Raising the Awards Bar with Memorable Design Choices

More and more, companies are realizing just how big the possibilities are when it comes to awards and recognition. Gone are the days where the only options were a simple plaque or a foil-stamped certificate. Today’s business awards are colorful, beautifully designed, and as varied as the accomplishments they celebrate.

Whether you’re just launching your organization’s recognition program or looking to spruce up an existing program, these award trends can help you truly show your employees how much you appreciate all their hard work and successes.

The Benefits of Recognition

Study after study has made one thing clear: recognition programs can make a big difference when it comes to the employee experience.

A robust recognition program is a clear, concrete way of showing how your organization values its employees and their contributions to the overall success of the company.

Types of Recognition

Broadly speaking, recognition can be “personal” or can come in the form of a physical award or gift. Personal recognition is the less tangible of the two. It typically takes the form of public acknowledgement and celebration of a milestone or achievement; this might include public-facing articles or social media posts, internal newsletters, notices shared in the office, and so on. The only physical component to this type of recognition might be something pretty small, like a certificate.

On the other hand, many companies prefer to center their recognition programs on more physical items, whether that’s branded recognition “gifts” or creative physical awards. For some moments, a piece of branded merchandise might be more appropriate – you wouldn’t give someone an “award” simply because it’s the holidays or because their team just finished a really challenging project.

In other cases, though, a true “award” feels right. For many people, the idea of receiving an award conjures up the image of a heavy, engraved plaque, or perhaps it brings up awkward memories of cheesy plastic trophies presented for school achievements. Today’s promotional product and award designs are so much more creative and eye-catching than those traditional ideas you’re used to. Companies looking to really personalize their awards and recognitions gifts have more options than ever, and that extra creativity can help underline the message of the gift: an expression of personalized, genuine appreciation.

Trends in Awards for 2023

If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help! Our promotional product experts are happy to share some of the hottest trends in awards right now. Customizable and creative, these awards are sure to make employees feel truly special and honored.

Custom Shape Full Flood Magnetic Boards: Do you remember the fun of filling up an “achievement board” when you were a kid? These creative awards recapture that colorful, game-like sense of accomplishment. A customizable magnetic board serves as backdrop to magnetic badges, which can highlight anything from “employee of the month” or “best customer service” achievements to fun shout-outs for solving a tough problem or bringing the office’s best snacks.

Eco-Geo Awards: Sustainably made from wood, steel, and aluminum, these geometric awards feature magnetic plates that can be customized to highlight core values, achievements, and more. A striking design paired with an environmentally-conscious product is sure to have a positive impact.

Acrylic Numerals: Want to highlight a specific milestone achievement? Consider an award that incorporates the number itself into the design. These sleek, acrylic numerals can feature your unique design and text, celebrating anything from a work anniversary to a sales milestone and much more.

Customizable Cubes: Start with a literal building block – a steel cube in a variety of colors – then make it your own with your logo and with customizable, magnetic attachments. Highlight years, achievements, holidays, and more to create a desk-friendly award that truly speaks to the uniqueness of each individual.

Rectangular Walnut Awards: Take a basic, rectangular, wood award and turn it into something eye-popping and special. These awards combine the solid, classic feel of wood awards with the vibrant, full-color customizations of acrylic nameplates, with truly limitless design possibilities.

Optical Crystal: Celebrate the “spark” of creativity with optical crystal awards in the shape of a geometric flame. These transparent, etched awards are sleek and modern, with just the right eye-catching details to stand out from the crowd.

Stylized Chrome: An “Argent Star” award almost brings a modern art sensibility to an award, with more of a fluid design for your “superstars.” The stylized figure stands tall, while your message of recognition is clearly inscribed on a sleek black base for maximum impact.

When to Order Awards

Recognition can happen at any time, but for many companies, the end of the year is the season for awards and highlighting achievements from the past twelve months. That’s why it’s a good idea to be thinking ahead by early fall! You can talk to experienced promotional product and design experts, like the Priority team, to figure out your award needs and the best timeline to get everything done with plenty of time to spare.

That way, as the year comes to an end, the hard work will be done, and you can focus on what matters most: celebrating your team in the best way you can!

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