FITC Awards: How I Would Vote If I Were A Judge

Posted on April 11, 2014

It’s that time of the year again and FITC Toronto is just around the corner. The finalists for this year’s awards have been announced and to my amazement my website was short listed for ‘Best Canadian Designer Website’. It’s a complete honour to be recognized for the hard work that I have put into this past year. When looking at all the nominees for each award, I find myself in amazing and well deserving company.  This year’s judges are faced with the hard task of picking the winners from a great pool of talent.

It wasn’t too long ago that I read an article by Daniel Mall giving his take on how he would be voting for the Net Awards. That article has inspired me to write this one. Unlike Daniel, where he is a judge at the Net Awards, I’m not a judge for this year’s FITC Awards. However, I thought it would be a cool idea to go through all the projects and award one in each category a fictional vote.

Although I’m only picking one of the three finalists in each category I must say I was thoroughly impressed with every single submission. Everyone nominated for an award is well deserving of it and there really is no right or wrong choice in any of the categories.

So let’s begin…

(MT) Innovation Award

The nominees: Enjoy Your Privacy + Just a Reflektor + Remote Control Tourist
If the judges vote anything like me then the he first ever (MT) Innovation Award will go to ‘Remote Control Tourist’. I’m voting for this project because the people at Clemenger BBDO really did something innovative with this project. The idea behind ‘Remote Control Tourist’ is original and fresh and the end result is an outstanding story captured in short video highlights.

Advertisement (Web)

The nominees: Burberry Kisses: A Google Art, Copy & Code Project + Life Size Messi + Old Spice Internetervention
‘Old Spice Internetervention’ is getting my vote here. When this campaign came out it quickly picked up traction, I had many friends trying to prank me with these online mini-sites. Following in the footsteps of all the Old Spice campaigns we love, this was clever and had people laughing.

Best Canadian Designer Website

The nominees: Jarmslam + Lee Gargano + Trevor Henry
As I mentioned above, I have been nominated for this category therefore I’m going to pass on casting a vote here.

Best Canadian Developer Website

The nominees: My Space + My/Static/Self + The Portfolio of Chris Anderson
My vote in this category goes to My/Static/Self. John Iacoviello does a great job showcasing his skills with the website itself. I think that’s something people often overlook. Your website is just another portfolio piece and I love how his work comes together in something that I think is unique among developer portfolios.

Best Canadian Student Website

The nominees:  Canadian Student Portfolio Web Site + Dan Nanasi Portfolio + Michelle Lee Portfolio
After reviewing all three of these websites, I need to say that I’m thoroughly impressed that they belong to students! It’s good to know such amazing talent is coming out of school these days. I’m going to give the nod to Michelle Lee’s Portfolio though. Michelle’s portfolio is very well put together and I’m a huge fan of simplicity and clean designs.

Best Visual Design

The nominees: Heart of the Arctic + Hollow: An Interactive Documentary + The Rolex Daytona Experience
My vote for Best Visual Design goes to Heart of the Arctic. This interactive educational scavenger hunt is set in an outstanding graphical environment. Everything from the controls to the creatures are visually pleasing and designed in a friendly style.

Canadian Studio Website

The nominees: Pure Vision Creative Group Website + Studio Function Website + Why Interactive
I am really impressed with Why Interactive’s approach to an agency website. It really breaks the mould from your typical agency website and does something daring, like actually having content scroll horizontally! Could this be the new trend for agency websites? Can we say goodbye to the one-pager? They get my vote here.

Digital Installation

The nominees: Artism + Star Canvas + The Portals at LAX
This was a very tough decision as all three installations were really impressive but I’m going to have to give my vote to Star Canvas. I like that Star Canvas allows for a high level of interaction from the user and that the user can be anyone. From the physical setup of the installation to the many components that enhance it, I think this project deserves the win in this category.


The nominees: Patatap + The Flutenizer + The Last Hunt
For the Experimental category, I feel I need to know more about the technology and development behind the projects in order to give a fair vote. For that reason, I will have to pass on casting a vote in this category.


The nominees: Data Cloud + Passion Genome + Star Canvas
In this category I’m giving my vote to Data Cloud. Data Cloud connects real world information with a form of art that is constantly updating and changing. I’m giving Data Cloud my vote because it’s purposeful and visually it is really beautiful.

Mobile App

The nominees: Appseed + Concerto Timer + Da Vinci’s Demons: The Apprentice
All three nominees are very different from each other but as a designer, Appseed appeals to me the most. That is why I’m giving my fictional vote to Appseed. The app itself is extremely interesting and the concept behind speeding up the creative process is intriguing. I’m not so sure they are “speeding up” the creative process as much as they are enhancing it. Very cool work from these guys.

Motion Graphics/Animation

The nominees: Carry Me Interactive Music Video + Patatap + Toyota Corolla Touch Drive
The Toyota Corolla Touch Drive project does an excellent job using motion graphics for a real-world marketing campaign. I’m a big fan of practicality and because the owners of this project did an excellent job giving their idea and motion graphics a practical use I’m going to give my vote to them.


The nominees: Enjoy Your Privacy + Hollow: An Interactive Documentary + The Last Hunt
My vote for this award goes to Hollow: An Interactive Documentary. I believe the group behind this project did an excellent job telling their story in an entertaining way. Typically I’m not a fan of websites that mess with the speed of my scrolling but I understand why it was done in this scenario.

Self Promotion

The nominees: Resolutions You Can Keep + The Greatest Job in Advertising +
I really enjoyed the idea behind The Greatest Job in Advertising so the creative minds behind this project get my vote. They were able to turn the hiring process into a simple self-promoting campaign. The challenges were original and poked fun at the everyday tasks most of us in the creative industry have to deal with. This was a great idea and if this project wins, it will be well deserved.

Technical Excellence

The nominees: HelloRun + Just A Reflektor + Life Size Messi
I really enjoy what the team behind HelloRun built, it’s a ton of fun and seems pretty intricate. However, I don’t know enough of what is going on behind the scenes for these three projects to warrant a fair vote. For that reason, I’m going to pass on casting a vote here.

Usability (Web)

The nominees: #Bringithome 2014 Sochi Olympics + Learning Labs Website + Morgans Hotel Group
My vote here goes to the Learning Labs Website. I’m a strong supporter in what these people do and they deserve some recognition for it. I know that doesn’t necessarily warrant an award for usability but their site is very user friendly! When you think usability, you need to automatically check the experience on mobile and they deliver here as well. The site is very well thought out and not many improvements, if any, could be made when it comes to usability.

Web Based Game (Flash/Unity)

The nominees:  Cheetahpult + Grojband – The Show Must Go On! + The Next Step Interactive- Dance Mashup
I’m voting for Cheetahpult in this category. The game is very easy to grasp and while the main objective is clear, there are little bonuses within the game that make it more . It’s simple, and sometimes the simplest of games are great (remember Flappy Bird?).

Web Based Game (HTML/JS Based)

The nominees: HelloRun + + The Heart of The Arctic
I couldn’t award a vote to HelloRun earlier for Technical Excellence but I can vote for them here. In my opinion, they truly do have the best game between the nominees. It’s addicting, looks cool and very easy to play.

It’s been a lot of fun going through all the nominees and seeing what amazing talent is up for an award this year. Choosing who to give these fictional votes to was actually pretty difficult, so the judges have their work cut out for them. We won’t know if the judges feel the same way I do until Monday April 28th, 2014. Regardless of who ends up winning an award that night, everyone should be really proud of their amazing projects. I’m looking forward to another exciting FITC Conference and can’t wait to be inspired to create great things.