Back to black: Best Design Awards finalists aren’t afraid of the dark

It would be fair to that the Kiwi brand is somewhat synonymous with the colour black (or shade if you want to be pedantic). Not only do Kiwis have a penchant for donning black clothing (and other dark hues), with several online articles devoted to the fact, our national sports teams also rock it. The announcement of the finalists of this year’s Best Design Awards revealed a familiar thread – Kiwi graphic designers who work magic with the beloved hue.

“New Zealand owns black like no one else in the world,” says Andrew Ashton, creative director at Melbourne’s Work Art Life studio.

Pop Ping Pong, Alt Group (finalist). Client: Auckland Council

The Briefing, String Theory (finalist). Client: Idealog 

Ashton visited our shores last week as a panel judge for the graphic discipline in this year’s Best Design Awards, and it’s a sentiment he repeated during Idealog’s conversation with him. Looking at some of the work of this year’s finalists, we have to agree. Their use of black is, simply, brilliant.

Ashton, who holds membership with both the Australian Graphic Design Association and Alliance Graphique Internationale, also told us that he’s “floored by the depth and quality of work” he saw while judging.

“There is a truly integrated forced behind the industry here. New Zealand is going to be the next Scandinavia in this part of the world.

“[This country] is leading by creativity.”

Capital Dying Day, Samuel Crook (student and finalist). Massey University 

Shihad FVEY, Alt Group (finalist). Client: Warner Music New Zealand

And he was left impressed by the high level of student entries.

“The student work was extraordinary. The level of inquiry and craft, the diversity of projects, the creativity… that only comes from a strong education foundation.”

The Best Awards celebrates the best in New Zealand design. See all the 2015 Graphic finalists at bestawards.co.nz.

  • This article originally appeared on Idealog.

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