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Awards of Distinction

Spring Recruitment digital ad

Spring Recruitment Campaign 2020 by Bow Valley College in Calgary, Canada

Judges' Pick

''This is a fantastic representation of how colour brought together with certain shapes and typography can elicit certain feelings. There is a wonderful ethnic representation and excellent brand cohesiveness within this campaign.''
— Diana Campbell RGD

Targeting both domestic (within Alberta) and international audiences, this awareness and community engagement campaign tells a story of resilience, resourcefulness and unity. By making emotional connections with audiences through storytelling, recruitment activities and strategic media placements, it offers a message of optimism and presents new opportunities for the future. To address the changing media landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign prioritized digital channels over traditional media placements. Overall the campaign achieved over 10 MM impressions and successfully improved audience awareness of the college.

Powering the Future book with a die cut in the cover

Powering the Future by Bruce Power in Tiverton, Canada

Judges' Pick

"The unconventional use of a 13.5-foot format invites the reader to really engage with the publication. This is compounded with gorgeous photography. There is no pressure to fill each page with text — the white space provides ample breathing room and allows the content to shine."
– Umar Shahzad RGD

To tell the story of a vibrant, growing company through the eyes of its employees, a 13.5-foot accordion-style design was used to symbolize the vast future ahead. Offset printed on HannoArt – FSC Certified 100 lb. cover, then hand-assembled and spliced, the print format complements the wide perspective of the piece and ties the pages together. The annual report uses visuals to provide a comprehensive narrative addressing wider impacts within the company and also serves as a marketing tool and coffee table book for visitors.

Disrupting The Bear Campaign environmental design

Disrupting The Bear Campaign by Deloitte in Toronto, Canada

Judges' Pick

"An intelligent, engaging and immersive campaign that synthesizes omni-channel design in an unexpected, yet intentional experience. It consistently communicates a core idea grounded in strong symbolism, while executing creative variations through clever copywriting, focused imagery and impactful integration with both digital and physical environments. This is an outstanding example of how design thinking can truly transform a traditionally objective theme into a bold and captivating activation.
— Mari Chijiwa

This demand-generation initiative successfully positioned Deloitte as a leader in helping clients proactively plan for a future economic downturn and build a foundation of strength to grow from when the economy rebounds. Bear and forest imagery was used with a subtle financial line graph visual tying in Canada’s well-known wilderness with an economic/business focus. Massive market impact was achieved through the fast delivery of insights through podcasts, digital promotions and physical takeovers of multiple key office locations across Canada with print and digital signage. Designs were activated nationally in 12 internal offices with over 7,500 footprint impressions. The external UPX campaign achieved higher click-through rates on digital ads than competitors, accompanied by 35,000 daily impressions of physical signage with the audience totaling 3,920,000 physical impressions over the span of the campaign.

Women@Work custom digital illustration

Women@Work Global Campaign by Deloitte in Toronto, Canada

Judges' Pick

"This project was solid in it’s design and execution, with strong use of type and colour palette. It captures an emotional response with both the video and the animation. The video in particular really struck a chord with me with the vanishing women and the bold text of the stats coming in – it was a powerful visual."
— Cari Bird

Deloitte Global surveyed 5,000 working women across 10 countries about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of gender equality in the workplace and found that women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the economic downturn. Through custom illustration of the "She Conquers: Hero Image," integrated with brand guidelines, this project brings awareness to the challenges that women continue to face in the workplace and outlines tangible steps for organizations to improve culture, policies and communication around gender equality. The cohesive campaign included a report, landing page animation video and social media post images. The campaign received worldwide exposure with results that exceeded average views for Canadian campaigns.

Multiple Dokkaebier packaging cans

Dokkaebier Branding & Packaging by DKB in Apex Peakway, USA

Judges' Pick

"I was blown away by the minimalist design. The product concept is simple, clean, easy to distinguish, and elusive even. It begs to be picked up and examined. The stop animation in the socials felt quirky, just like the beer. The socials continued the narrative and pushed the mystery that surrounds the product. It doesn’t take long for curiosity to spark a conversation about it. Like any great design, this lures you in and holds you in place for contemplation."
— Sheela Ramtuhol Prov. RGD

Inspired by the “dokkaebi,” a shape-shifting Korean folklore creature, this distinctive logo and visual identity highlights the playful spirit and Korean influence behind the brand. The can design is separated into two categories: “experimental” using white labels to indicate carte blanche flavours and “core brews” using colour labels with unique design pulled from Korean folk art. As one of the first craft beer brands to infuse Asian ingredients, the packaging uses illustrations and icons to educate consumers on the different flavour profiles. Since its launch in February 2020, Dokkaebier has grown organically, raising $360k in sales in California alone. Dokkaebier was selected as a finalist for 2020 Brewbound Pitch Slam Competition and has carried out successful collaborations including one with Minari (Oscar nominated movie of 2021). Proceeds were used to help the AAPI community.

