Grafik The Right Idea written on a brick wall

Awards, recessions, and keeping the faith

Doing great creative work during a recession is sometimes very hard. Yeah, I know I probably should not say this—but after going through (and surviving) several downturns I know what I am talking about. When there is too much time, not enough work, and everyone is worried about saving their jobs and paying their bills, creative suffers. Ironically some times the longer one has to work on a piece, the worse the design ends up being. Dragging out a project to fill time, or fussing too much sometimes breathes the life out of a project.

That is why, in my opinion, the creative awards we have won for the VOA 2008 Annual Report are so special. This annual just picked up the 2010 Communicator Award of Distinction. This is the fifth award the annual has won, and it was selected out of a pool of more than 7,000 entries.

All that of course is wonderful news. But what makes it special to me is the energy and life the creative team breathed into it, with a very low budget and recession pressures abounding.

Award competitions during a recession are funny things. In Grafik’s case—with lots of awards under our belts, for good or for bad, we tend to cut back dramatically on the number of pieces we enter—conserving the money for more important things. This results in our being very very selective, and cuts down on the number of submissions and awards. That’s a hard thing to do since we want to showcase the talents of our creative teams, and let’s face it, it makes everyone feel good. But sometimes the bottomline demands it.

For Grafik the recession is ending. We have been busier with more work, more proposals, more new business pitches than I dare say we have seen in a good 18 months. Our moods are elevated, projects are flying through the office, and our staff is less preoccupied with keeping their work, and more occupied with turning out their work. All good stuff. But it is still the resilience of those who can create when all the chips are down, who refuse to throw in the towel that I believe commands attention. So to the entire VOA team—on the Grafik side and on the client side—Kudos not only for the award, but for keeping the faith.

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