Roses Design Awards

By The Drum | Administrator

October 26, 2004 | 5 min read

True North is in severe danger of having a very disappointing year for awards in 2005. It’s not that the work they’re producing at the moment is crap, far from it. It’s just that, after having had such a stellar 2004, winning anything other than an Oscar, Nobel Prize or Wimbledon is going to be a bit of an anti-climax.

However, as I catch up with agency MD Martin Carr the day after the Roses Design Awards, this appears to be the last thing on his mind. The first thing on his mind, in his mind and generally swamping his entire being is the mother of all hangovers. Mind you, he did have ample justification to indulge in a celebratory glass of vino tinto or two.

Why? Because in 2004 True North has pretty much monopolised the Roses.

Not content with snatching the Chairman’s Award at 2003’s design event, the team went on to collect the Grand Prix at the Roses Advertising Awards 2004 for their Imperial War Museum North work, before snatching the same coveted accolade at last month’s design outing. You could say that, in the ‘monopoly’ stakes, they snatched Park Lane and Mayfair from under the noses of some very talented players.

The fact that they picked up the two Grands Prix (are they now becoming the Michael Schumachers of creativity?) for the same pieces of work shouldn’t overshadow the achievement. What it should do is demonstrate the sheer quality of the campaign and its universal appeal to those on both the advertising and design sides of the fence – a fence that, incidentally, is getting smaller and smaller as agencies increasingly step over it and morph into ‘creative’ concerns.

As impressive as True North’s performance on the night was (they also won a further Gold and a Silver), one thing we’re not going to let them do is monopolise this feature. There were other big winners too who deserve to see their names up in lights. But seeing as we can’t manage that, here they are down in print instead.

The Chase: On the evening (the event was held, as ever, in the sumptuous surroundings of Manchester’s Palace Hotel) the thrill of The Chase was there for all to see. The agency, long revered as one of the finest exponents of design in the UK, put on a truly imperious performance.

True North may have stolen the headlines, but The Chase ran off with the lion’s share of the awards booty. A stunning total of four Golds and four Silvers cemented its position at the very top of the design hierarchy – a clarion proclamation to all the young pups snapping at their heels that these old dogs (no offence intended) still have an awesome armoury of tricks up their sleeves.

Brahm: Some people see the name and think advertising, some think PR, but it’s the design side of this full service agency that’s really sending tremors across the landscape, and quite possibly through competitors, on the Northern marketing services scene. The team produced an awards portfolio bursting with original ideas and considered execution, and they reaped the rewards with a haul of two Golds, a Silver and a Bronze. Their work for Leeds Youth Opera in particular was outstanding.

Love: For an agency still in short trousers Love now has an embarrassment of awards. A further two Golds, including North West Design Agency of the Year, a Silver and a Bronze may be the (admittedly rather heavy) straws that break the cabinet’s back. They might not have been quite as vocal as normal about the projects they’ve undertaken over the past twelve months but, as their haul indicates, they can now be content to let the work do the talking. If you’ve yet to see their self-promotional “bumper book of fun” I’d get on the blower to them quick smart.

Poulter Partners: As with fellow Leeds lads and lasses Brahm, you may associate Poulter more with the advertising fraternity. If that’s the case then you really do need to see their “Brazilian” mailer. It’s sheer genius. In recognition of its wit, originality, crafting and the fact that every judge picked it up, had a play and then returned to it two minutes later with a great big smile dissecting their face, Paul Brennan, Chairman of the judges, gave it the much sought after Chairman’s Award. It also secured a Gold in direct mail. A real close shave for the best piece in show.

We’re running out of space, so before you leaf through the creative gallery that awaits we’ll just give a congratulatory shout out to the other Gold winners: Like a River for its ingenious Crossley Lomas Chartered Accountants mailer, Dig for Fire for the beautiful handling of its First Direct corporate brochure, Magnetic North for the brilliantly eclectic, Blackwatch for the hilariously disturbing “Welcome to Glaringly” and, finally, Leeds’ Design Project for (another of the judge’s favourites this) “The Process of Printing”.

Well done, everybody. Here’s looking forward to seeing where the awards compass points to in 2005.

For full results see


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