How to Create an Award-winning Series of Articles

June 2021

Award-winning series of articles

National Silver Award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors

A visual creative’s job is to dazzle the reader using a well-executed convergence of concept + imagery + graphic design + words. This dynamic combination wins views … and peer-judged awards.

Our team recently received national recognition in an industry awards program for a 2020 series on security awareness training featuring a fictitious company. We earned a National Silver Award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. The series previously earned a Silver Award in the Feature Series category at the ASBPE’s regional contest. 

Credited to this accomplishment and all of our past award-winning work is a team composed of writers, designers, marketers, communications specialists, technologists, illustrators and photographers. It’s a Design Thinking approach in action. The group questions the problem, the assumptions and the implications to finally arrive at an innovative solution.

The tone of this series of four articles on security awareness training was conversational. The author developed specific characters that appeared in the series. It was important to emphasize the characters visually. Comic strip-style illustrations teasing the gist of each article in the series seemed a well-suited solution on each opening page. It would be iconic imagery over the course of four issues in a magazine published only six time per year. Premier illustrator Taylor Callery could deliver the impact we needed, channeling a Roy Lichtenstein approach. A consistent layout, font and color palette contributed to the uniformity.

Here are my top tips to help you muster the courage to take the visionary risks that allow a client to stand out from the crowd, and win awards.

  • Fully understand the scope of the project with the help of stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders possessing skills and knowledge from varied disciplines.
  • Partner with a writer and strategize how you will arrive at a powerful deliverable.
  • Budget for and utilize professional illustrators, photographers, infographic designers, web developers or videographers in order to execute your vision.
  • Follow style guides … loosely. (Use your creative license.)
  • Communicate the reasoning behind your design choices. Present (and be able to defend your solutions) to clients.
  • Research industry awards, compete and hopefully win! 

Thank you for reading this.

—Maureen Joyce