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The RED Awards factor

Run by the Retail Interiors Association, the Red Awards is New Zealand’s premier retail design and shopfitters’ awards. Auckland retail design studio Material Creative shares how its participation in the awards is boosting business.

May 3, 2018 | News

Material Creative was the supreme winner of the Red Awards 2017 for its work on Birkenhead’s Junction Eatery, which stood out to judges for its “beautifully-described and visualized concept”. It was designed by Material Creative and completed by shopfitter Alan Jones.

The joinery and detailing at Junction Eatery also impressed the judging panel, who overall felt the café and restaurant’s interior was a stand-out design in every aspect: “It doesn’t try too hard to impress, it just does, and has its own confident language that is understated with accents of ‘Wow’ by using natural light, shape and flow.”

Business partners Liv Patience and Toni Brandso enter Material Creative in the Red Awards each year as part of a regular schedule of awards entries.

They don’t advertise as their wins let Material Creative’s work speak for itself, says Patience: “The Red Awards are essentially our marketing.” ​

Brandso says Material Creative’s 2016 supreme award win for Hayes Common Eatery in Hamilton helped enable the studio to secure a “gamechanging” new project, the 193-room Naumi Hotel. The Singaporebased client approached Material Creative after Googling ‘award-winning New Zealand designers’. 

“Instead of putting our money into marketing, we put our money into awards because it has a bigger spread,” says Brandso. 

Material Creative has been successfully entering design awards for years, and has developed a winning strategy for entries. Patience says hiring a great photographer to show off the space to its best advantage is worth the investment, and styling it prior to the photoshoot is key as well. 

(From left) Material Creative team, Liv Patience, Toni Brandso,  Liv McFarlane

“We want to put our best foot forward,” says Patience. The Material Creative team recommends including a montage of close-ups showcasing the project’s smaller details as well as sweeping shots to better meet the briefing criteria. 

“We’re here to represent Material Creative and that’s what we’re about, those little details,” Patience says. 

Articulating Material Creative’s identity as part of awards entries has been a useful brand-building discipline, says Brandso. 

She says the studio’s wins have boosted the team’s self-belief, giving them the confidence to back themselves  on ever more ambitious projects.

Would you like to have your work recognised and take your brand to the next level? The Red Awards is the only award that recognises the whole team involved with a project, from designers to shopfitters. Entries open May 16th 2018.

Keen to become a member? Joining and membership information here!

For information and entry form visit

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