Graphis Poster 2016 win for Architecture for Social Gain Posters

Social Gain Posters

It’s a Go achieves recognition in New York based PRINT Magazine ( Best of Show) and Graphis Poster 2016 Annual Competition.

And wants more South African Brand and Design Studios to do the same.

It is always fun to win a Loerie, even being a finalist gives a design studio some zing and bounce in their step. The challenge however is going beyond the Loeries and testing your work against a far bigger audience in awards programs like Cannes, D&Ad and The One Show.

For brand designers however these award spaces are tricky. Having judged at Cannes and several times at the Loeries, plus having spent many hours scanning annuals of the winners to pick up the flavor of an awards program before entering our own work, I have come to think that the problem rests in the celebration of the quick idea.

Sometimes great design is not only about the quick idea. Conceptual work that merges really fresh, innovative design with a company’s value proposition in a world class brand identity or sophisticated design roll out of a brand visual language, can be incredible pieces of design. But they will seldom win in awards programs heavily weighted towards a traditional advertising mindset.

That is not to say, that some great pieces of brand design work haven’t done well in these awards. Nor does it diminish the pride I have in my South African peers who have achieved in these spaces. I take my hat off to Nathan Reddy at GRID to Maciek Mackowski with the work he has done whilst at Shift JoePublic and the inimitable JoAnne Thomas at Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town.

However not many South Africans can claim that they have won in the Type Directors Club competition. An award that automatically grants you a lifetime membership of the highly esteemed, Type Directors Club. In fact the only South African (and I am happy to be corrected if wrong) to have made that list is Garth Walker. I aspire to that, being recognised by a group of ‘fastidious about detail’ professional brand designers who will only recognize innovation if it is accompanied by the worlds best application of craft.

We have made some in roads on this at It’s a Go. We have been awarded a Best of Show in Design 2015 by PRINT magazine a North American publication curated by some of New York’s stalwarts of design, Stephen Heller and Rick Poynor. This led to an article on It’s A Go being published in their 75th celebration issue this year. What particularly thrilled me is that the same issue published exclusive new work by Paula Sher and Milton Glaser. I never dreamt that something we did would be published in the same magazine as these icons of design.

And to continue our New York flavor we have just won our third Graphis Poster award – a Merit for posters printed on tree free paper Rock using florescent inks for the Architecture for Social Gain Wards 2015. Graphis is an iconic publication that has been celebrating excellence in design since 1944. To win in this forum feels a bit like winning in the design Olympics. Prior to this we have won 2 silvers in the Graphis Posters 2014 annual and to do it again, affirms that our commitment to conceptual work combined with excellence of craft is being noticed.

Still on our bucket list though is that difficult Type Directors Club and a Communication Arts win. These will take pride of place alongside our Loeries and One Show certificates but most importantly they will be visual reminders that we are closer to achieving our goal – to be an internationally recognised, Joburg based design studio. If more South African brand and design studios entered these awards we would build international recognition for our creative and strategic prowess in substantial brand design which will benefit the entire industry and perhaps raise the bar at the annual Loeries judging.

Glenda Venn
Founder and partner
It’s A Go!

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