utilizes natural language processing to decipher the mood of each visitor’s text, and the installation changes its display accordingly, resulting in a reflective and distinctive display of each visitor’s thoughts and feelings. No two displays on Chameleon Wall are the same. Chameleon Wall draws upon a vast search algorithm to generate an infinite number of color palettes and images to display based on each text. Even the same text can create different displays, making each experience memorable.

The project teams are committed to adaptive reuse, and Chameleon Wall is the perfect answer to adaptively breathe new life into a familiar space. Digital installations such as Chameleon Wall have an evergreen quality; by creating a unique experience for each user, they consistently provide dynamic value to their space.

Chameleon Wall connects people, builds community, and reflects San Diego’s pulse. It provides onlookers with a blank canvas and the ability to impact their environment, along with a sense of respite. The project teams’ commitment to creating unique, fun, and dynamic environments was the perfect catalyst for these immersive experiences.


First Place

Ferrofluid Type

Rozi Zhu


Ferrofluid is a liquid which becomes highly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. The Ferrofluid Type is designed and presented through a display interface, which is made up of Arduino boards, 5×5 electromagnet matrix, relays, a power supply, and a glass container with ferrofluid. All the letters and motions are controlled through this installation using code and physical computation.

Second Place

DNA Strands Typeface

Courtney Barr


DNA Strands is a custom color SVG font developed to provide users with a method of translating genetic sequences into visually compelling symbols that represent the DNA nucleobases: A (Adenine), C (Cytosine), T (Thymine), and G (Guanine). Each glyph of the typeface represents a genetic base pair, such as AT, TA, CG, and GC. Color is used to differentiate the nucleobases within each glyph.

This font can be utilized to create custom visual representations of DNA sequences. The type specimen poster explains how to use the font and demonstrates its application in translating genetic sequences of extinct mammals.

Third Place




Bakemono is a typeface family by Zetafonts that explores the shifting design space of fixed vs. proportional width, mixing the lessons of mechanical typewriter technology with the intuitions of Eastern brush calligraphy.

The design of Bakemono started as a way to explore the concept of monowidth type design – the idea of keeping the widths of each glyph constant in all the weights of a type family. This idea can add flexibility and ease of use also to proportional type, allowing you to change the weight of a word without changing the position of the other words in the same text block.

This is why the typeface name comes from the Japanese word Bakemono, which refers to a special shapeshifting category of Yōkai (preternatural creatures of Japanese folklore). In fact, the term means “a thing that changes,” referring to a state of transformation which perfectly fits the metamorphic nature of the Bakemono type family. It includes three different variants: monospaced (mono), proportional (text), intermediate (stereo) with a variable version.

This variable space allows you not only to switch between monospaced and proportional version, but also to fine tune choices of proportions in between with a “stereo” intermediate spacing. This makes room for both the clumsy, eye-catching deformations of traditional typewriter font and the more readable and dynamic proportions of a text typeface.

The strict, functional skeleton of Bakemono proportions gives this calligraphy-inspired framework an array of display possibilities. Moreover:

  • Stroke endings are tapered to mimic the flow of brush calligraphy.
  • Brush and hand movement dictate the presence of in-strokes and cu