I wanted to dedicate this years Design and Branding awards to my friend, boss and former Chairman of this category, Rodney Fitch CBE who sadly passed away this year. He believed passionately in the power of design as a force for good and business success – he also fully understood the challenges faced by designers everyday to fulfil their craft. When asked what advice he would give to young creatives he replied, “Be a banker, but…if you insist on being a designer…be prepared to put yourself in harm’s way.”
All the pieces of work we awarded this year were true beacons of design and branding and a celebration of our discipline. In getting to the final solution those involved understood that you must put yourself in harm’s way to achieve successful work, that it doesn’t come easily and can often be thwarted and misunderstood – but that’s why we love working in and celebrating this industry.
At this year’s Cannes Lions Festival, Rodney was again recognised as the first Branding and Design Jury President – at the time he said “I had often wondered why Cannes Lions never honoured design; for isn’t design the very platform on which so much creative endeavour is based?”
I want to thank Peter Knapp (Landor), Greg Quinton (The Partners), Clare Styles (Brand Union), Stephen Bell (Coley Porter Bell), Graham Sturt (VBAT), Howard Smiedt (Geometry), David Villers (Geometry), Peter Chodel (Addison Group), Adrian Burton (Lambie-Nairn) and Alasdair Lennox (FITCH), who collectively know a thing or two about the subject of design and branding and worked with me this year to distil the entries down to outstanding examples of well-crafted and innovative thinking.
Finally, well done to Landor, who had a stellar year and were this year's Crème de la Crème winner. Fedora, a business committed to supporting the future of ballet and opera, were given a thoughtful and stunning new identity drawing inspiration from the movement of the artist. A celebration of great art, dedication and endeavour.