We just saw some shots of the new D&AD Annual (check it out here, it’s beautiful) and one of the pages reminded us of an issue we’ve mentioned before, but we’d like to discuss further.
The striped barber’s pole design for 'Rasurado' wine has been circulating across the internet, via Tumblr, Pinterest and The Dieline, and rightly so – it’s beautiful, striking piece of graphic design and branding. But – and we have really tried – we have been unable to find any other photo of the wine bottles other than the images on the Moruba website. No boxes, crates, product shots or consumer-taken photos of Rasurado brand. It’s not to be seen on the producer’s own website, and seemingly there are no reviews or stockists of the wine.
(In addition, if you look closely, you can see that reflections on the necks of the two bottles are identical, and the embossed numbers around the bases appear in the same location, despite viewing the bottle from ‘a different angle’.)
At Grogger, we see a lot of student work or concept visuals on blogs and websites, and a lot of it is creative, exciting and stunning work. But we are always reluctant to post any work that does not exist ‘in the real world’. The reason is partly that we are a wine blog as much as we are a design blog; we want to know about the grapes, the winemaker and what the contents of the bottle tastes like. But the reason is mainly that design projects (packaging, branding, interiors) are hard work, requiring as much creativity as hard work, persuasion, perseverance and compromise. To actually produce a stunning piece of creative design in response to a real brief (we would choose Paul Belford Ltd’s work for Waddeston Manor as a prime example) is a considerable achievement.
We can only assume (and we are happy to be corrected) that the Rasurado work produced by Moruba is a project that was never actually fully realised. Perhaps the images we see are concept visuals for a project that was never finished, or maybe they were a self-initiated project just for fun. Any creative agency will have hundreds of beautiful concepts and stunning visuals for projects that were never completed, or for routes that were developed or discarded. But we strongly believe that unless the work exists in the real world – a real thing that someone has asked for and received – it should not be entered into professional awards.
There have been increased debate about agencies entering mocked-up visuals as part of their awards entry. Is showing how your logo could look on a tote bag really such a crime? What if you comp the logo on billboard in Times Square? Or onto the moon? It’s hard to draw the line between awarding the actual work that was produced and acknowledging the great idea that could’ve been.
To us, entering the Rasurado design into the D&AD awards was a cheeky decision. D&AD make it very clear in their Rules of Entry that entries must be ‘commercially released’, ‘produced in response to a genuine brief from a client’ and ‘made available to the public through legal mediums’. We think that for D&AD to award it an in-book award is a dangerous precedent, and for those people entering real work that they have created and nurtured to fruition, it could leave a bitter taste in their mouth.