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Awards & Trophy Design Trends To Watch Out For

Hello and welcome to the conversation with Awards & More from Engrave. We’re happy to report that 2017 was a breakthrough year for us. We worked on twice the number of projects in 2017 than in 2016. We designed, prototyped, and manufactured more than 100 awards every day of the year. In all, in under two years, we have created awards and trophies for over 200 companies.

This varied experience has given us many an insight into the world of designing and manufacturing awards. We think they may prove useful to you. The next time you are wondering what might be the most motivating, interesting, unique, standout, and, memorable award or trophy to hand out at you next event, this brief guide to what’s in and what’s not when it comes to awards can help you make right choice.

Trophies in newer form factors

1. Out-of-the-cup Thinking

Traditional paper certificates and cup-shaped trophies are now seen as passé. Not a single client of ours employs them in their rewards and recognition program. And we couldn't be happier. Fact is, most certificates are consigned to drawers and spaces we hardly ever go back to. Nobody cares much for them anymore. In fact, every client we now meet wants to do something unique. In other words, fresh concepts, themes, designs, forms, shapes, materials, and ideas are elements of a trend for the out of the usual thinking that is here to stay.

Creative Recognition Awards

2. Hygge at Work

Pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish concept cannot be expressed as one single word. It encompasses a feeling of coziness, contentment, and well-being one gets from the simple pleasures of life. This trend also points to the fact that employee appreciation and recognition programs are now a continuous affair; and not an annual event. Forward-thinking organizations choose to celebrate their employees and associates for smaller milestones by giving out Spot Awards. This has resulted in the resurgence of items such as badges, stickers, medals, coins, and budget mementos. All of which leads to an overall feeling of “hoo-ga” in the ranks.

3D Printed Trophies

3. Think 3D

The day of slapping a bunch of flat graphics and designs on different surfaces to put together an award are gone for good.  Catalyzed by 3-D printers and CNC Routers, the possibilities in award designs are now limited only by one's imagination. Increasingly, clients today look to us to come up with ideas that use the power of 3D.

Microphone-themed Trophy

4. Theme-ification

“Hey, can we make a microphone-shaped award for speakers at the event?” “Hey, can we do a Japan-themed award for our sales summit in Tokyo?” “Hey, can we do an integrity-themed award using Gandhi's spectacles?” “Hey, can we make a milestone-shaped award?” Hey, these are just some of the requests we've gone the extra mile to fulfill in 2017. Clearly, it looks like the theme of the season for awards is to create something thematic.

Personalised Plaque

5. Personalization

Personalization never goes out of style. But it pays to remember that always. This year, thanks to affordable laser engravers and flatbed printers entering the market, it has become possible to personalize in a host of ways every single award that is handed out at far from prohibitive costs.

Laser Cutter

6. Laser-able Materials

When you want to do something different in double quick time, you have to innovate. Often this leads to the use of materials such as acrylic and veneer that are available in a variety of colors and are also easy to fabricate with the use of little more than desktop laser cutters.

Interactive Souvenir

7. Interactivity

Can an award or a trophy be interactive? Yes, it can. Earlier this year, for example, we worked with Asian Paints to create awards that contained a miniature rotating paint can powered by a motor. We also had an LED illuminated plaque as part of it. Then we worked with Kotak Mahindra Bank on a souvenir with a battery-powered light-sensor that triggered off the national anthem every time the box was opened! In fact, with augmented reality now becoming more usable, we are already pitching AR-enabled awards that can be paired with a mobile app in order to create something truly unprecedented.

LinkedIn Goodie Box


Not so long ago, most clients would choose to save on packaging costs. As a consequence, we would ship the majority of our individual awards in standard corrugated boxes. This year, however, a staggering 65% (up from 38%) of our orders have gone out in customized packages. Evidently, great presentation is now part and parcel of a prestigious award.

The Way Forward

If you’re looking for a partner that can create classy, contemporary, and unique (and more) for you, awards that are a class apart and will be cherished for years to come, awards that capitalise on current trends or even create one the world will follow, do reach out to us. You can be sure it will be a rewarding experience.

1 comment

  • Hello admin, You always provide key takeaways and summaries.

    Chauncey Whitely

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