How can you get an award?
You get awards if you apply for them! For quite a while as a design studio, we did not apply for awards. After a hiatus, when we applied in 2014 for the CII Design Excellence award, we got it for our for our Environment Branding design for Mercer’s offices. When you aim to win, you immediately start to do better than your best.

What deserves an award?
In many ways, award-winning projects are like people – they aim to be popular. A prime factor is how well a design connects with people. It sounds very simple, but a design which reaches out widely gets attention easily. If you have an obscure model, however intelligent or thoughtful, if it is not reachable, it cannot win. Conversely, not all popular designs are necessarily good.

Do awards matter?
You can be good, even great and not win awards. There are many good firms that don’t worry about winning awards. It is human nature to want acknowledgement for what we have done. Awards give us a sense of recognition. They also let us get noticed better. We think a feather in our cap can only bolster confidence and relatability.

What qualities does a jury look for in graphic design?
The project should communicate engagingly and have a humanistic element. It should demonstrate an enduring solution. It should be contextual. It must be unique – a jury is looking for what makes your work special. The design should look good on the cover, like dressing with a sense of style. After all, why would someone notice you in a crowd, unless your ‘special something’ visually stands out? Most of all, the design should speak directly. When you are easy to understand, you win easily.

Our award-winning projects of 2018 and what made them winners:
1. IF Design Award for Bihar Museum Identity

• The identity celebrates an Indian way of thinking and stands out visually
• Engages the universal symbol of the Tree of Wisdom to connect the Museum, Bihar and the world
• The bilingual logotype makes a bold bridge connecting language and history

2. Kyoorius Design Award (Blue Elephant for Illustration for Design) for Ending Violence In Childhood, Global Report 2017

3. Kyoorius Design Award (In-Book, Design for Communication) for Ending Violence In Childhood, Global Report 2017

• Art, craft and design are merged to embrace the need to end violence
• The design reverses preconceptions of violence by positive imagery
• Metaphor of knitting a child’s sweater easily connects with protection and nurturing
• Gorgeous visuals that break the monotony of a dry report
• Tactile connect that creates empathy in the viewer

4. Kyoorius Design Award (In-Book, Illustration for Design) for Partners’ Forum 2018

5. Pool Design Award for India’s best graphic design project for Identity design for Partners’ Forum 2018

• Indigenous craft of Pipli is brought to an international stage
• Lively, colourful and playful elements of applique are highly relatable
• Handmade craft is literally connected with human endeavour
• Creates strong local context for the Forum in Delhi

6. Pool Design Award for India’s best graphic design studio

• Collaborative strengths as a studio
• Pursuing an idea to the core to deliver with genuine intent
• Enduring solutions for the future
• Design as a way to bridge many aspects of a business to deliver holistic solutions

Written by Sujatha Shankar Kumar