Fashioning brands: FINZ and James & Wells set out to reward top notch communication design

Applications for the inaugural James & Wells: Fashion Communication Design Award, a joint effort from Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) and James & Wells Intellectual Property to celebrate creativity and excellence in fashion-specific communication design, are set to close on 11 March.

The award is open to all New Zealand clothing designers and brands and applicants are required to submit an online application form and attach examples of communication design, whether it be brand identity design, typography, copy-writing, web design, copy-writing, advertising, photography, illustration, animation, film and spatial concepts (download the application here; documents, images and video files can be uploaded).

The judging panel, made up of the extremely fashionable Mike Hutcheson, co-founder of Colenso, former managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi and big cheese at Image Centre Group, James & Wells partner Carrick Robinson and FINZ executive officer, Mapihi Opai, will base their decision on strategy (the requirements and objectives of the work); customer relevance (target audience specific communication and content); design (the aesthetics, design quality and creativity); execution (the finish and detailing, choice of media and materials, as well as the usability and functionality); and integration (the linking and networking of all media and messages).

“Communication design is about so much more than fashion imagery,” says Opai. “It involves strategic thinking, marketing research and problem solving. It’s all about relevance; about making sure every element of your brand speaks to and connects with the target audience.”

The award will culminate in a public exhibition of the three finalists’ work to be held at Sale St during the New Zealand Fashion Festival. Curators Lisa Lloyd-Taylor and Kim Fraser will also produce an academic research paper based on the award programme.

The winner will receive intellectual property services to the value of $5,000 from James and Wells Intellectual Property, as well as an annual membership subscription from FINZ. And the three finalists will also take home their respective printed works from the exhibition courtesy of Blue Star.

“James & Wells Intellectual Property is proud to build upon its partnership with FINZ and support New Zealand fashion with this award. It’s a great fit for us, because intellectual property law is a key component when it comes to protecting the creative endeavours of Kiwi designers,” says Robinson.

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