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Discussing openness in the industry with an Annual 2021 Silver winner | #AnnualSpotlight

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The Annual 2021 winners have been revealed over summer, with some of the most exciting companies in the history of Creativepool. Who are these amazing professionals and why do they represent the best of the best in the realm of creativity?

Having entered a couple of stunning projects in the Application and Graphic categories, Graphic Designer Tony Clarkson and his company &Something (formerly SEVERN_) were able to greatly impress the judges this year, securing a Silver and a Bronze award. As a multidisciplinary creative professional, Tony largely admires the newfound openness of the industry, and both his winning projects demonstrate his passion for creativity as a whole, including its ever-so-discussed power to inspire positive change in the world.

By taking a look at Tony's impressive self-help app and his observational essay for Shrewsbury Market Hall, in this Annual 2021 Spotlight we are stealing a sneak peek at the work of one of the most talented creative professionals in the community.

View The Annual 2021 Winners!

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Tell us about your winning submissions! What do you think impressed the judges?

Because the OPPO app was quite thorough, it isn’t just a visualised top-level solution. It isn’t designed just to follow a trend. There is an extra level of development and detail behind the idea and the aesthetics; there’s a decisive reason it looks the way it does. 

The Market Hall project, an honest approach perhaps. As with OPPO, there’s a genuine reason for its appearance; the subject dictates the layout rather than fitting the contents to a pre-conceived design. Being image-led helps as they came out quite well.

What felt unique about taking part in The Annual?

The Annual doesn’t feel prejudiced; everyone has an equal chance of getting somewhere compared to similar events.

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How do you plan to display your award?

I’ll be hanging them on the wall, just above my desk, next to last years’!

Will you enter again in 2022? If so, what are your hopes?

Yes, if I have a suitable project. I’m happy just to get a mention in the voting stage, but another award would be excellent. Maybe a higher one than this time around, but I’ll see.

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What advice would you share with other agencies and individuals looking to grab an award?

Just give it a go, enter something you’re proud of, you’ve as good a chance as anyone regardless of whether you’re a flying London agency or a recent graduate.

How does winning awards such as The Annual impact your business?

Not much goes on around here, so it gives me something to post about on social media, a talking point that could be picked up by someone needing a designer to work on their project.

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?

I feel lucky, in a way, that the photos in the Market Hall project were taken during the pandemic as they include a unique (hopefully!) and critical point in history in that the people in the shots are wearing the face-masks. It puts the project in its own era.

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What are your hopes for the industry in 2022 and beyond?

I found that renowned studios have been more open to giving advice through online talks and social media; I hope openness continues. And I hope I get much busier…  

What is your most exciting project in the next year?

I’ve a project which involves projection mapping of live social media feeds onto a favourite building. I’d like to be able to pull that off next year, but I’ve a feeling it’s going to need a much more long-term planning stage.

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