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What Exactly Are Custom Awards?

A large percentage of the awards we produce are unique, custom award designs created specific to a customer’s needs or requirements. Sometimes these designs are based on a fully developed design specification the customer has already developed. Other times, a customer may have a general theme, message or objective that they want to communicate through their custom award, but have not created a specific design specification. In these instances, we go through an extensive discovery and design process to create a new custom award from scratch that meets their objectives. And, of course, many projects fall somewhere between these two end points on the continuum: for example, a customer have a rough sketch of what they would like that needs refinement, or another referent award design that they would like to use as inspiration for their award.

When embarking on a custom award project, it is helpful to understand the different kinds of custom awards that can be created. One aspect to note is that any recognition award can be “customized” via personalized engraving in the award’s base. This is a simple and cost effective way of making a stock award uniquely specific to a given recipient or event.

However, personalized engraving is not generally enough to make an award “custom” in the way that we refer to the term – it is more “personalized” than “custom”. In our vernacular, we really work with two broad types of custom awards: 1) “customizable” awards; and 2) truly “custom” awards.


Customizable awards are stock recognition awards that can have some aspect of their design modified to make it unique to the organization that is commissioning the award. For example, a customizable award may employ a stock figurine holding an object, and the object can be custom-created in an image unique to that client (a logo, for example). Another example would be a set of stock hands holding a three dimensional sculpture object that is specific to the organization, Some of “customizable” awards that we offer are The BennyEnvision, Gratitude, and In Our Hands.

Truly custom awards are recognition awards that are created from the ground up based on a new award design. These may be sculpted, fabricated, glass-blown, etc., but the key point is that the entire award is based on a custom design that is unique from any other award. Some of the custom awards we have been created can be found in our Custom Award Gallery.

Which path is best for any given customer depends on a number of variables, including objectives, timeline, and budget. We pride ourselves on our ability to work with customers to help determine which custom award is best for them!