2017 Orange County Design Awards: The Winners

The Orange County Design Awards (OCDAs) are an annual celebration of Southern California Creative Professionals and their work, as facilitated by AIGA Orange County.

New for 2017’s awards: it was free to submit work, and we welcomed a MASSIVE 227 project entries.


We asked judges to award points to the projects that “enhance[d] the value and deepen[ed] the impact of Design and Creativity across any creative discipline or application”.

To do this, we provided a 10-point scoring scale (see the full scale in the Appendix below). Judges gave every project a score based on its own merit — no project was compared to another; students were just as eligible to win as agencies were. To win awards, projects had to earn the following average scores:

Bronze: 7 Points
Silver: 8 Points
Gold: 9 Points

Award winning projects succeeded across the following three areas:

A) Is driven by an idea / or / concept
B) Is well executed
C) Solves a problem / or / creates value


This year’s judging panel embrace diversity across creative discipline, location, work environment, gender, and race. We were thrilled to have them share their time with us.

Lily Shen, President of AIGA San Francisco

(Previously Executive Director at IDEO)

Lily is an entrepreneurial general manager and marketer passionate about building brands and experiences that people love. She was most recently an Executive Director at IDEO, a global design company working to create positive impact through design. She has also had key leadership roles at Wealthfront and eBay. Lily has a passion for organizational design, is an advocate for women in leadership, supports and creates mentorship opportunities, and spearheads community and business development initiatives via her role as President of AIGA San Francisco.

Oen Hammonds, Design Principal at IBM, President of AIGA Austin

Oen Michael Hammonds, a designer, mentor and facilitator at IBM, has designed across the gamut — advertising, graphic, interactive and environmental. Oen’s previous work with diverse clients in the consumer, business and technology industries demonstrate his ability to jump in and solve tough challenges. As an IBM Design Principal, Oen cultivates effective and inspiring career enablement experiences at a global scale that promotes IBMs mission of a sustainable global culture of design.

Instagram: @oen.hammonds
Web: www.visualnotepad.org

Perrin Drumm, Founder & Director of ‘Eye On Design’

Perrin Drumm is the founder of ​AIGA ​Eye on Design, a publication that turns a well trained eye on the best new work from the world’s most exciting emerging and established designers. Her previous editorial experience includes senior-level ​editorial ​roles at Conde Nast, The Sundance Channel, and The Architect’s Newspaper, as well as writing cred at​ Riposte,​ Interview magazine, Art Forum, Cool Hunting, Core77, Vogue, V Magazine, and The Paris Review.

Instagram: @aigaeyeondesign
Web: eyeondesign.aiga.org / www.perrindrumm.com

Paul Mendoza, Designer & Copywriter at UCLA

Paul is a graphic designer & copywriter at UCLA ResLife and a design instructor at UCLA Extension. Client roster includes McDonald’s, Logitech, MillerCoors, Intel, and Hasbro. Paul is a proud member of AIGA and membership director emeritus for the LA chapter. His patronus is a St. Bernard.

Instagram: @iamappaulled
Web: http://www.appaulled.com/

The Winners

Agency: Ramp Creative (entered by Michael Stinson)
Project: CWS Capital Partners 2016 Annual Report

“In our initial meeting with CWS management, the president kept referring to dualities when talking about the business of the year; instances within the real estate investment community where there were opposing or contrasting circumstances affecting the market.
With that in mind, we created a concept called “Timeless Principles” based on six of Aesop’s famous allegories. This set the stage for their four key executives to discuss how these principles still apply to the way they run their business today and how it makes them successful.”

