An Irish masterpiece? The ICAD Five Years Gold Silver Bronze Green book

The ICAD Five Years Gold Silver Bronze Green book was launched last Thursday in the Radisson SAS in Dublin 8. What an amazing book! Fresh Design designed and produced it and at 439 pages it represents a lot of work, especially when you consider the production included making sure it met FSC standards (it did), and then being designers they had to go way beyond that in terms of integrating the environmentally sound with the aesthetics. And so the book is made up of nine different paper types (supplied by Robert Horne, McNaughton Paper Ireland, Antalis, Paper Assist, GF Smith, and Donald Murray Paper), and presents them in such a way as to "sell" them to the design industry, showing them off to their very best in terms of how the interact with inks of various kinds (vegetable based) and how images both colour and black & white work on them. As Maria Bourke writes: "From cover to cover, every physical aspect of this book has been carefully researched to showcase the green theme." It's a book with a mission and in its impeccable execution it gives the mission every possible chance of success.

Two observations (more about the problems of presenting advertising awards generally than about this particular book):

1. Both on the green front and in terms of readability, it seems like a waste of resources and illogical to repeat the winning entries across categories, whereby you end up seeing the same ad or script a number of times on different pages. Would cross referencing them not have been an option, as in: "*Also a bronze winner in copywriting" for example? (The problem of repetion reaches its apotheosis on pages 380-381 where we see all four of Jessica Kiang's scripts for the Licensed Vitners' Association, each for the second time ... TWICE!, in the adjacent categories of Radio Commercial Campaign and Copywriting.)

2. It might not have been easy to get to work, but wouldn't it have been a good idea if the people behind the television ads had to submit a short synopsis of the ads as part of their entries - to give readers a hint of the narrative context for the images. With the ads that you aren't familiar with the impact of them as creative works is unfortunately totally lost in the series of stills used to present them.

But apart from such minor points, the like of which one can make about any production, this is surely a masterpiece of design.


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