How 10 Design Champions Benefited from HOW Awards

When the HOW team thinks of all the brilliant work that’s been entered in our competitions over the years—and all the talented people behind those projects—we can’t help but smile. Celebrating exemplary work is one of the best parts of our jobs. That’s why it’s so easy for us to go on all day about all the reasons you should enter our competitions, like the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards (which has a deadline of 11:59pm EST on April 24!).

But we want you to hear from the design champions themselves. So we talked with the freelance designers, in-house teams, design firms and students behind some of last year’s winning entries.

Below, you’ll find their work, see their faces, and discover firsthand how entering the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards helped their businesses and graphic design careers.

How 10 Design Champions Benefited from HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards

Kristen Parks, owner, Eleven Peppers Studios

Eleven Peppers, past winner of HOW design competitions like the Promotion & Marketing Design Awards

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

As a design focused company, we have always found HOW magazine to be an excellent publication with some of the most prestigious industry competitions. We have always aimed to create work that is worthy of an award from a HOW competition, and our Make-A-Wish piece was a good fit for the Promotion and Marketing Design Awards.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

Most importantly, recognizing our team. Secondly, it assists with new business and recruiting. 

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Award

It has been most valuable from a recruiting perspective, by sharing the win on social media and our company website. HOW Awards resonate with top candidates. 

work by Eleven Peppers, past winner of HOW design competitions like the Promotion & Marketing Design Awards

TITLE Make-A-Wish Gift | DESIGN FIRM/CLIENT Eleven Peppers Studios, Gambrills, MD; www.elevenpeppers.com | CREATIVE TEAM Kristen Parks, art director; Kate Rodman, designer/illustrator; The Eleven Peppers Studios team | PRINTERS Indigo Ink, Windmill Letterpress | DETAILS To say thank you to our clients, we made donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each donation was revealed in a custom-designed package.


Sonia Greteman, president/creative director, Greteman Group

sonia-gretemangroup

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

HOW provides a valued, vetted platform for creative excellence. Our agency only enters competitions that we find meaningful. Which is why we enter every year.

We study the work of the other winners. Their choices undoubtedly seep into and elevate our own creative problem solving. Why not learn from the best?

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

We’re well past the days of simply wanting more Lucite or plaques. We care about critique from proven professionals whose opinions we trust. It helps us get better.

People like to work with winners. That goes for clients and staff. Winning serves as both new business and recruitment tools.

There’s a fun element, too. When we win, it provides another cause for celebration.

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards had any impact on your business or career?

Winning HOW awards has affected my career, our agency’s global reputation and our team of move-the-needle pros. A thumbs-up from HOW equates to a creative greenlight. We find it hugely motivating. Our clients find it validating, too.

winning work from Greteman Group, winners of HOW design competitions like Promotion & Marketing Design Awards

TITLE Wings in the Wind | Organization/Client Greteman Group, Wichita, KS; www.gretemangroup.com | CREATIVE TEAM Sonia Greteman, art director; Meghan Smith, Marc Bosworth, designers/illustrators; Deanna Harms, Randy Bradbury, copywriters | PRINTER Donlevy Litho | DETAILS The masks do more than reinforce Greteman Group’s market niche, aviation marketing. They also communicate the agency’s choice of nonprofit holiday giving: the Eagle Valley Raptor Center.


Earl Gee, partner/creative director, Gee + Chung Design

earlgee

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

We entered the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards because as HOW’s longest running competition, the work selected over the years has proven to be consistently innovative, effective and memorable. The competition’s focus on designer, client, pro bono, and student promotions makes it unique, recognizing the best creative solutions regardless of category.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

The benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards are many. For our winning clients, the recognition validates their investment in our firm and celebrates our successful collaboration. For prospective clients, the publicity showcases the type of thinking and level of creative solutions our firm provides. For the design community, the distinction demonstrates our commitment to elevating the standards of the profession.

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards had any impact on your business or career?

Winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards has definitely made a positive impact upon our business, enabling us to attract new clients, recruit talented designers and raise our firm’s profile within the industry.

TITLE Neenah Paper Beauty of Letterpress Poster | DESIGN FIRM Gee + Chung Design, San Francisco; www.geechungdesign.com | CREATIVE TEAM Earl Gee, art director/designer/illustrator; TPD Design House, concept and design for The Beauty of Letterpress Series | PRINTER TPD Design House | CLIENT Neenah Paper | DETAILS The firm’s solution uses the tools of letterpress as typographic forms.


Jose Lopez, creative director, Houston Rockets

ROCKETS_CREATIVE

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

Because it’s one of the best design publications in the country, and we just wanted to be a part of it.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

Recognition from our peers. Also, our budgets go up because our projects are published.

ROCKETS_HARDEN_18X24

TITLE James Harden 3D poster | ORGANIZATION/CLIENT Houston Rockets, Houston; www.rockets.com | CREATIVE TEAM Jose Lopez, art director/designer; Bill Baptist, photographer | PRINTER Chase P. Young | DETAILS This promotion went so well that the team produced an additional 1,000 posters to be sold with a ticket plan.