Agency: RSM Design (entered by Tory Hoffman)
Project: Parasol Park, Great Park Neighborhoods

“Surrounding the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California are a series of neighborhoods, each with a different personality than the next. RSM Design has been working closely with FivePoint Communities to help bring these neighborhood and park spaces to life through environmental graphics. The Parasol Park development focuses on a higher density of housing, and features a large community park, garden, greenhouse, and community building. The Great Park Neighborhoods partnered with The Ecology Center to create a natural space to gather as a community and will also facilitate weekly and monthly family activities. Parasol Park is the third development in the Great Park Neighborhood community, and will become a social center for the families who move in.
RSM Design has been a part of the rapidly expanding Great Parks Neighborhoods since their first neighborhood Pavilion Park, and again joined the team to create a system of park signage and wayfinding, specialty and temporary graphics, and garden signage with The Ecology Center. The team was inspired to create a look and feel for the neighborhood that was hand crafted and high quality. Wood and handpainted identity elements were carried throughout, and many signs featured hand drawn and playful typography and illustrations. RSM Design also carried elements from The Ecology Center brand into the garden signage, which created a sense of unity and cohesiveness across the two brands.
In the end, RSM Design created a grounded and highly integrated system of signage and wayfinding that helped bring the garden and community spaces to life.”

Independent: Anthony Acock
Project: ENVirons

“ENVirons is the magazine representing the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona. (env.cpp.edu). What I am submitting is the first issue created in the Fall of 2016. During this development the name of the magazine (ENVirons) was created, along with the identity for ENVirons. The magazine was printed oversized at 12x15 inches to make the reader feel as though they were having a conversation with the magazine, instead of being a passive reader. The magazine was printed on uncoated partially recycled paper using environmentally friendly printing techniques.”

Independent: Erin Roach
Project: Derivative

“These collage works are part of an ongoing series called “Derivative.” I chose that title because the term is normally used to criticize artwork. By jokingly using it as the title of my series, I openly call to attention the fact that each collage is almost entirely made up of existing works of art. This series is an experimental personal project. I started making these collages because I wanted to explore my personal knowledge of art history, and to also learn about new artists and artwork in the process. I select images to use for my collages by thinking about how one image could be visually juxtaposed with another, and how the historical context of those images could play off each other. I want my work to break down the barrier between the past and the present. By hinting at the history of each piece I use, I
can tell a new story in a modern setting. By combining surrealist imagery with satirical commentary, I can create a modern narrative using historical imagery.”

Independent: Jamie Stark
Project: M.C. Pressure Match Box

“Promotional matchbox designed for letterpress printer M.C. Pressure. Project
was a challenge because it was such a small format. I was able to cram a lot of fine details into a small space and it was interesting to see that it held up through the foil stamping process.”

Independent: Raymund Ramirez
Project: US Currency Design

“This project is a self initiated project thats reinterprets the US Currency system, under the idea of using natural disasters and basic human nature as the driving idea behind the visuals. It is as times of crisis where everyone needs help, and the environments are stripped away of their surroundings. This idea is translated on the different denominations by using a minimalistic approach, using only the necessary information on the dollar.”

Independent: Selima Thomson
Project: Women in the Bible

“A personal project illustrating characters from the Bible. I wanted to reduce
these Bible stories to simple, graphic elements and compositions. These were
vector illustrations created for print.”

In-House: Chapman University Creative Services (entered by Jeff Brouwer, Creative Director and Ivy Viado, Designer)
Project: Chapman University Getty PST Exhibition Catalog

“This 140-page book was to compliment the exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum at Chapman University. The intent was to showcase each artist and their work in a manner that was respectful to their creativity and style, yet would be consistent to the Art Collections vision. The catalog would be given out at the opening of the exhibit and throughout its run through February 2018.”

In-House: Drybar (entered by Jane Moon)
Project: The Texture Toolkit

“Drybar is a nationwide salon focused on blowouts. The entire product line has been created to create and maintain the perfect blowout. The Texture Toolkit include some of the key products and tools in creating a textured hairstyle. The design of the kit suitably mimics a yellow toolbox. It also is fitting that yellow is the main accent color of Drybar. This kit can be found throughout the holiday in Nordstrom stores nationwide.”

