The Annual 2021 winners have been revealed over summer, with some of the most exciting professionals in the history of Creativepool. Who are these amazing people and why do they represent the best of the best in the realm of creativity?
Rich Brown is a freelance creative director, UX, UI & IA designer, expert in branding & photography. His award-winning work has been featured in a number of publications, but it had been a while since he entered The Annual with Creativepool – and it almost didn't happen this year either. After a 5-year break, Rich was back this year with one of the most colourful, inspiring and innovative project in The Annual 2021: Augmented Chinatown. Needless to say such a fascinating historical and immersive experience was well worthy of a Bronze award in Application this year.
In this Annual 2021 Spotlight, we are learning more about Rich and his work, by taking a sneak peek behind the scenes of what makes such a talented designer stand out.
Tell us about your winning submissions! What do you think impressed the judges?
The design project was for an app which gives the user an immersive experience that guides you around an augmented reality world on your phone as you walk the streets of modern-day Chinatown in London, listening to the dramatic stories of some of the area’s many and varied former inhabitants. It’s not just another app, it’s quite unique with the design and illustrative style just adding to its uniqueness.
What felt unique about taking part in The Annual?
For me it was really just about having a platform to showcase the project, I couldn’t really do that anywhere else.
If you could name one reason that made you choose to enter this year, what would it be?
I think there’s a lack of recognition for mobile specific design, whether thats responsive websites or apps, most of the online awards or showcase gallery’s are all geared around desktop designs.
How do you plan to display your award?
It’s a shame we aren’t getting hard cover annuals this year as it would sit side by side with my previous award ;) so, I’ll have to think about what I do this year, maybe I’ll print the award and frame it.
Will you enter again in 2022? If so, what are your hopes?
If I have a project to enter then absolutely, sometimes its tricky as a freelancer because a lot of the work I’m involved in is working alongside agencies so I’m unable to promote that work as my own.
What advice would you share with other agencies and individuals looking to grab an award?
Choose your favourite piece of work and just enter. All exposure is good exposure, it gets you seen whether you win or not.
How does winning awards such as The Annual impact your business?
It can help a lot, being a freelancer it gives me exposure to potential partners and agencies.
This year’s winners are a testament to the power of creativity in hardship. How did Covid restrictions influence your winning projects and how did you approach these new challenges?
Surprisingly not that much, a lot of the work I do is remote anyway, the only thing I was unable to do was travel so, actually being able to test the app live wasn’t possible, but there were ways around that, the client was able to user test and report back to me
What are your hopes for the industry in 2022 and beyond?
I actually think the pandemic has improved the industry, so I think there could be some exciting new ideas in 2022. There was an initial lull in the early days with businesses closing, but it’s kind of turned everything we know about business, communication and socialising on its head, so it’s really exploded a new way of thinking, which in turn creates new opportunities, ideas and solutions, I think 2022 could be quite a defining year into a new direction.
What is your most exciting project in the next year?
Actually, I have a very cool project lined up but unfortunately I can’t talk about, but my most exciting project will be raising my soon to be twin boys from January 2022… I don’t think any other project could top that! Haha.