It's time to stop making excuses for dull design, at least according to this year's Exhibit Design Award winners. These marketing mavericks didn't fall back on conventional excuses – such as too little space, the need for an uninspired upper floor, or a product as mundane as soup. Rather, the victors in our 33rd annual competition used everything from cardboard to copper tubing to not only thumb their noses at excuses, but also soar above them.
Take the Ledvance GmbH stand, which took home the competition's top honor. When tasked with crafting a second-level product-display space, designers devised an elevated walkway that meandered toward and into two-story boxes brimming with products. Or consider the Campbell Soup Co. Handed a miniscule 10-by-20-foot space, designers stirred up an award-winning design that boasted hundreds of live basil plants.
A multidisciplinary panel of judges selected these winners and 13 others after wading through scores of entries from countries such as Japan, Poland, Austria, Hong Kong, and Germany, to name a few. Again and again, jurors were drawn to "no excuses" designs whose creators approached typical troubles with ingenious ideas and impeccable execution. So hats off to this year's winners. May their award-winning concepts delight and inspire you – and perhaps encourage you to look past the excuses and focus on the possibilities for your own program.
Audi Japan K.K.
All Kidding Aside
Canon Europa N.V.
Taking the Floor
Preciosa – Lustry a.s
Above the Fold
ZTE USA Inc.
House of Cardboard
Wildchild Stockholm Inc.
Field of Beams
UCC Ueshima Coffee Co. Ltd.
Mmm, Mmm, Good
Campbell Soup Co.
KEN AMBROSINI design director and principal, Ambrosini Design
JEFF BARTEL executive art director and co-founder, Nemo Design
CHRISTIAN FREISSLER co-founder, Evolve Collaborative
KATHY FRY principal of visual communications studio, Mayer/Reed Inc.
JEREMY PELLEY co-founder and creative director, Official Mfg. Co. (OMFGCO)
KELSEY SNOOK creative director, With Company
JESSICA VOLLENDORF creative director, Nemo Design