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Midwest (Design) is Best.

By Emily Zalla

The Print Magazine Regional Design Annual is one of the most competitive design competitions in the country, with nearly 3,000 submissions and only 353 winners this year. Each year, Print assembles a team of judges to select the most impressive, drool-worthy designs of the past year—and the whole thing is organized geographically, with agencies going up against others in their own regions. At Hyperquake, we look forward to its publication all year because we can’t get enough of seeing the great work that comes out of our region, whether from folks we know well or just designers we admire from afar.

We are so honored to have had four of our projects selected as winners this year by judge Timothy GoodmanThe CenterStructure, Zoofari 2015, and our own Hyperquake rebrand. We count ourselves lucky to have clients who trust our expertise and collaborate with us on fresh, interesting designs, and awards like these help validate those partnerships. Our projects were just part of a crop of fantastic work from the Midwest spanning brand, print and web (and more than one beer can design).

Below are a few of our favorite projects from Midwestern agencies we’re proud to share the pages with.


Design Ranch
Kansas City, MO
The Women’s Foundation
 promotes equity and opportunity for women and girls, but the identity had fallen behind the times and no longer spoke to forward-thinking women and men. The Design Ranch team embraced a powdery pink as the cornerstone of a strong, feminine palette grounded by beautiful photography and sometimes-startling facts. This one definitely deserved its title: Best of Region.


Whiskey Design
Kansas City, MO
In their own words: “Boulevard Brewing Co. is the largest craft brewer in the Midwest. Their Kansas City based brewery produces over 200,000 barrels of award-winning beer per year. They had an idea to create a one-of-a-kind street festival filled with their favorite things. The event was named Boulevardia. A country within a city. A non-flyover state. A land rich in beer, food, music and beer.” The design speaks (shouts?) for itself. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon: “I want to go to there.”


Chicago, IL
We might have a little bit of an agency crush on Firebelly. While we couldn’t find this project on their website, we tracked down some explanation about the collage sources and rationale from the designer here. You really don’t need to read it to love the spirit of this series, though.


St. Louis, MO
One of our designers has been eating at Gerard Craft restaurants since she went to college in St. Louis. (Cincinnati folks—he’s kind of like the Jean-Robert of the St. Louis food scene.) His recent fast-casual endeavor, Porano, combines the quality ingredients of old-school Italian pasta with fresh, American approachability. Atomicdust created a whimsical mixture of identity elements to complement Porano’s mission. (And Hyperquake’s resident St. Louis expert will assure you that it tastes as good as it looks.)


Carpenter Collective
Kansas City, MO
We’ve got more than our fair share of beautiful murals across Cincinnati, but somehow we keep getting better ones every year. BLDG commissioned the infinitely talented Tad Carpenter and Becca Birckhead to design this beauty for Walnut Hills, as part of a public art series.


Minneapolis, MN
This bath and home fragrance catalog for Thymes is elevated with blooming, precisely styled photography complemented by minimal design and elegant typography. Cut paper illustrations round out the artisanal feel. We can only imagine how much fun that photoshoot was!


If you want to share the spotlight next year, submit to the 2017 Print Regional Design Annual—the Early Bird Deadline is already coming up on March 1, 2017. We can’t wait to see what new Midwest agencies emerge as contenders next year. Best of luck!

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