We are pleased to announce that the design work of Oxide has been selected for inclusion in Communication Arts’ Design Annual 50. You’ll find the posters we designed for Big Omaha on page 167 of the November/December issue. This marks our fourth time winning CA, and Oxide is this year’s only honoree from Nebraska. Based on entries selected out of the total number of entries received, the CA Design Annual is the most exclusive major design competition in the world.

Communication Arts Design Annual 50Communication Arts Design Annual 50
Communication Arts Design Annual 50 Big Omaha posters spreadBig Omaha posters spread

While our appreciation for the value of design competitions has been waning in recent years, it is still a high honor to win CA. Having been a judge for the Design Annual in 2004, I got a first-hand look at their judging process. CA utilizes nine judges (instead of the more typical three), and a blind evaluation process (where each judge cannot see how the others voted). This means that the process becomes more objective and accurate, and it’s much more difficult for one outspoken judge to sway the outcome. It makes the results feel significantly less influenced by a single person’s personal aesthetic. Because of this, we have a higher respect for the selections of CA and continue to feel it’s valuable to enter the competition.

It’s also very rewarding to win for work that we’re so proud of. I felt that the concept and messaging of our work for Big Omaha was perfectly on target for the audience and goals of the conference. It’s nice to have that accuracy and efficacy recognized by our peers. Here’s our explanation text as printed in CA:

The challenge when branding the Big Omaha conference was to pay homage to the history of Omaha, while recognizing its place as a leader in the Silicon Prairie. The identity needed to be uniquely “Omaha”, while conveying the conference’s core intent: bringing forward-thinking creatives, entrepreneurs, and innovators to the city. Daredevils and risk-takers capture the spirit of the conference, and the cow is the perfect tongue-in-cheek symbol for the city.

You can read more about our process and thinking over on a post we wrote for the Big Omaha blog. The short-run promotional posters (shown below) measure 24″ x 36″ each.

Big Omaha 2009 poster
Big Omaha 2009 poster
Big Omaha 2009 posterBig Omaha 2009 poster

View the project page for Big Omaha 2009.