The Mohawk Show 2020 Winners

Well, Coronavirus tried to stop the Mohawk Show, and while it wreaked a fair amount of havoc, the esteemed house of paper found a way to make it work. After all, those 200+ entries from around the world can’t judge themselves now, can they?

So, the last several months found boxes upon boxes of fabulous entries criss-crossing the nation so that the amazing judges Mohawk assembled could do their jobs. Winning any award in 2020 is a feat in and of itself, and while these enchanting creations did literally come out of a box, they define out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to the possibilities of paper. As such, they definitely deserve a drumroll!

Best In Show

Wilco Ode to Joy Box Set

LAD Design

At the center of this project from Lawrence Azerrad is the craving for a return to novel physical objects after years spent converting our music libraries into digital archives. This box set incorporates an interactive pop-up book with pieces that spin, slide, unfold and transform, not unlike the music it accompanies. Collages and artfully presented lyrics add dimension, and an insert at the bottom of each set features the band member’s signatures in red marker.

Various Mohawk papers provide the framework to bring this object to artful life. Book pages are printed on hefty Mohawk Via Vellum to allow for all that die-cutting, spinning, sliding, folding out, and popping up. Meanwhile Mohawk Superfine is used for the LP Jacket as well as the box top, bottom and insert. Oh, and this baby is also nominated in the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (2020) for Best Box or Special Limited Edition Package. Good luck on January 31!

Judges’ Choice Awards

This is my kind of competition. Each judge got to pick a favorite!

Judge: Andrew Gibbs, Founder, Dieline & Partner, A Plastic Planet

Winner: Blank Space

For its holiday gift in 2019, Ultra Creative lived up to its name with a creation that spins a tale of evil-natured robots and humanity’s search for a new home. What you see below is a capsule, returned from the blank space between the stars and bearing the mission crew’s final journal entries and geological samples from four very odd planets. Think Blair Witch, gone interstellar!

While the project looks to Outer Space, care to sustain our planet was also taken. So FSC-certified papers, a soy-based singular ink color, wind-generated electricity to print, and a local chocolatier were incorporated as well as Mohawk Keaykolour and a lot of meticulous embossing, foil stamping and offset printing.

Judge: Ellen Lupton, writer & curator

Winner: Brutally Honest: No-bullshit business strategies to evolve your creative business

This colorful tome by Emily Cohen divulges advice, insights and best practices for every conceivable creative business challenge, but its presentation gives it polish from the start. Designed by Once-Future Office, it features a spectrum of fluorescent, gradient hues anchored by a dark, deep matte black cover. Not only was it written for designers, it’s styled to ensure that their eyes don’t roll back in their heads.

The cover is Mohawk Superfine, Smooth, and the text is also Mohawk Superfine, Eggshell.

Judge: Kelli Anderson, Designer & Paper Engineer

Winner: AIA Indianapolis 2019 Year in Review

Created for the Indianapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects, this publication was designed by Commercial Artisan to commemorate the organization’s 2019 theme, program and events. “Something to Talk About” refers to the group’s efforts to grow their community presence and activities. This is an ongoing project, meaning the look of this annual report changes each year to reflect each president’s take on that year’s theme.

Mohawk Keaykolour, Vellum, in Lichen, Pastel Pink and Indian Yellow comprise this project.

Judge: Mike Renaud, Founder & C0-CEO, Varyer

Winner: Ex Labore Dulcedo / From Work Comes Sweetness

When The Workhouse wanted to celebrate its first decade in business and a refreshed brand and identity, it pulled out all the stops. Inspired by historical textile ateliers and classic houses of fashion, attention was lavished upon every detail, No surface lacks embellishment in this ornate creation!

Curious Collection Metallics in Ice Gold formed an opulent surface for these!

Judge: Tim Belonax, Design Director, Pinterest

Winner: RPG Gothic

RPG Gothic is a 262-page catalog of free fantasy fonts curated from in and around the internet by artist Kara Gut and designed by New Archive. Here a font catalog is reimagined as an appropriated internet archive, replete with glimpses of text from comment sections and other online features integrated into print. The idea here was to speak to and create an intersection amongst the fine art, graphic design, and gaming communities.

Congratulations to all the winners! I am so impressed with the judges for doing such an amazing job with a crazy set of COVID-19 parameters, to say nothing of Mohawk, who found a way to keep this show on the road, literally. You can see a lot more here!