In-House: BenefitWallet (entered by Janna Cowper)
Project: BenefitWallet Brand Refresh

“BenefitWallet® is a sub-brand of Conduent Inc., a global business process services company. Conduent launched January 1, 2017 as a divestiture from Xerox. The existing BenefitWallet brand was dated and had been created under the Xerox brand style. It was important to align the BenefitWallet brand closer to the new Conduent brand, while also updating the style to work for both their B2B and B2C audiences. The deliverable was a refreshed BenefitWallet brand with new guidelines, a logo update, color palette change, and a more modern revised look and feel for their marketing collateral. For this project, I created the creative design elements and collaborated with another member of our in-house marketing team for the brand vision, execution/launch, and planning, as well as a designer on my staff who executed the brand icons under my direction. The main idea behind the solution was to create a modern and professional design that would fit within the Conduent brand family, as well as have templates and guidelines that could easily be followed by other designers. The work is available publicly as sales collateral, brochures, event signage, website, and within microsites. It is seen across the US by prospects, clients, and members. Credits to team and staff members: Colleen Shier and Carolina Alanis”

In-House: The School of Art at CSULB(entered by Jonathan Lugo Torres)
Project: Grad Critique Week Poster

“I was asked to do the Grad Week Critique Poster for the School of Art at
CSULB. I utilized the School of Art logo to create a plethora of dots to mimic
confetti as a celebration of the works of art done by our Master of Fine Art

In-House: East Orange County Water District (EOCWD)(entered by Mike Schnell)
Project: East Orange County Water District (EOCWD) re-brand

“EOCWD asked Communications LAB to rebrand them, something that hadn’t been done since its formation in 1961. Initially, we delivered a logo, which then led to a full package. We advised them on a brand that spoke to the district and its customers as to its value and presence as part of the community. EOCWD’s only condition upon my design was to make the “O” orange. The re-brand deliverables included letterhead, envelopes, uniforms, truck tags, and all other items that would normally show the logo.”

In-House: Vantari Creative Team
Project: Brand Identity for Vantari Analytical Labs

“Vantari Analytical Labs is a laboratory in Irvine, CA, that uses state-of-the-art technology to test cannabis for pesticides, heavy metals, and microbes — ensuring product safety across the emerging recreational cannabis market in the U.S. The laboratory prides itself on being completely transparent with the people it services. Thus, the goal of this project was to create an appropriate visual representation for the business: solid, clear, and straight-to-the-point. We came up with the tagline “Cannabis testing has never been more transparent,” with an emphasis on this last keyword that is reflected across the designs. The brand identity includes: logo, headline, business cards, pitch letter, pitch invitations, presentation folders, website, introduction video, and social media channels. The project was led by Nick Arroyo, Michael Zindell and Alex Kim, and executed by the in-house creative team: Olga Bukhalova, Felicia Khai and Steven Wooldridge.”

Student: Elena Beckett
Project: Gemstone Infographic

“Gemstones vary in many different shapes, structures, colors, and locations of where they are found. This infographic measures the relation of these stones and how they contrast or cross over in similarity.”

Student: Emily Atwood
Project: Bubb Bath Packaging

“The design direction for Bubb is to create a fun bath time experience for parents of babies and young toddlers through an engaging packaging solution. The design is playful with the creation of a brand mascot and pattern design, and adds an element of surprise with the extension of the brand to the inside of the packaging. The darker and more subdued tones attract a sophisticated and trendy demographic. The merchandising strategy is solved within the design of the packaging. Each panel of the box has a different pattern or graphic that can be stackable in various combinations.”

Student: Michael Putra
Project: Calling All Creatives

“The project was made for Cal Poly Pomona’s annual art competition called 2D3D, which falls under the umbrella of the main tying event, Poly-Kroma. The initial deliverable was an infographic poster on 2D3D’s schedule. I took the liberty of developing it into a call to action poster for the students to participate on the event itself, to garner both interest and motivate submission for the show without shifting their attention away from the schedule. The poster went through several evolution and exploration of ideas, it mainly revolves around the different
mediums of 2D and 3D art and how it is represented in the digital age. Drawn from Christopher Nolan’s Inception idea of a dream within a dream, it is an art within an art on top of an art. The project was displayed throughout Cal Poly Pomona’s art building and by the gallery where the show was held to reach out to the main audience of the show itself.”

Student: Ridan Arellano
Project: Oya Hair Care

“Hair care products specifically targeted to people of color are usually merchandised separately from the other beauty and personal care products. Oya hair care is a line of gender neutral products for people of color. OyaTM hair care aims to shift the paradigm towards inclusivity in beauty products by empowering people of color through products that reflects their culture and strength. Branding, Packaging, Patterns, and Photography style was developed for this project.”

