Trophy-Maker Breaks the Mold

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Industrial designer Andrew Watson is on a mission to leave the dark wood plaque mounted with a brassy engraved square in the past. At his company, Andrew Watson Design, branding is the top priority, as evidenced by the 10 sleek, laser-cut aluminum-and-glass trophies he created for a United Nations Champions of the Earth event. The winners received versions with their names in silk screen-printed text.

One way to set an event apart from the herd is to start with the hardware. Watson believes what trophies are made of can be as important as their design in terms of sparking positive attention. He used Douglas fir wood and semitransparent acrylics cut to look like flames for trophies at a government wildfire prevention awards ceremony, for example.

Why aren’t there more options for planners when it comes to inventive plaques and awards? “Everyone is doing the same old thing,” says Watson, who also has designed trophies for urban development, government and faculty associations, among many others. “If someone wants something traditional, I tell them to go somewhere else. Brands are like fashion; they evolve. Awards should too.”