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A stroke of paint genius propels Kiwi design agency to global stage

When celebrating the best in advertising, design, interactive and public relations, award ceremonies don’t come much bigger than the Clio Awards. And when picking a city to celebrate those awards, it doesn’t get much better than New York either. While there are 12 Kiwi entrants in the running for this year’s international honours, only one Kiwi company has made it into the design category. Strategy Design & Adverting received its finalist nomination for its crafty work on a Camper Shoes brochure, designed to “pick up the ethos and brand of Camper,” according to Guy Pask, group creative director and partner of Strategy in Christchurch. Strategy will be facing off against two other finalist in the Design-brochure category. 

But what makes this nomination even more of a coup is that the brochure was created on a very low budget, which prompted the team to get back to the basics. And by basics, we mean using the good ‘ole paint brush basics. 

“We literally got the paint out,” says Pask. 

With no budget to generate new photos, the agency had to use existing Camper photography stock. Enter Geoff Courtman, design director of Strategy’s Sydney office, who came up with a novel idea to tie the Camper concept all together.

Courtman, who originally started working in the Christchurch office before heading up the Sydney branch, got out the paint and crafted all the typographics himself, which aside from proving cost effective and visually stunning, also helped link the photos described by Pask as “disparate”.  

“It’s also nice to not be constrained to illustrating type with a computer,” says Pask. 

The limited run of Camper brochures also features red fabric stitching, a design feature created to elude to the craft of shoe making.

Being recognised in what is a very tough competition, for a project completed on a low budget, is pretty satisfying for Pask. 

“It’s very nice to have such a simple project recognised.” 

The awards are due to be announced on 19 May, just days after Strategy Christchurch will have moved into its new premises. The team is set to move into their new premises on the corner of Moorhouse Ave and Madras St, on 16 May. Their previous office had to be torn down because of the earthquake. 

Strategy has previously won two Clio awards—a bronze back in 2004 for poster work it did for the Christchurch Art Gallery, and a silver in 2007 in the environment section of the design category, also for the Christchurch Art Gallery. 

But wait, there’s more news on the awards front. 

The good news keeps coming for Alt, who is no stranger to winning global accolades. The design agency has picked up a bronze from the Art Director’s Club of New York—described as the Oscars of the design world—for its efforts on Auckland Museum's I AM campaign. The campaign was developed from an acronym of Auckland Museum, and is a pattern language which was developed as part of the identity of the museum. The identity can be found across a range of the museum’s communications including brand books, exhibition and event campaigns, and in large neon letters that appeared on the exterior of the museum.

The I AM campaign was developed from an acronym of Auckland Museum, and is a pattern language which was developed as part of the identity of the museum. The identity can be found across a range of the museum’s communications including brand books, exhibition and event campaigns, and in large neon letters that appeared on the exterior of the museum. 

Alt’s client gift designed for Auckland boutique law firm Hudson, Gavin, Martin, has also received another prestigious honour. Called “A Lean Year”, the work has been selected for inclusion in the UK based Creative Review Annual. The Creative Review Annual 2011 is published in the May 2011 issue of Creative Review magazine. A Lean Year is comprised of a curved wine bottle to symbolise an economically tough year, and last year the gift also picked up a Gold at the Best Awards. 

Alt also recently won the In-House category for the second year in a row as part of Australia's CREATIVE magazine Hotshop Awards, for its chocolate keyboard Christmas client gift.