Small firm wins big in advertising contest

Baltimore Best in Show ADDY goes to Spur Design for promotional package

April 09, 2004|By Andrea K. Walker | Andrea K. Walker,SUN STAFF

For the second year in a row, a six-person graphics design firm in Hampden beat out some of Baltimore's largest and best-known advertising companies to grab top honors in the ad industry's annual Best of Baltimore ADDY Awards show.

Spur Design won the Best of Show honor for a promotional portfolio it put together for a company called Graphix Info. The portfolio features witty illustrations that describe various hours of the workday, including quitting time and payday. Graphix uses the portfolio to sell potential clients on its graphic skills.

The ADDY Awards are given out annually to recognize innovative advertising campaigns. It was also announced at an industry function last night that four firms - Eisner Communications, GKV Communications, MGH Advertising and Robert Rytter & Associates - will go on to compete for national ADDY awards.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Business section on the annual ADDY awards included several errors. The top award-winner, Spur Design, is 9 years old; its work was for a firm called Graphix Inc. and the ad award for "Television, consumer products, apparel and jewelry" went to Under Armour Inc.
The Sun regrets the errors.

"It is a celebration of creative excellence," said Steve Cline, managing director of the Advertising Association of Baltimore, the agency that sponsors the local competition.

More than 150 awards, including 57 ADDYs, 92 citations of excellence and five public service awards were given out during a ceremony last night at the Hippodrome Theatre. More than 50 companies and freelancers submitted more than 500 pieces of work in the 30th annual contest.

Sallyann Davis, chairwoman of the ADDY Awards, said more smaller companies, such as Spur Design, are starting to win against bigger firms such as Eisner and W.B. Doner & Co., which closed its Baltimore office last year to consolidate operations in Detroit.

"It was always Doner and Eisner running neck and neck doing the big TV spots," Davis said. "Now we're seeing the smaller shops doing more work. They're branching out into more retail and package goods and they're winning."

Spur Design was started last year by husband and wife David Plunkert and Joyce Hesselberth.

Said Plunkert: "I'd rather do a great piece that doesn't make a lot of money than a so-so piece that makes a lot of money."

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