The exhibiting world is chock-full of everything from massive LED curtains and projection-mapped environments to near-field communication applications and augmented-reality experiences. But as evidenced by the winners of EXHIBITOR Magazine's 30th Annual Exhibit Design Awards, it's often the low-tech wonders that make the most indelible impression.
Take the exhibit for SimpleHuman LLC at the International Home + Housewares Show, which comprised two 40-foot-long shipping containers. Muted colors, simple graphics, and stunning products took center stage – and the competition's top honor, the EDGE Award for Exhibit Design and Graphics Excellence.
The multidisciplinary panel of judges argued and cajoled for eight hours, holed up deep inside the bowels of the California Science Center, ultimately arriving at this year's 20 award winners. Among them were five entrants in the Best of 30 Years category, which honored the competition's 30th anniversary and the best designs of the last three decades. Along these same lines, jurors handpicked two winners in Design Consistency, an anniversary category that honors a long-term history of design excellence developed through an ongoing relationship between a corporate exhibitor and a design firm.
Again and again, jurors were drawn to designs with a clear purpose and a relatively low-tech air. Sure, a bit of high-tech fairy dust is a welcome touch sometimes, as was the case with a handful of the winners. But when designers hit on the right idea and reduce it to a simplistic core concept, the architecture and graphics speak for themselves, needing nary a bell nor whistle to achieve perfect harmony.
So join us in congratulating the winners of EXHIBITOR Magazine's 30th Annual Exhibit Design Awards. As you peruse the winning booths below, you will see that more often than not, the most successful exhibits are born from a single, simple idea.
BEST OF 30 YEARS
Shock and Awe
RockShox Inc. (Sram LLC)
Pause and Effect
Italian Trade Commission, Confindustria Ceramica
Nature's Path Foods Inc.
Up Against the Wall
Cementing an Image
Garden of Life
The Thin Red Lines
Wargaming Europe SAS
Osram Opto Semiconductors
Life's a Beach
Angles Among Us
NetScout Systems Inc.
The Magic Kingdom
Wizards of the Coast
Design & Installation Association
Flights of Fancy
Duncan Aviation Inc.
Robert Creighton, principal, Red Cape Studio, Los Angeles
Curt Doty, president, Curt Doty Co., Los Angeles
Cory Grosser, founder, Cory Grosser Design + Strategy, Pasadena, CA
Holly Hampton, principal, Sussman/Prejza & Co., Los Angeles
Diane Perlov, senior vice president for exhibits, California Science Center, Los Angeles
Regina Rubino, founder, Image: Global Vision, Santa Monica, CA