• Transform magazine
  • April 07, 2020

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Impact of brand and experience at Dubai Lynx design awards

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The design awards at the Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity have long placed design before brand strategy. However, at Cannes Lions and Dubai Lynx, that trend looked like it was beginning to change as brand agencies become stronger candidates on the shortlist. However, the only brand firm to take home a gold trophy was Wolff Olins for it’s packaging work.

The Grand Prix went to a packaging and print campaign for an America food company, American Garden. Other golds went to Lebanon4Sale, Ariel’s poster series and Project Ashkar – a big winning typography system designed to teach Hindi speakers english words.

Despite advertising design retaining a waning role in prevalence at Lynx, the design shortlist is largely comprised of entries illuminating an aspect of brand experience. Packaging played a role in raising brand awareness in the Middle East for American Garden’s habanero sauce. Typography and illustration were also heavily contested categories as companies big and small turned to design to solve a brand awareness or communications problem or, in the case of Beanos Cafe, to revive a local company faced with international competition.

These elements of design rely on the delivery of a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints. In order to effectively communicate in both a chaotic visual market in the Middle East and in an increasingly crowded world, design has to take the forefront in visual communications. In the singular non-consumer facing shortlisted entry, the ALJCI Foundation’s annual report, Brand Union uses design to communicate with the organisation’s young stakeholders using accessible language and contemporary aesthetics.

Ije Nwokorie, global CEO of Wolff Olins and president of the design jury, said during his presentation at the festival that the role of creativity in an automated world needed to change. He said, “We are in danger of branding the word creativity into irrelevance” and encouraged creatives to shift the way they think about their sector and their work in order to make companies more relevant to their audiences. “In a world where everything is automated, creativity becomes the thing that is not, creativity keeps us human,” he adds. “Let’s push creativity to be something that’s for everyone.”

The focus in this year’s awards on the impact of design on human perception, behaviour or activity has reflected this goal.