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Kinetic Custom Awards: A Unique & interactive Option

We’ve created custom awards in a vast variety of shapes, sizes and styles. They range from realistic to abstract, grandiose to understated, somber to uplifting. Materials have spanned the full spectrum, including bronze, pewter, steel, and crystal, glass, and wood, among many others. While all of these awards are unique, there are basic tenants that each of these custom awards have conformed to. These include a totally unique design that reflects the message and/or imagery the award is intended to convey, a consistency and synergy with the brand of the presenting or receiving organization, an artistic aesthetic, and the ability to elicit a reaction and emotions from the recipient and others viewing the award.

One design element that we have created in a few custom awards helps support all of these tenants: movement. We have designed and produced “kinetic” custom awards that have a moveable component as a central element of the award design. This unique element adds an interactive component to the award, which helps engage the recipient and audience, and amplifies the “wow factor” of the design.

To help illustrate this, below are a couple of examples of kinetic custom awards we have created for clients.

The first example is an award we created for a design firm called Phear Creative. They commissioned us to create a trophy for an annual Charity golf tournament associated with the Music City Food and Wine Festival. The shape was derived from the "divot tool" used by (respectful) golfers to repair ball marks on the green. The Kings of Leon hosted this celebrity pro-am tournament, and all proceeds were donated to several local charities. Displaying sponsor information was one of the requirements of this design, so we engineered a simple pivot for an internal rotating disc in the shape of a record. The record was engraved with various sponsors/donors, and it tied in some of the musical aspects of the weekend festival.

The 14" tall freestanding divot tool was hollow-cast using rough textured pewter. It was then bronze plated and antiqued, highlighting both the texture as well as the various text elements modeled and cast into the sculpture itself. The record section was cast in satin pewter, and then bronze plated. The record section not only spins, but it is also capable of being removed and replaced each year with a new disc containing that year’s sponsor/donor information. Thus, each year, the client only has to recreate the small record element as opposed to the entire sculpture award – the divot is preserved each year.

The second example is a custom kinetic award design we created collaboratively with the design firm Smartfish Group for Red Bull. These sculpture awards were created for Red Bull’s Pay for Performance distributor recognition program.

These unique awards also featured kinetic movement as a key element of the custom award design. The primary design element was a set of moveable, interactive gears that connoted teamwork and synergy. The flat center surfaces of the gears were laser engraved with the Red Bull logo and program details. Each gear cog interacted with the other cogs – when one cog was spun, all of the other gear cogs spun in conjunction. Gears were used in the award as a metaphor for the amount of logistics and planning it takes to move a huge company forward. Each gear cog was equally important as the next; if you removed any gear section of the award, the remaining gears would be rendered static.

The gear section of these unique custom awards was designed and engineered using top of the line CAD/CAM software. The gears where produced from 6061 aluminum. Each gear cog was Waterjet cut, and then machined to a garnet tumbled finish. The gear sections were then assembled with pre-designed hardware. Each award comprised 18 parts in total. These sculpture awards were mounted on circular marble bases with a custom vinyl wrapping that included the Red Bull logotype, colors and award recipient name. A thick lacquer was coated over the vinyl to create an ultra gloss finish.

Each award stood approximately 16” tall and weighed about 5 lbs.