Seattle American Advertising Awards

The American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Club competitions. For the 2017 awards here in Seattle, my friend and fellow designer Michael Harring was co-creative directing the awards alongside Butch Smith, a talented local copywriter. Michael asked that I come on board to handle the winners book design.

The book is the award’s largest and most important piece of print collateral. It documents all of the winning entries and the talented people that made them happen. It’s also a bit of a tricky mistress because the winner content and credits become available very shortly before the book needs to go to print. There is also a lot of said content! It came in at right under 100 pages this year. That means an efficient workflow and attention to detail are paramount to the project’s success.

Previously, the layout of the winners book had remained generally the same, with a core InDesign document being handed down and then reset with the new winning content. As a personal challenge, I wanted to start fresh and rebuild it entirely from scratch. I also wanted to inject more original designed content into the book to better support the theme we were going for in the 2017 awards.

We changed the format to 11 x 8.5in landscape so that the awards category spreads I would design could be made 22in wide for a really big impact. I also opted for more dynamic arrangements of winner content where I would seek to let the page layouts be dictated by the kinds of images we had available for our Gold award winners. This involved dramatic, full page layouts and interesting uses of printing to the bleeds in some areas juxtaposed against more contained and orderly arrangements of content in other areas.

By all reports, this years book was one of the most successful and widely liked in recent memory and I’m very proud of the final results.

Service(s): Collateral
Client: AAF Seattle

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