Student: Ridan Arellano and Jessica Wu
Project: #PAINTITORANGE Campaign — Critical Zone

“Paint it Orange is the Anaheim Duck’s campaign to engage and excite fans during their playoff season. The goal was to create an energetic, bold, and player-centric system that communicates the intensity of the game and the Anaheim Ducks brand and philosophy. The challenge was to create a fresh look for the Anaheim Ducks to capture a broader demographic in the Orange County area. The concept extends through various fan engagement spaces in print, environment, merchandising, and digital media. This project was a collaboratio between Ridan Arellano and Jessica Wu.”

Agency: Envoy (submitted by Todd Purgason)
Project: TenderGreens.com

“Envoy was chosen as the Digital and Technology AOR. The initial endeavor was reimagining a new website experience that positioned Tender Greens as a Chef-driven culture that creates culinary experiences with dishes made to be accessible by everyone. The site is purposefully built to scale with their coming growth.”

Agency: Perelandra Design (submitted by Anton Warkentin)
Project: Badcoffee Brand Identity

“Badcoffee is a multi-roaster shop based in Costa Mesa, founded on the concept that good coffee isn’t only for the coffee connoisseur. We created a brand identity using humor and irony to invite the customer to enjoy craft coffee without the pretense. We created logos, icons, illustrations, taglines, signage and merchandise that never breaks character, juxtaposing graveyard motifs with elegant materials. Photos by: Tim Wright, Bryant Trinh, Andrew Worley”

Agency: Ramp Creative (submitted by Michael Stinson)
Project: Designing for Print Book

“Commissioned by the author to redesign, this new concept and approach was designed to enhance the print knowledge and experience for professional designers, printers, design students, and design educators who want to celebrate the world of graphic design for print. Since we love the world of print design so much, we thought it only necessary to let the design of the book relish in the world in which print is born from; tiny, microscopic colorful dots that trick our eye into seeing such wonderful and whimsical spectrums of color and typography
The final deliverables were a brand system complete with production files that included a paper, binding, print, typography, and color specifications that would be used for a full mock-up to help generate market interest and help launch the book on Kickstarter.”

Agency: Army of Moon People (Submitted by Diala Hamdallah)
Project: Sixty One 9th Building — Branding

“The client, Vornado Realty Trust, wanted to highlight the prime location of the building. It was ‘in the heart of the Meatpacking District’, super close to The Highline, surrounded by exciting brands and stores. Using the geometric, cubic shape of the actual building, I came up with the a 3D heart shape inspired by the building as seen from different angles — from which a library of patterns was created. We worked with a copywriter to pair the heart logo with a series of slogans following the theme of loving life and loving where you work.”

Independent: Daniel Gross
Project: National Park Geek

“Designed and developed a social design entrepreneur small business, National Park Geek, to promote our National Parks. Using social media, I have grown an Instagram community with 100K+ followers as of Sept 2017; @nationalparkgeek. Products are available at www.nationalparkgeek.com and at 30+ National Park site stores nationwide. A part of all sales are donated to nonprofit organizations as a member of 1% For The Planet.”

In-House: California Repertory Company Theatre (Submitted by Jonathan Lugo Torres)
Project: California Repertory Company Theatre Posters

“A set of posters made for a series of political plays conveying opposition, alertness & resistance. Utilizing only Impact, red, white and blue to create a coherent collection that unifies all the 9 plays together as a set. These posters were advertised across the California State University campus as well as the Theatre Art Department Program.”

Student: Winston Elliott
Project: Personal Branding

“Distilling your personality, work ethic, skills, interests, etc. into a branded system is challenging to say the least. Once I was able to distill myself into five keywords (bright, just, contemporary, intelligent, and playful), I was able to effectively build a cohesive system that perfectly reflects me. The branding is inspired by potter’s marks, adaptability, and the duality between my strong, serious respect for the craft and history of design and the sense of fun and joy that it brings.”