"The Speed of Falling Objects" book jacket

The Speed of Falling Objects Book Cover by HarperCollins/Harlequin in Toronto, Canada

Judges' Pick

"The cover design successfully immerses you into the novel even before turning the first page. The combination of the leaves, dots and stars gives a real sense of movement to the composition. The title typography cleverly and subtlety echoes that perception of speed. The colours give a sense of place in an eye-catching and elegant way. The overall concept captures the reader’s attention, drawing them in and telling a story that wants to be read. It is beautifully done."
— Barbara Dunn RGD

The book cover integrates title and story elements while maintaining a commercial “big book” feel with the design, which captures the story’s mix of many different themes. Part adventure, part coming of age, part romance, part family drama, part suspense, the story is about a young teenager’s search for a connection with her wilderness- survival celebrity father after their plane crashes in the middle of the jungle. Leaning into the title, the design incorporates the idea of “falling” using one point perspective. The big bold type and perspective illustration made this cover stand out from other books in the Young Adult Fiction category. 

"The Ventriloquists" book cover

The Ventriloquists Book Cover by HarperCollins/Harlequin in Toronto, Canada

Judges' Pick

"I found this work to be intriguing and beautiful. The design conveys a depth of meaning that immediately takes the viewer back in time to a realistic WWII setting. An astute use of colour and typography pulls the composition together neatly. These book covers demonstrate originality and resourcefulness in the thoughtful way they engage the reader from the very first glance."
— Trinette Klein RGD

To capture the WWII setting and honor the unique elements of this author’s debut novel, the key challenge was to find a powerful image that would capture the defining story element: a battle fought with words and ideas. For the hardcover design, a collage illustration layers the place, time and the typewriter as a key story element to communicate the power wielded by ordinary people in an extraordinary battle. The trade paperback version was designed to reach a more commercial audience, depicting a narrative scene with a character who comes to represent the book’s message of strength and resistance found in unlikely places. Research for the cover led the team to secure reproduction rights for the original “le Soir” newspaper that is central to the story, which became a key design element for the book’s marketing materials. The book was very well received and achieved an exceptional volume of media coverage for a debut.

hcma custom wooden letters

hcma Rebrand by hcma in Vancouver, Canada

Judges' Pick

"A beautiful synergy of form and function. hcma truly differentiates themselves from their competitors with this warm, curious and playful approach to its branding, a stark contrast to the more minimalist looks of many other firms. This rebrand is thoughtful and considered ... There is a humanity and tactility in this approach that really brings everything to life and reflects who they are as a company and brand."
— Genevieve Beharry

"This identity is full of personality and contains a multitude of elements which all very successfully serve to convey the uniqueness and approach of the firm it represents. It’s enigmatic in that it feels entirely organic and spontaneous and yet, there’s design rigour and thinking behind all the shapes, textures and colours selected. I love that there’s room throughout this identity for everyone to find a corner for themselves and yet, it all adds up to a unified, cohesive voice. Whether approached at a micro or macro level, the more I spend time with this identity, the more there is to discover."
— Yen Chu RGD

The new brand identity moves away from the stark visual conventions of the architectural world in favour of a warmer, more approachable look and feel to reinforce hcma’s commitment to strengthening community bonds. A dominant outer rectangle composed of unique letter forms represents an analogy for hcma: a collective of individuals with unique strengths and curiosities that create a total greater than the sum of its parts. A composition pattern of silhouettes symbolizes the overlap between projects, learning cycles and disciplines. The team has incorporated the brand ethos in other tangible applications across the firm. Canvas notebooks in a range of colours are unique for each team member and standard coffee mugs have been replaced by pieces commissioned from a local artist. The project has been featured on the blog and podcast Brand New and has been covered by Applied Arts, Creativepool, Transform and Dexigner.

Multiple Ownr street billboard posters

Ownr Rebrand by RBC Venture in Toronto, Canada

Judge's Pick

"Given the business to business audience, this project presents itself in a positive and hopeful way through the use of strong visuals and inspiring messaging. The use of colour and imagery reflect the diversity of the brand’s entrepreneurial audience in an exciting and compelling way. Despite its diversity, the brand feels cohesive and translates very well across media. It has a modern sensibility that’s fun and flexible."
— Laurence Smink

With the acquisition of Legal tech platform Founded, which included an expanded suite of products and services, Ownr has become the nexus for entrepreneurs looking to launch their business. The new brand system incorporates contemporary visual elements to better represent the updated offerings. A brighter palette and san serif fonts give the brand more life and provide a modern and mature look. Photos of entrepreneurs help attract and inspire the next generation of Ownr users, while stacked, sorted, animated half circles convey the key messages in an energetic and memorable way. The identity system successfully communicates Ownr’s meaning, encapsulating both flexibility and potential for growth.

