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New York Awards For New Zealand Design Consultancy

International Recognition At New York Awards For New Zealand Design Consultancy

A passion and commitment for taking great design from the domain of the fashion industry to the hearts and minds of ordinary New Zealanders has brought further international success for leading New Zealand design company, Designworks.

Designworks scooped three Gold Awards at this year's prestigious international Mercury Awards in New York - putting the icing on consecutive gold, silver and bronze award wins over the past three years.

In an announcement this week, Designworks won three Gold Awards for the overall presentation and writing of the Public Trust annual report and a `best in category' award for the production of the Airways New Zealand annual report.

Sponsored by MerComm Inc. the Mercury Awards are considered the `Academy Awards' of annual reports and attract entries from throughout the globe.

Traditionally it was small pockets of the community that appreciated good design, Designworks Strategic Director, Nigel Swinn said. However, today's graphic designers were becoming much more influential in the wider community, he said.

"These days New Zealanders seem to be obsessed with getting a bargain rather than appreciating quality. Great design that attracts attention, changes the way things work or just adds pleasure to our lives is still not seen as a worthwhile investment. It's felt to be cosmetic."

"Designworks dares to suggest that great design can be more a part of mainstream New Zealand," Swinn said.

"In the way the design industry has been at the heart of the commercial revival in the UK, so New Zealand should champion the role of design. It's no good having a Buy New Zealand campaign unless New Zealand products and New Zealand brands are as good if not better than what streams in from overseas at vastly discounted rates."

Creative Director Debbie Feasey believes New Zealanders applaud design success but perceive it as the domain of fashion designers like Karen Walker and Rebecca Taylor.

"The design of hot new Kiwi brands and products outside of the fashion industry should be celebrated." Like Designworks, who were responsible for WestpacTrust's use of a Ralph Hotere painting in their signage and for the design of New York-based Kiwi designer Rebecca Taylor's brand, design companies are more often responsible for the overall imaging of companies and products - a territory that in the past was largely owned by advertising agencies.

A good example was Designworks' recent rebranding of Public Trust, said Feasey.

"The work on modernising their brand and re-energising their culture was a design-led exercise and a very valuable one to the company. It's also given them the energy and enthusiasm to win an award in New York for their annual report," she said.

Founded 20 years ago, Designworks has offices in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney. It employs around 50 people.

- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Nigel Swinn Strategic Director, Designworks ph 04 384 6164


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