And the winner is…

It’s award season, the time of year when my industry comrades — individuals and firms — get recognized for their creative work during the past year. Some of my colleagues shun entering award competitions, but I applaud them; it’s a way to get confirmation and validation of good work that doesn’t always get acknowledged by clients. Perhaps they figure we get paid and that should be enough? That’s a whole ‘nother post.

DesignWorks NY enters regional competitions like the Advertising Club of Westchester’s BIG W competition, national competitions such as American Graphic Design Awards and HOW Logo Design competitions, and international competitions like the Summit Awards, and the Communicator Awards. Why do we do it?

1. Validation. Winning acknowledges that our work is among the best being produced right now. It helps us stay relevant.

2. Celebration! Winning gives us a chance to pat ourselves on the back once in a while. The ad business can be tiring: scope creep, client “direction” and budget constraints often have us questioning our purpose.

2. Recognition. They recognize good talent. Period.

4. Competitive Research. Winning work lets me see who the competition is and what they are doing. Often times it helps connect me with firms who may make good strategic partners on specific projects.

5. Support. In the case of the regional shows, the organizations that put them on are often non-profit Advertising clubs, which need fees (among other things) to continue to operate.

6. Promotion. If you have a good relationship with your clients, you want the exposure for them, as much as for you.

I’m tired of people saying these types of competitions have lost their relevance. Poo. At the very least, who doesn’t love a great party that brings together people who celebrate our craft?

- Kelley Briggs, DesignWorks NY, LLC