How to Create an Award-Winning Brand

Award-Winning Brand

Creating an award-winning brand isn’t easy. I did it once, however. A lot goes into making a great brand, including research, conception, execution, and presentation. Over the course of a week, my team and I busted our asses to create a new identity for The Delaplaine. Hard work pays off, and we placed first in AIGA Blue Ridge’s annual student design competition.


If you want a great branding experience, you need to do your homework. End of story. For The Delaplaine, we had five days to work, and we did close to two full days of research before we touched Illustrator or Photoshop. We visited the site, talked to employees, and found all we could about it online.

We visited the site, talked to employees, and found all we could about it online. Understand your client inside and out if you want an award-winning brand.


Once we did our homework on The Delaplaine, we found the perfect branding solution – we used the painted windows of as a mark in the logo. Design always has a purpose (otherwise it’d just be art – there is a difference), and our mark beautifully represented The Delaplaine. Along with the logo, we decided to incorporate artwork made at The Delaplaine into the collateral. We wanted to mix minimal design with creative art to create a unique package.


Here comes the hard part: bringing it all together. Now is the time to find out how your brand is going to be used and how to keep it consistent. For this project, we had to create a logo package, stationery, a website mockup, and additional collateral pieces of our choice. Keep a consistent layout and look for all your pieces. Think about typography, colors, and imagery you need.


It doesn’t matter how great your work is, it doesn’t speak for itself. To have an award-winning brand, you have to sell it. Tell your client why your design works and why they should love it. Get comfortable with public speaking, and learn how to walk a client through your thought process (explain all the elements of your design and why they’re important).

It’s hard work, but it pays off.

Read the press release from AIGA Blue Ridge.


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