Susan Turnock and Heather Arak, co-owners, Gifts for the Good Life

giftsforthegoodlife-photobyRob-Yaskovic

photo by Rob Yaskovic

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

This is the first competition we’ve entered. We take self promotion very seriously because we believe in gratitude marketing. Self-promotion gives us a chance to try new ideas and do edgy stuff. That encourages our clients to be brave too.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards

It was a great feeling to share the win with our team.

Sometimes what we do feels like it goes into a vacuum. We get a positive response and that’s enough… but this was a gift that kept on giving!

Being recognized for work you love doing is icing on the cake. 

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards had any impact on your business or career?

It gave us all a new confidence and instant credibility—reinforcing that in our current clients and to new inquiries as well.

The article that accompanied the award perfectly captured our business—and is something we use in company collateral. [Editor’s Note: Gifts for the Good Life won Best of Show last year, and received a four-page spread in HOW magazine.]

TITLE Mini Insta-Theater | DESIGN FIRM Gifts for the Good Life, Severna Park, MD; www.giftsforthegoodlife.com | CREATIVE TEAM Heather Arak-Kanofsky, art director; Susan Turnock, art director, copywriter; Nathan Kanofsky, illustrator, photographer; Bethany Coyle, illustrator; Sherry Warner, copywriter; Frances Warnagaris, project manager | PRINTER Gifts for the Good Life | DETAILS The Mini Insta-Theater was a personal gifting experience created for top clients, featuring images curated from their Instagram feeds.


Boriana Strzok, founder/creative director, 5IVE

5IVE_BorianaStrzok-(2)

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

HOW curates some of the best design competitions followed by creatives around the globe. Being a winner in the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards is an honor that comes with a great sense of pride as well as responsibility. As a small, non-traditional brand innovation agency, we view our representation in prestigious competitions like this one to be very important. Competing in a sea of creative talent validates our place in the industry, but most importantly it proves that smaller can be better and nimble can be visible.  

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

There are a few benefits: exposure, validation and motivation.

Winning the competition gives us a platform for exposure, a place to share excellence, contribute to high industry standards and promote our work amongst our peers and clients.

The award validates our work in the best way possible, by the most critical of all audiences. The creative field can be a subjective endeavor. Working through the long hours of ideation, collaboration and design can test a team’s resilience and agility. Staying fresh, authentic and disciplined when working on a brand project makes a recognition like this award even more validating.

Self-awareness and critical thinking are qualities that matter for any designer who prefers to work in a humble, attitude-free space. HOW naturally falls into a space for reflection, inspiration and motivation, which is why being an award recipient is such a motivational factor in the greater pursuit of excellence.

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards had any impact on your business or career?

As a small, female-immigrant-owned, non-traditional agency we are often the underdog or the less likely choice for bigger clients who still feel big, more traditional agencies are the right way to go. Having the recognition and the accolades that come with this award gives us the opportunity to celebrate with our clients not only our work but also the choices they’ve made by hiring us as their creative partner. In addition to the creative industry aspect there is a business value to this award. We aim to help our clients lead in their own industries, so sharing our successes with them recognizes that we work from a place of valuable experience.

Title Ecgberht Gin | Design Firm 5IVE, Minneapolis; www.5ivempls.com | Creative Team Boriana Strzok, art director; Andi Jordt, designer; Mike Borell, copywriter | Client 11 Wells | Details Deep moss colors and embossing complement the sophisticated taste and unique flavor of the gin.

TITLE Ecgberht Gin | Design Firm 5IVE, Minneapolis; www.5ivempls.com | CREATIVE TEAM Boriana Strzok, art director; Andi Jordt, designer; Mike Borell, copywriter | CLIENT 11 Wells | DETAILS Deep moss colors and embossing complement the sophisticated taste and unique flavor of the gin.


David Gouveia, freelance designer

DG

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

A designer often dreams of developing that one project that can make a statement and looks good. Bonus points if it actually benefits others too. That’s how I felt about the design I entered into the HOW Promotion Awards. We see so many things daily as designers that typically everything becomes a blur—but when you see something good … like, deep down a truly good, well-rounded piece of design— the urge to share that with others takes over—regardless of the creator.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

I enter contests like HOW less for the prestige and benefits and more to showcase what I feel is good work with others around [the] world that otherwise might not get a chance to see it. If my work can inspire others, that’s the benefit.

Title Invade Cancer T-shirt | Designer/Client Dave Gouveia, Toronto; www.davegouveia.com | Printer Peace and Cotton Inc. | Details With family and friends affected by cancer, Gouveia decided to create an officially licensed product, with proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society.

TITLE Invade Cancer T-shirt | DESIGNER/CLIENT Dave Gouveia, Toronto; www.davegouveia.com | PRINTER Peace and Cotton Inc. | DETAILS With family and friends affected by cancer, Gouveia decided to create an officially licensed product, with proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society.


