This is the first time EPIC Creative has participated in an international design competition, and look what happened. (Spoiler alert: we won some stuff!)
We were keeping busy, not-so-quietly minding our own business in West Bend when we decided to enter the highly prestigious Graphis international design annual competition. Graphis hosts a variety of annual competitions and is committed to, “presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in Graphic Design, Advertising, Photography and Art/Illustration.” We received the results and are proud to recognize the accomplishments of our team:
Brendan Sniff – Silver Medal – Return of the Peacock
Steve Garou – Merit – Eggology Brand Standards Guide
Mauricio Alvarez – Merit – Shoot Notes Fishing Cover
Mauricio Alvarez – Merit – RotoGrip Cover
Mauricio Alvarez – Merit – Barenbrug
What do these awards mean to us? This begs the bigger question: What do creative awards mean to anyone? Can creativity be measured? Are awards valuable as qualitative measures of an agency’s greatness? For context, we asked our creative maestro, Creative Director Dan Augustine to wax esoteric for us about the value of creative awards in the ad agency world. Here’s what he said.
There’s a love-hate relationship in our industry around awards. “Awards are meaningless,” is a common expression. But here’s the rub. There are usually two types of people who say that: those who have a mountain of awards piled up behind them and feigning indifference, and those who haven’t won anything.
Awards are important if for no other reason than the sense of belonging they create. They say, ‘”Yeah, you’re one of us.” They say a small group of highly qualified, highly talented and noteworthy individuals sifted through thousands of pieces, saw your work and held it up as superior. That’s a morale boost.
The other fantastic part about awards is the motivation they create. It’s a drug – one isn’t enough, you always want another. That hunger causes you to work harder to preserve and enhance that level of creativity and execution. That counts for something.
These awards are also a public acknowledgment, of sorts. EPIC Creative as an organization is magnificently humble. It’s a rare day when you see us touting awards or accomplishments. When asked about our success, Jim Becker will tell you EPIC is what it is today because, “We’re nice people, we do good work and we charge fair prices.”
Around here, you don’t hear a lot of the cliché, aggressive (and alliterative) agency-speak catchphrases like “Killer Creative,” or, “Cutting-Edge Concepts.” That’s not how we operate. Can we accomplish those kinds of things? *Shoulder shrug* Sure. But I think what this award means for us is quiet proof of something we already knew about our team. EPIC Creative has intensely talented people behind the work we develop. Like Jim says, ‘We’re nice people,’ but we’re also acutely good at our work, and being recognized for that is, well, nice.
This team is already crazy talented. They make me look really good to a lot of our clients. What else can a creative director possibly contribute to that kind of team other than to push someone just a touch further, or drive a concept a little further home? My role was just to ask the questions. What if this was here? What if that was over there? Did you try this? Did you think about this?
…This is all sounding like pretentious asshole bullshit. Let’s just say I’m very, very proud of my team and leave it at that.