Blog post by Michele Byrne of paper&stuff. See the original blog post here.

The Louie Awards is an annual event known for its prestige in the greeting card industry. Hosted by the Greeting Card Association (GCA), the Louie Awards have become a symbol of craftsmanship and artistic expression in its field. The awards showcase the best designs, copy, and innovations, highlighting the talent and dedication spanning from individual makers to large companies.

Under the guidance of Alyson O’Connor, Louie Committee Chair, the goal for the 35th annual Louie Awards is to expand and push boundaries. We have set bigger goals to receive more submissions, introduce new categories, and promote more inclusivity.

One way to achieve these goals is by branding the awards in a manner that aligns with the distinction associated with winning a Louie. Every year, a new design system is created to brand the event and its marketing collateral. For this year’s event, I led the branding and creative direction, collaborating with a team of designers on the Louie Committee. Our objective was to pay tribute to the event’s history while generating enthusiasm and anticipation for the next generation of the Louies.

Taking inspiration from the GCA’s legacy, we incorporated elements such as the star from the GCA logo and color palette. Additionally, we drew inspiration from a letter sent in the mail, symbolized by the squiggles found on a stamped envelope. Lastly, as this is the 35th annual event, we wanted to emphasize the significance of this milestone by incorporating the number “35” as a design element. By enlarging and manipulating these elements, we created abstract shapes that resulted in playful patterns, adding an interesting touch to the overall design.

With these important considerations in mind, the primary objective of the design system was to carefully and thoughtfully strike the perfect balance between the rich tradition that the Louie Awards hold in the industry and the exciting realm of innovation. It was crucial to ensure that the design not only reflected the esteemed nature of the event but also pushed the boundaries and made a bold statement, capturing the attention of attendees and leaving a lasting impression. By incorporating elements that pay homage to the prestigious history of the Louie Awards and infusing it with fresh and cutting-edge ideas, the design aimed to create a truly unforgettable experience for all those in attendance.

An important aspect of the design system for this year’s Louie Awards was the creation of captivating patterns. These abstract shapes not only capture attention but also highlight the idea of pushing the envelope. They evoke a sense of excitement and anticipation, aligning with the spirit of the Louie Awards and the celebration of excellence. In addition to a vibrant color palette and pattern designs, we have developed a robust grid system that is both highly modular and flexible. This allows us to create diverse designs that are unique yet cohesive within the overall system.

To submit your greeting cards for the awards, click here to learn more.