Joel Martinez, creative director, EME Design Studio

hechoporeme

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

We really enjoy HOW’s small but very selective competitions. We definitely feel that being featured in HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards is a challenge.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

Recognition is always good, especially from [an international] publication that displays a high level of design …

But more than the recognition, being able to have our work featured along with the best helps us realize that we’re on the right path. 

tinmanemestudio

TITLE Tin Man Branding | DESIGN FIRM EME Design Studio, El Paso, TX; www.madebyeme.com | CREATIVE TEAM Joel Martinez, Boni Soto, art directors/designers; Richard Hill, photographer | CLIENT Tin Man Filling Station | DETAILS The amber growlers serve as the pinnacle of the brand, so it was important they display boldness and a unique sense of self.


Nicholas Smith, graphic designer, 5ByFive Creative

5BYFIVE-team-photo-2

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

When you want to be the very best in your craft, the opportunity to compete with the very best in your industry is an invaluable way to measure your work and skill level. Additionally, to be able to do it in a forum administered by HOW design magazine, which is one of our favorite resources for design inspiration and industry news, make the awards that much more special.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards

We work in Missouri, which is known as the Show-Me State. So to have an independent source cite us for design excellence says way more to potential clients than we ever could about ourselves. On a personal level, it is humbling to see ourselves in the pages of [HOW] and inspires us to continue to challenge ourselves to do better work and elevate our clients’ brands. 

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards had any impact on your business or career?

Going into our sixth year, we are focused on continuing the growth we experienced during our first five years as an agency. So far, we have not only acquired new clients who we are excited to work with, but we have also found new opportunities to expand our design work with our existing clients. 

Title 5BYFIVE Creative Self-Promotion for Fifth Anniversary Event | Design Firm/Client 5BYFIVE Creative, St. Louis; www.5byfivecreative.com | Creative Team Justin Sherwood, art director/designer; Shawn Maher, copywriter; Mike Lohrman, developer | Printers Advertisers Printing, Shirt Kong | Details 5BYFIVE collaborated to create an aesthetic that each team member felt reflected the foundation of everything they do: great design down to the smallest detail.

TITLE 5BYFIVE Creative Self-Promotion for Fifth Anniversary Event | DESIGN FIRM/CLIENT 5BYFIVE Creative, St. Louis; www.5byfivecreative.com | CREATIVE TEAM Justin Sherwood, art director/designer; Shawn Maher, copywriter; Mike Lohrman, developer | PRINTER Advertisers Printing, Shirt Kong | DETAILS 5BYFIVE collaborated to create an aesthetic that each team member felt reflected the foundation of everything they do: great design down to the smallest detail.


Hyun Sik Kim, UX Designer at Microsoft

(Note: Kim was still a student when he entered the Awards.)

HyunSik Kim

Why did you enter the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

I knew my work would be recognized if I won the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design competition. Since I was a student, I wanted to let other people know about my skills as a designer from my portfolio. HOW Awards is one of the top well-known competitions, so as a young designer I challenged myself through the HOW Promotion & Marketing competition.

What do you see as the benefits of winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards?

The best benefit is that my work got published in the HOW promotion & Marketing Annual. Through winning the HOW promotion, it gave me a chance to expose my design and creative thinking to the entire audience of HOW. I see this recognition as an acknowledgment from people in this field. In addition, I am preparing for O-1 (artist visa), which requires the candidate’s public achievements. The result of winning from this competition, my work contributes to achieving the O-1 visa and shows that I am a qualified candidate for the visa.

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards had any impact on your business or career?

Winning the HOW [Promotion & Marketing Design Awards) indeed had an impact because it is a competition. Having this title adds value and recognition not only to my work but to myself as a designer.

HyunsikKim_Aegis4

TITLE Aegis Airline | STUDENTS Hyunsik Kim, www.hyunsikkim.com; with contributions by Sunjun Lee | INSTRUCTORS Chelsea Garber, Steve Winchell | SCHOOL School of Visual Arts, New York City; www.sva.edu | DETAILS Kim, who came to the U.S. at 16, developed this idea to assure worried parents of their children’s safety during international travel.


Eun Jung Bahng, student

Bahng_Portraite

Has winning the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards had any impact on your business or career?

I think winning this entry gave me the path to work as a graphic design intern at LA Metro.

Title Julia Child Cookbook Promotion | Student Eun Jung Bahng; www.jenniferbahng.com | Instructor Chesley Nassaney | School Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; www.artcenter.edu | Details In this book design for Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, each chapter is a separate book, and they all fit into a wooden bookcase.

TITLE Julia Child Cookbook Promotion | STUDENT Eun Jung Bahng; www.jenniferbahng.com | INSTRUCTOR Chesley Nassaney | SCHOOL Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; www.artcenter.edu | DETAILS In this book design for Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, each chapter is a separate book, and they all fit into a wooden bookcase.


HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards Extended Deadline: April 24, 2017

Enter todayteamone to compete for a free registration to HOW Design Live, a kickass trophy presented to you on main stage, and quality exposure for your already great promotion & marketing work.

Every single winners’ work get published in our Fall issue of HOW magazine, and we tout your work all over social media, on HOWDesign.com and in our popular newsletter.

Some examples of what you can submit:

  • That invitation you designed for your best friend’s wedding
  • That self-promo you made to showcase your business’ capabilities
  • That paid client work you’re ridiculously proud of

All of it (and more) is welcome in the HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards.

Enter by April 24!

COMMENT