FCB, Resn, Alt, Assembly, Clemenger share spoils at Design Awards

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AUCKLAND, Saturday: From a story of a goat that combats real-world bullying, to an exhibition questioning NZ’s national typeface – the best in New Zealand design for 2018 has been revealed.

Comms agencies FCB (partnering with production company Assembly), Resn, Clemenger BBDO and Alt Group were among the top winners.

From 1200 entries, one stood out – a quirky video, Oat the Goat, showing children how to identify and deal with bullies won over the judges and took out the coveted Purple Pin in both the Interactive and Moving Image categories.

Herald on Sunday feature
The winners were unveiled at the Viaduct Events Centre on Saturday attended by 1200 designers and friends. They were also celebrated in yesterday’s Herald on Sunday, which ran a full-page news report on A13 (scroll down for the link).

The Best Design Awards is organised by the Designers Institute of NZ and recognises the strongest work produced in nine categories: Graphic, Interactive, Moving Image, Product, Public Good Award, Spatial, User Experience Award, Ngā Aho Award, which showcases multi-cultural design collaboration, and the Value of Design Award.


Interactive Purple Pin & Moving Image Purple Pin: Oat the Goat by Assembly and FCB. Design Director: Matt von Trott; Client: Ministry of Education

Oat the Goat brought home two coveted purple pins in the Interactive and Moving Image categories at Saturday’s Best Design Awards. The interactive web-based story also won gold in the same categories along with silver for Public Good.

FCB ECD Tony Clewett said: “A legacy project like this doesn’t happen very often, hence why we sweated over every little detail – from the animation, sound design, to every last word in the of copy. It was well worth the extra effort.

The bilingual storybook, available in both English and te reo Māori, is the focal piece of a bullying prevention campaign created by FCB and Assembly for the Ministry of Education. It is an interactive, animated storybook launched as a bullying prevention initiative by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education. 

Interactive judges said the project is a “masterfully crafted, immersive storytelling that tackles a difficult issue with grace”.

The Moving Image judges thought it was a beautifully realised animated storybook. “It pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in a web browser,” they said.


Client: Ministry of Education
Agency: FCB New Zealand
Production Company: Assembly
Director: Matt von Trott
Senior Developer: Matt Wilson
Character Designer/Art Director: Josh Fourt-Wells
Digital and Content Producer: Clare Bone
Composer: Tane Upjohn-Beatson
Conductor: Hamish McKeich
Recording and Mix Engineer: Graham Kennedy
Music: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Taonga Pūoro: Alistair Fraser
Sound Studio: Liquid Studios
Sound Design and Mixing: James Dean. Narrators: Dave Fane (English)/Piripi Taylor (te reo Māori)

Clemenger’s Trails of Taonga

Nga Aho Award Purple Pin: Trails of Taonga by Clemenger BBDO Wellington. Creative Director: Brigid Alkema; Design Director: Mark Dalton; Client: Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children

In Māori culture, taonga are precious objects – heirlooms passed-down between generations. Although beautiful, the real value of taonga lies in their meaning, and the stories they carry with them.

The design team wondered if it would be possible to create new taonga that could be imbued with the stories of the care-experienced children. These taonga would become powerful tactile and visual symbols. Objects that convey the deep gratitude these children feel towards those who helped them – thanking them for their kindness. For noticing.

Now, on social media people can nominate others to receive the taonga, by telling their story via a secure, open-access online form. 

The judges said: “This project for the recently formed Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki, has designed a fresh approach to uplifting ‘at-risk’ children through fresh design.

“This was not just design collaboration, it was a wide community collaboration asking everyone to step forward and help a child in need. The resultant series of exquisite taonga created by carvers and sculptors to recognise those who step forward and help, are leaving a trail of aroha through the many hands and hearts they touch.”

Alt Group’s Typefaces

Graphics Purple Pin: There is no such thing as a New Zealand typeface by Alt Group and Klim Type Foundry. Creative Directors: Dean Poole, Kris Sowersby; Design Director: Janson Chau; Client: Klim Type Foundry

Is there such a thing as a typographic accent? This is the question posed by renowned New Zealand designer, Kris Sowersby, in his exhibition showcasing his typeface National, adopted widely across New Zealand.

The exhibition explores the 10-year time period between the release of typefaces National and National 2, and questions whether the unique 31,744 letterforms have integrated into our physical and digital design culture during the decade our nation was searching for a way to define our design language.

National 2 is showcased as a set of 16 posters that display the entire character set in its original width over eight weights and italics, allowing the audience to see the entirety of the typeface as individual units.

The judges said the exhibition is “a brilliant piece of work that creates a conversation about New Zealand identity and uses design in its broadest sense. The multidisciplinary approach made it stand out from the rest”.

The Resn duo

John Britten Black Pin: The John Britten Black Pin celebrates an individual who has made a significant achievement in the field of design both nationally and internationally and demonstrated a combination of leadership, vision, creativity, skill, energy and discipline.

This year, in an unprecedented move, the Designers Institute is pleased to announce that the John Britten Black Pin is being awarded to an amazing duo: Rik Campbell and Steve le Marquand, the global managing director and Executive Creative director respectively of Resn.  The Black Pin is going to the duo because they are inseparable – they’re a cohesive, united team with a very strong vision.

Steve Le Marquand is Resn’s co-founder and Executive Creative Director. He is a champion of simple, but highly effective, digital interactivity that achieves an emotional response. Rik Campbell is the Global Managing Director and co-parent of the love child known as Resn.

He was the designer and art director for much of Resn’s early work, but the exhilaration of this highly creative role became too much and he accepted the promotion he gave himself to become Managing Director.

  • Spatial Purple Pin: Waterview Connection by Warren and Mahoney Architects. Design Director: Shannon Joe; Client: New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Product Purple Pin: Tūroa Bathroom Collection by Methven Global Design & Innovation team
  • Design Director: Andy Grigor
  • Value of Design Award Purple Pin: Active Smart Built-In Refrigerator by Fisher & Paykel Appliances. Creative Director/Design Director: Fisher & Paykel Appliances Design Team
  • User experience Purple Pin: Starship Animal Check Ups & Magical Forest by Rush Digital and Watermark Creative. Creative Director: Terry Williams-Willcock; Design Director: Stephen Horner
  • Public Good Award Purple Pin: NZ Police Family Harm App by Smudge. Creative Directors: Reuben Bijl, Toby Vincent

The Best Design Awards were established in 1988 and have been held annually since 1996.

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