Colenso wins big at Best Design Awards

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Colenso wins big at Best Design Awards

Last Friday saw the return of the Best Design Awards. Run by The Designers Institute of New Zealand, the annual showcase celebrates excellence in graphic, spatial, product, interactive and motion design along with four boutique awards.


This year saw a record return for Colenso BBDO.

New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation’s Stop The Spread work stole the show this year. Together with Resn, the project won a Purple and Gold Pin in the Interactive Marketing category.

In total, the agency won 1 Purple Pin, 4 Gold Pins, 4 Silver Pins and 2 Bronze Pins, with work also awarded for DB Breweries, New Zealand Book Council and Bank of New Zealand.

Says Mike Davison, creative director, Colenso BBDO: “As marketing expands into more and more realms, craft and design becomes increasingly more important. It’s great to see the breadth of work celebrated this year, work that would only be made possible by effective, multi-party and multi-discipline collaborations with our partners and clients.”

The highly awarded language learning app Spark Kupu won 3 x Gold pins and 2 x Silver, with two of those golds awarded in the Nga Oho and Public Good categories – a collaboration between Spark, Rush, Google, Franklin Road and Te Aka Māori Dictionary.

Kupu is the breakthrough mobile app that helps people learn Te Reo Māori by translating photos of objects around them. The technology is powered by Google cloud vision technology, combining with Te Aka Māori Dictionary translations. Te Aka Māori Dictionary brings with it a reputation for quality Māori language research which has guided the project to ensure Spark had the right cultural engagement, awareness and guidance around the concept and creation of Kupu.

RUSH chief customer officer, Ghanum Taylor, says the team at RUSH worked with Google to develop a prototype of the idea back in 2016. It was through this trial that they were then able to develop the market-ready form when Spark and Colenso BBDO knocked on the door.

Says Taylor: “As a design and technology studio, we have a unique offering. Our lifeline relies on innovation and always being one step ahead of the game, so one of our core values is to ‘play the long game’. We are incredibly future focused and have seen the power that computer vision has on the future of how our society operates.

“It was through this foresight that we started tinkering with technology, investing and upskilling in computer vision; learning all about the platforms we could use to better serve humankind.

“We are delighted to be acknowledged for our collaborative work on Kupu. We pride ourselves on designing and building technology that truly better serves our communities and the proof is in the pudding. Already since launch, Kupu has attracted 177,000 downloads, 2,700,000 images translated, and 5,000,000 word-pronunciations played.

“We are delighted to be acknowledged at the BEST Awards for the role we had to play in bringing this incredible technology to life. Our team takes great pride in these accolades as it reinforces that our unique model and skills are working.”

View the winners.