Emblem Wave awards, by Kyle Courtright


I’ve been judging the Logo Wave awards for plenty of years now. It’s an impartial award scheme by designer Kyle Courtright. Kyle and I’ve but to fulfill in particular person, however we’ve come to know one another on-line through the years and I’ve a variety of respect for him as a household man and as a designer. Kyle kindly answered some questions to present us an perception into the awards.

What made you need to begin a brand competitors?

Like many concepts, Emblem Wave was born out of necessity. I wished to enter my very own work right into a brand awards competitors and felt pissed off with the antiquated and drawn-out submission course of. At that time, I knew I wished to begin a design awards to assist help my fellow creatives, and I had three standards out of the gate:

  1. Have to be centered round logos
  2. Should encourage and provides worth to creatives
  3. Should fill a spot within the design awards area

After feeling like every of these bins had the potential to be checked (and getting the inexperienced mild from my spouse), I made a decision to maneuver ahead. We launched in June of 2016.

You describe Emblem Wave as a “reimagined” awards platform. What units it aside?

1. The “Wave” construction

The wave mannequin units us aside. There are often 3–4 waves per yr (every lasting 3–4 months). Different design awards are inclined to run one annual competitors.

Freelancers and studios add their finest brand work from their design portfolios and when the wave’s full our jury rigorously critiques the entries and determines the winners. When one wave ends a brand new one begins, like waves within the ocean.

2. Huge prize bundle

Our prize pack contains $1,000 USD, custom-crafted bamboo trophies, a one yr membership to LogoLounge, the Logo Package Express extension, a winner certificates, recognition on the Emblem Wave web site, further community publicity, and extra.

3. The funding

We’re some of the reasonably priced design awards and we’ve deliberately maintained a wallet-friendly, prize-heavy platform.

4. Internationally acclaimed jury

Now we have been lucky sufficient to convey on a jury of design authors who genuinely care about shifting our occupation ahead. Individuals who love being part of recognising and celebrating design. Virtuosos like Louise Fili, David Airey, Gail Anderson, Chris Do, Alina Wheeler, Jacob Cass, Debbie Millman, and Bill Gardner have graced our panel through the years.

5. Stage taking part in area

We’ve deliberately created a contest the place freelancers, studios, and companies alike have the prospect to intensify their credibility and recognition. The platform was constructed by designers for designers, with the guts behind the model being to present creatives a reputable, thrilling increase of social proof.

6. Consumer-friendly and enjoyable

A part of reimagining the awards area meant making a user-friendly competitors. As I discussed, this was an enormous ache level from experiences with different design awards. We’re conscious that busy designers don’t have time to fill out lengthy, drawn-out kinds, so a easy, simple entry course of was necessary.

Whereas we’ve got an expectation of excellence, we don’t take ourselves too critically. We wish designers to have enjoyable as we assist to have a good time and shine a highlight on their work, providing nice prizes alongside the best way.

7. Worth-add

Emblem Wave exists to assist designers and studios safe a better share of bids, land extra persistently certified purchasers, and lift their charges on account of added credibility and worth.

Who do you see as your competitors (different design/brand awards)?

It’s fascinating to see A’ Design Award and the platform they’ve constructed. Core77 is doing a little good issues as properly!

Did you set any objectives in the beginning, or have you ever reached any milestones which have helped preserve you going?

Preliminary entries have been principally from freelancers. After a model refresh, elevated money prize, further trophies with an up to date design, and elevated model recognition, there was a seismic evolution within the audiences we’ve attracted. The variety of studios and companies deciding to participate has enormously elevated in step with the worth and credibility of the model.

I’m grateful to each designer who’s reached out through the years to say Emblem Wave has helped level-up their enterprise. That encouragement is a part of why I like constructing the model. Right here’s simply a few testimonials:

“Emblem Wave has been the catalyst in serving to me win extra giant, certified branding and identification gigs. With their top-tier jury, $1,000/trophy prize, and greater than affordable entry price, this one is a no brainer.”
– Costa Mamangakis, Orfik Design

“Profitable Emblem Wave helped my studio generate new enterprise leads and safe new purchasers because of this.”
– Filippos Pente, Mistershot

These are the sort of tales that preserve me trucking alongside.

Has something proved tougher than anticipated? Any plans to vary the awards in future?

In early 2020, I used to be on the cusp of rolling out a membership/subscription choice. Suggestions from designers was overwhelmingly optimistic and I used to be excited for the massive launch. Sadly, I realised that I didn’t have the time or infrastructure in place for the roll-out, so wanted to pump the brakes. That was fairly robust on me. I put a variety of effort and time into its creation, all whereas operating an independent graphic design business. With a dedication to my spouse and three kiddos that I’d restrict work to 40–45 hours per week I wanted to place issues on maintain till I had proper folks in place.

My imaginative and prescient is to pivot Emblem Wave into extra of a designer ecosystem. Members may have entry to our job board with certified and primarily distant brand/branding/identification gigs. We’ll even have a group discussion board the place like-minded branding designers can help one another and entry unique reductions on design-centric merchandise similar to Adobe CC, Dribbble, and so forth. and different perks/sources. We’ll nonetheless have the brand awards because the cornerstone, with the prizes and recognition that gives.

Quick ahead to the time of this writing, I’ve slowly added new crew members and I’m eager for a 2023 beta launch of the brand new membership expertise. Designers can attain out here to be part of our beta.

I’ve additionally discovered that I’ve a coronary heart for college kids and less-experienced creatives. I need to give the following era an opportunity to face out in a crowded market. And that is how Logo Wave Students got here to be.

It’s structured in another way. In brief, we’ve partnered with universities to convey the competitors to the classroom. Whether or not it’s serving to ultimate yr college students land their dream studio job, or serving to appeal to certified purchasers to their impartial design companies, the mission is to make a optimistic influence on the careers of design college students throughout the globe.

Have you ever had any points with the making or provide of your trophies?

We had tough experiences with our first two trophy suppliers. Objects not delivered on time, suppliers forgetting to engrave the winners names, poor buyer expertise. The checklist goes on.

In 2021, Katie Totheroh and the crew at Awarding You got here alongside as a breath of contemporary air. They’ve been excellent, taking the {custom} trophy design I created and producing an ideal reproduction. Their turnaround instances, high quality of labor, and communication have been very good.

How can designers enter the awards?

Upload your logos here, 900 x 900px on a white background, and also you’re all set. We get a mean of three logos per designer/studio, per wave, and the utmost add quantity is ten. Listed here are the entry details and different related information.

It’s a pleasure to be a part of the esteemed jury, Kyle, and right here’s to a lot success with the membership launch.

Emblem credit score:
Calvary Church, by Logan Brazeau
Crib Genie, by Adolfo Teixeira
Mujahid, by Shyam Agarwal
Penguin Model, by Francesco Vittorioso
Fox Stevenson, by Samadara Ginige
Kieran Hawes, self-designed
Artwork as Remedy, by Nothing
Child Zebra, by Mr Simc
Tiki Tonga Espresso, by John Vingoe



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