Winning Matters

August 2016

“Gee, I really like that circus drawing you made. Can you draw one for me?”

Yes, I really do have this sticky note on my Mac!

Yes, I really do have this sticky note on my Mac!

He was eagerly standing before me—dark, handsome, but not very tall given we were in second grade. Admittedly, like many of my classmates, I had a crush on Gerard DeRosa. I can see that circus drawing in my mind’s eye today … each circus animal was confidently outlined with a No. 2 pencil and meticulously colored with crayons the width of breakfast sausages. I needed a finer point to apply the perfect gradation of colors, so I whittled down my crayon’s blunt ends with the edge of my 12-inch ruler to attain the ideal medium. My drawing created a buzz in the classroom, and I soon realized that outstanding work gains recognition and attention.

Years later, as a professional graphic designer, the lesson of creating my best work on every project continues to inspire my efforts. I’m fortunate to be able to collaborate with top writers, photographers, illustrators and clients … all in a sort of sacred circle focused on a project together and pushing hard for the best result. It’s a wonderfully fun way to work, as all of these creative energies are stimulating. And sometimes, they result in international peer recognition.

Our creative team recently won a bronze Tabbie design award from TABPI (Trade, Association and Business Publications International) for a front cover of a magazine we produce for one of our clients. Winning was a wonderful affirmation of the well-honed collaborative efforts of all the staff involved in the project—from art direction, photo illustration and copywriting, to our client’s continual confidence in us to do our thing.

There are many benefits to gaining recognition and attention by winning an award for any team and organization.

  • Offers positive exposure and strengthens a brand
  • Shines a light on your unique capabilities
  • Instills pride in your team
  • Motivates the team to innovate
  • Creates confidence and momentum
  • Nurtures the sharing of best practices

Competing for awards is a worthwhile venture for your team and business. Here are a few tips to give you an edge on winning.

  • Compile a list of your industry’s awards programs and review category descriptions. Keep these categories in mind as you create work throughout the year for best alignment.
  • View the type of work that won awards as motivation to exceed the past winner’s excellence.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to prepare, as many competitions require essays about the work.
  • Always be aware of the deadlines for competitions.