On the left, Reputation Campaign advertising on a newspaper. On the right, Reputation Campaign custom illustration.

Reputation Campaign by Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada

Judge's Pick

"Fantastic execution of design, colour, type. Project results were phenomenal. A win for Ryerson. Illustration is spot on."
— Kyle Hardtman

To position Ryerson as a leader in community-focused research and innovation initiatives, the campaign was designed to increase awareness of three key areas: the anticipated impact of Ryerson’s research on local and international communities; the organization’s approach to talent development, with a focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset through collaboration with industry partners and government; and Ryerson’s international reach, delivering scalable solutions to challenges around the world. An illustrated approach allowed for the depiction of future impact and international scope, leaving room for audiences to imagine the possibilities of where the research might lead. Vignettes narrated by alumnus Eric McCormack tell six distinct stories representing six different pillars of research. The campaign yielded significantly wider reach and stronger engagement compared to the 2019 campaign, achieving over seven million estimated impressions and over 75,000 pageviews of the campaign microsite.

Virtual convocation videos storyboards

Virtual Convocation Videos by Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada

Judge's Pick

"The Ryerson creative team addressed a 2020 challenge with a 2020 solution. These videos convey triumph without erasing the inherent loss. The sudden, enduring campus diaspora was transformed into a storytelling strength. By showcasing a broad spectrum of student faces and the homes they belong to, this convocation video reveals more humanity than we may have had access to if graduation had been in person. The different ways the students created their cue cards adds personality and dimension, while the bold graphic frame serves to polish and unify. The sound, too, delivered on the complexity of the experience it captured, genuinely evoking the nuanced emotions specific to this moment."
— Maggie Fost

Ryerson University pivoted to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant many aspects of the university experience became virtual, including convocation. Two videos were created to emotionally reunite students who had spent several months apart, creating a feeling of joy and celebration in a time of uncertainty. More than 40 video clips were submitted by students to help create the student celebration video, which used upbeat images, language and sounds to help audiences take a break from the stress of the pandemic. More than 7,500 students were approved to graduate and begin their new relationship with Ryerson University as alumni. The virtual convocation videos were well received and marked an important step in building these important alumni relationships with the class of 2020.

Science World logo with guidelines for proper spacing

Science World Brand Refresh by Science World in Vancouver, Canada

Judge's Pick

“The logo design is simple and sophisticated, highlighting assets unique to Science World while communicating a sense of exploration and discovery through science through use of colour and shape. Their typographic choices ensured they were able to develop the brand with flexibility and consistency, and each execution of the brand has been done thoughtfully. Kudos to the Science World team on creating a visually impactful, energetic brand that is adaptable and attractive to a wide range of audiences.”
—Trinette Klein RGD

A brand refresh was required to align with Science World’s new strategic direction: to connect to a new generation of science lovers, ignite wonder and empower dreams for kids across BC. To reflect the playful, curiosity- driven in-building experience across all brand touchpoints, online and offline, the execution embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery. This was achieved through the use of a key colour the team dubbed ‘Bright Future Yellow’, supported by a broad secondary colour palette and a bold, friendly logo featuring the iconic dome building with a slight halo hinting at expansion beyond the dome. Photographic textures represent the various aspects of science, technology, art and math. Agency partner Denim & Steel took the lead on the new website design and development, which progressed concurrently with the brand refresh, allowing the in-house team to confirm cohesion across all brand touch-points throughout the process.

60th Anniversary Campaign lunchbox

60th Anniversary Campaign by University Affairs in Ottawa, Canada

Judges' Pick

"The design work is very strong. It’s playful, stylish and memorable. Great use of archival photography and selection of promotional products. Overall a strong campaign."
— Chuck Chan

In October 1959, an eight-page newsletter was mailed out to universities across Canada. This new quarterly was designed to inform university personnel and others in the higher education sector about university affairs. Sixty years later, University Affairs boasts an award-winning magazine and website, distributed to all full-time mem-bers of administrative and teaching staff, educational associations, government officials and the media. Inspired by an existing linear graphic treatment developed for the 20-year anniversary, a retro symbol is paired with UA’s brand colours and fonts to create a contemporary event identity and provide a retrospective of UA’s extensive archive. The logo was integrated seamlessly across digital, print and social media platforms. Sourcing and generating engaging content specific to the anniversary during the span of a year was a challenge but in the end the campaign was a great success in bringing staff closer together and demonstrating to subscribers how much UA values its readership.