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Roses Design Awards

By The Drum | Administrator

October 21, 2004 | 6 min read

Chunk's work for Beck's

Winning one Grand Prix Award at a Roses event could be considered by many as lucky. Winning two, well, that’s just plain greedy. But True North were the lucky design agency, managing to stuff themselves silly and, at the same time, set an unlikely precedent by picking up two of the biggest accolades at the Roses Design Awards and Roses Advertising Awards this year.

The Design Awards, which were hosted by comedian Alistair Barrie, saw over 300 people gathering at the Palace Hotel in Manchester earlier this month. The awards, now in their fourth year, saw designers and architects from both north and south of the border gather together to find out who had picked up the coveted Golds at this year’s awards.

As noted, True North was the big winner of the night, for client the Imperial War Museum North, also picking up a Gold Award in the Best Use of Photography. Other winners on the night included The Chase, picking up two Golds in the Corporate Identity category, and a Gold in Self Promotion.

However, while Scottish agencies did not fare as well as in previous years, there were still some emerging buds among the thorns, with the Edinburgh office of Leeds-based Elmwood picking up a Roses Gold Award for its much-lauded Scottish Ambulance Service Annual Report. Likewise Blackwatch Productions picked up a Gold in the Film/TV Titles and Animation category. New media company Chunk also won on the night, receiving a Bronze for its client Beck’s. On the next page, Chunk and Elmwood give The Drum a brief case study on their award-winning work, while a more indepth review of Blackwatch Productions’ win will appear in the next issue. Meanwhile, a full run-down of all the winners on the night is available online at www.thedrum.com.

Chunk case study

Beck’s website

The Brief:

The brief was to create a website which gave the visitor information on Beck’s, from the beer itself to the brand’s involvement with art sponsorship, and to reflect the current “Reveal the Drinker” campaign, i.e. an altered bottle on a white background.

Solution:

The challenge with designing the site was figuring out a way to add excitement to a look which had to be “white and minimal”. After lots of scribbling and talking about art galleries, Tron and many other things which wouldn’t work, we came up with the idea of having a 3D environment which could be interpreted as an art gallery, displaying digital looking Beck’s bottles to represent each section of the site, with echoey electronic sound effects for the navigation and animation to add to the “digital Beck’s” feel.

As well as being able to read up on Beck’s, the design of the interface allows users to view all the ads within the centre point of the site, just as they appear in their print form, as well as allowing them to send e-cards of these ads on to fellow Beck’s drinkers.

Results:

The results were astounding! Traffic increased by four times, and the average time spent on the site reached 9 minutes.

elmwood

scottish ambulance Service annual report

So, just how easy is it to respond with renewed creative vigour to a brief that hasn’t fundamentally changed for four years? Well, not very. In fact, it can be the downfall of many a good design agency. But not for Elmwood, and design director, Paul Sudron.

‘Life Support’, the Scottish Ambulance Service Annual Report for 2002/2003, is the latest in a multi-award winning series, which has seen client and agency working more and more closely together. Today, the project team is so closely bound that Robert Panton, Corporate Communications Manager at the Service is fully involved in the creative process from start to finish.

"Working this way is perfect for me. Elmwood has a deep understanding of our business, our objectives, language and ways, and their ideas and concepts are always bang on brief, saving me the hassle of having to wade through material that’s just not right for us. This inclusive way of working is much more rewarding for all of us, a breath of fresh air."

The Challenge

The annual report is the Service’s flagship publication and, as such, must communicate the Service’s absolute commitment; its ability to carry out an extremely difficult job in demanding circumstances and to meet all financial, staff governance, operational and performance targets against a backdrop of significant change. It must also look forward to continued development and innovation in the future.

The 2002/2003 brief also required the inclusion of basic first aid information. Robert Panton was also keen to thank employees, strike a chord with people who had been helped by the Service and to satisfy the statutory requirements of the Scottish Executive.

Solution

Design has become a significant factor in the report’s success. Positive feedback from the target audience confirms that creative design plays a major part in their understanding and enjoyment. It also reinforces the Service’s own brand values.

This year, an unusual pocketsize format (A6) and bright ‘emergency’ colour palette creates a book that encourages reading (and repeat reading) and the sharing of first aid information. Photography is by Colin Gray who, having worked on all five reports (this year’s is currently being printed), also has a deep knowledge of the Service. Together, design, layout, typography and photography create a modern document that combines high quality production values with a seemingly budget-sparing format, important in these budget-conscious times.

Working within a budget is something Elmwood is used to. Clients in all sectors need to see a return on their investment in design. For that reason, Elmwood is as focused on effectiveness as it is on creativity. Making the most of The Scottish Ambulance Service’s limited budget, by working closely with photographers, printers and paper companies, is one of the job’s inherent challenges.

Elmwood’s success at the Roses is the latest in an impressive string of awards. In the last five years, the company has won over 100 including D&AD, Design Week, Mobius, New York Festival, Roses, Scottish and Scottish Design Consultancy of the Year 2004. For Elmwood though, this isn’t just about coming up with good ideas, it’s about working well with clients and staying focused on the brief.

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