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Beauty and the Best

The finalists have been announced for the 2010 Best Awards. And, from cool album covers to modern buildings, from striking packaging to branding and identity, it’s a who’s who and what’s what of New Zealand’s design scene. Public agencies and not-for-profits feature prominently in the shortlistings, with work for Christchurch Art Gallery, Auckland Museum, the Supreme Court, MAF, Radio New Zealand, TVNZ, NZ Post and Tourism New Zealand appearing across all categories. But there’s also a nice smattering of holy-shit Kiwi genius too, including the Department Store newspaper, designed by Averill Brogan, the Yike Bike by Caleb Smith and the Blunt umbrella by Greig Brebne.

From a marketing perspective, the packaging section is a good’un (we’re gunning for Dollop, only partially because the Dollop girls sent us some glorious sticky date pudding last week, and Yellow chocolate’s packaging also made the cut). There’s also plenty of amazing work in the identity development category (retail agency .99 is a finalist in the large-scale category, as is designwork’s much discussed rebranding of Telecom, while Special Group’s Mr Vodka features in small scale identity design category along with another StopPress fave The Honesty Box).

For the clients, Icebreaker, Monteith’s and Cloudy Bay feature prominently across the graphic categories. And in the interactive marketing category, it’s a race between the offerings from Orcon + Iggy , Urbis, Radio NZ, Tourism NZ and Storm of Inquiry

The PS3/TVNZ Ondemand collaboration was recognised in the interactive applications category, with NZ Post’s Send a Card also making the cut. And the product category is fairly full, despite client belt-tightening, with the pick of the bunch being the Trimax Mowing Systems ‘Trident’ by Formway ad Air New Zealand’s Skycouch.

Of course, all the usual design  suspects are up for awards: Dow, Guy Pask, Alt Group (which dominates the corporate communications category and plenty of others, with Dean Poole a definite contender for over-achiever of the year), Shift, Methven, DNA, Designworks and Warren and Mahoney. Although, surprisingly, there’s nothing in the spatial design realm from Jasmax.

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