Fresh from the field

Special Group’s Best

by on 16/10/2013

This week’s Fresh from the Field takes a look behind the scenes at New Zealand’s Best Design Awards with an insight into the sophisticated graphics created by the clever folk at Special Group. 

Fresh from the Field showcases the work from New Zealand designers and creatives working on and offshore.

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Best Awards 2013

Special Group were chosen this year to create the graphics for 2013’s Best Design Awards.

From Cathy Veninga, CEO, The Designers Institute of New Zealand:

“Special have shown a strength in their design that differentiates them. They come from truly cultural hybrid of advertising and design. In the same way that NZ designers are regarded for a unique point of view, Special has special ingredients.”

Special responds: when an opportunity presents itself where you can share in-jokes with your audience, you just can’t ignore it.

Special Group was briefed on this year’s Best Awards campaign. As a designer, you can put hundreds of hours into getting a poster just so. Doing hundreds of versions. Pouring over the details. Importing inks from across the world… Only for some bloke to glue it up wonky!

Heath and Emma talk about the idea:

Approaching it from a communications rather than design angle, our line was born: People don’t always appreciate good design. On October 11th, we will.

We started with a teaser campaign depicting the ‘art of revision’, produced in collaboration with the guys from Assembly. The idea then developed over the year through a set of tongue-in-cheek scenarios in print and on film. Together with filmmaker Arvid Eriksson, we produced eight short films for the awards night.

We reminded the design industry that, although their work might go unappreciated by many, on the night of The Best Awards, we’ll celebrate design in all its glory. Here are the short films that introduced each category on the night. Enjoy.


Arvid talks about the films:

The subtle expression and humour really appealed to me. I figured the more precise we are the funnier its going to be — precision in timing, composition and story telling.

We planned every detail of the shoot in advance with scripts and storyboards.

With it being such a cinematic idea, where details are high-lighted to the extreme, we framed it in a wide aspect ratio, shot it with the best possible prime lenses and a camera with plenty of room for grade.

We also used the sound design to exaggerate details, and to frame the subtle humour.


Creative Direction Heath Lowe

Design Emma Kaniuk, Aurel Espitalier

Account Management Jules Pakenham

Copy Writing Kim Fraser

Film Maker Arvid Eriksson

Sound Design David Liversidge / Radiate Sound

Client Cathy Veninga

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