Agency: PS Design (Submitted by Petre Spassov)
Project: Don’t Be A Bot Promo

“After an exhausting year rife with social unrest, we set out to create something simple, fun, and tactile that would be a delightful and welcome distraction. At the same time, we wanted to poke fun at the self-contained opinion bubbles that are so pervasive today, and send a subtle message that you should never blindly follow what you are told. The concept for the promo is simple: Build a robot, don’t become one.
Each robot arrives flat shipped in a festive metallic red bubble mailer. The artwork is screen printed on 1/8th inch plywood, then laser cut to create the individual pieces. Each of these pieces is held in place with tiny holding tabs that are left uncut to keep them in place for the recipient to pop out. The last step is to connect the pieces and build the three dimensional figurine.”

Student: Brett Araos
Project: Poly-Kroma

“Poly-Kroma is Cal Poly Pomona’s annual art show that features graduating graphic design and art history majors. The deliverable was a logo, brand identity, and an integrated mailer/ poster. This deliverables included some collaborations with other students, but ultimately fell upon my hands to create the design. The brand identity was revamped this year, and the logo markup was created for longevity for the multitude of different identities to come. I chose “Iridescence” as it perfectly reflected Cal Poly Pomona’s graphic design program. The range of colors was a tribute to our diversity and understanding of the constant flux of design. The project was seen by the hundreds of design firms that received the poster/ mailer, as well as those visiting the gallery during the length of the event.”

Student: Ridan Arellano
Project: Skitpok

“Iceland’s tourism has reached great popularity with travelers and the island country’s facilities could not keep up with its demands. As a result, people have been exploring Iceland irresponsibly with careless bathroom trips in the open nature. Skitpok is an emergency toilet kit made to address this problem, but can also be applied to any place travelers and campers go. The kit can be distributed at the airport or at high traffic tourist areas. Branding, packaging, and illustrations were developed for this project.”

Student: Winston Elliott
Project: HUMAN Quarterly

“HUMAN is an interactive print publication that dispels stigmas and stereotypes that can often negatively impact young queer people. By taking an honest and holistic approach to the conversations that surround the queer community. HUMAN recontextualizes the ideas of what it means to be part of such a diverse community. Providing positive portrayals and representation allows individuals to grow into their identity in an informed and celebrated way.”

Agency: PS Design (Submitted by Petre Spassov)
Project: Don’t Be A Bot Promo

“After an exhausting year rife with social unrest, we set out to create something simple, fun, and tactile that would be a delightful and welcome distraction. At the same time, we wanted to poke fun at the self-contained opinion bubbles that are so pervasive today, and send a subtle message that you should never blindly follow what you are told. The concept for the promo is simple: Build a robot, don’t become one.
Each robot arrives flat shipped in a festive metallic red bubble mailer. The artwork is screen printed on 1/8th inch plywood, then laser cut to create the individual pieces. Each of these pieces is held in place with tiny holding tabs that are left uncut to keep them in place for the recipient to pop out. The last step is to connect the pieces and build the three dimensional figurine.”


Scoring Scale

1 Point
It’s unclear what the project is. Key context and information is missing, and the submission feels incomplete.
2 Points
The project has little or no idea/concept driving it, it falls-short in execution, and it doesn’t solve a problem/create value.
3–4 Points
The project succeeds in only
ONE of these three areas:
a) has an idea / or / concept
 b) is well executed
 c) solves a problem / or / creates value
5–6 Points
The project succeeds in only TWO of these three areas:
a) has an idea / or / concept
 b) is well executed
 c) solves a problem / or / creates value
7 Points (BRONZE)
The project succeeds in all THREE of these three areas:
 a) has an idea / or / concept
 b) is well executed
 c) solves a problem / or / creates value
8 Points (SILVER)
As well as succeeding in all three areas of idea, execution, and problem solving, this project stands out as unique or original among its peers.
9 Points (GOLD)
The project excels in all three areas of idea, execution, and problem solving. It conveys a strong sense of the designer’s voice, and clearly demonstrates the value of Design.
10 Points (BEST-IN-SHOW)
This one project resonates with you in a way that secretly makes you wish you had done it. You can only award this score once, and are free to not award it at all if you feel no submissions have earned it.


Thanks to all of our sponsors, whose support allows this event to happen.

Vitamin-T, Adobe, Mohawk, Primary Color, Parse & Parcel, Pantone, Taschen, Pencilbox Photo
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