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Creative Services wins two design awards

National competition recognizes top work promoting higher education

John Morawiec's bulletin for the School of Visual Arts

Sometimes inspiration comes in a plain brown wrapper. The print communications group in BU’s Office of Creative Services recently garnered two Awards of Excellence in the University and College Designers Association (UCDA) annual design competition. One of the winning entries was Diana Parziale’s design of an annual report — whose cover consists of a wrinkled paper bag.

Actually, the grocery bag was scanned and its image used on the cover, but it looks like the real McCoy: an old-fashioned elementary school book protector made from an ordinary brown bag. The annual report was designed for A Different September Foundation, the fundraising arm of the BU/Chelsea Partnership, a 17-year-old comprehensive effort to reform the public school system of Chelsea, Mass.

“With the foundation — and its role in public education — Diana saw the opportunity to be a little whimsical and relate the project to the look and feel of a school textbook,” says Lori Dougherty, executive director of Creative Services. “When we do something out of the ordinary, we’re always a little worried that the client isn’t going to like it.” But the foundation loved the idea, and so did the UCDA judges.

Parziale, director of Design and Print Communications at Creative Services, is quick to deflect praise for her award, in the annual report/donor report category. “All of our projects are team efforts,” she says, “from project managers to editors, typesetters, and proofreaders.”

BU’s other Award of Excellence, in the category of cover design, went to graphic designer John Morawiec’s bulletins for the College of Fine Arts schools of music, theatre, and visual arts. “Bulletins have been traditionally seen as books that just list courses, but over time many of BU’s schools and colleges have broken out of that tradition and redesigned these publications to be much more marketing- and recruitment-focused,” Dougherty says. “This allowed John to step out of the usual mode in designing these pieces, and his work caught the judges’ eyes.” Morawiec uses minimal type over photographs that portray a perspective unique to each school.

UCDA judges evaluated more than 1,600 entries and handed out 143 awards. The winning entries will be exhibited at the association’s annual design conference from September 16 to 19 in Austin, Tex. The competition recognizes the best design work promoting higher education and evaluates entries for excellence in concept, design, illustration, typography, and printing, as well as for effectiveness, quality, and creativity in solving the problems inherent in institutional design.

The Creative Services print communications group is a full-service publications and advertising agency for BU clients, with a staff of writers, editors, designers, typesetters, proofreaders, print buyers, and project managers. Its projects range from simple invitations to such publications as the Undergraduate Viewbook, the Commencement Redbook, and the annual Research at Boston University magazine. Part of the Office of Marketing and Communications, Creative Services also includes the offices of Editorial Services, New Media, and Photo Services.

“This was the first time we’ve entered the UCDA competition,” Dougherty says, “so we were very pleased to win a couple of awards right off the bat.”