Academic Achievement Award Ideas: 5 Quick and Easy Suggestions for Distinctive Awards

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By David Parry

Where can you find distinctive elements for your academic awards? We have been designing Lucite awards for over thirty years, and would be happy to prepare designs—free of charge—specific to your college or university, or event. Here are some initial ideas you might consider:

Columbia Business School, Custom Lucite Recognition Award, Academic achievement award

1. School Colors

Your school colors provide a ready-made source for a distinctive design element. The student and faculty awards given by the Columbia School of Business shown here are great examples of this technique. The Lucite designs are relatively simple; but what gives the pieces an extra measure of cachet is the use of “Columbia Blue”.

One of the advantages of Lucite is it that allows accurate PMS matching, so that your school colors can be reproduced faithfully.

Brown University academic award, Lucite Recognition Award, custom Lucite award

2. Campus Landmarks

The Van Wickle gates are closely associated with Brown University, and have special resonance with alumni, donors, and other members of the university community. One of the virtues of Lucite is that it enables you to feature photographs in an award or recognition gift, as in the Brown commemorative piece shown here.

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Columbia University Business School Lucite Award

3. Distinctive Shapes

The versatility of Lucite opens up a number of design options based on shape. Shape provided the distinctive touch for the Ecademy Awards—given by the Eugene Lang Entrepreneur Center at Columbia Business School to honor entrepreneurship. Here again, the design (shown here) dovetailed perfectly with the signature character of the event and award.

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University of California Davis Lucite alumni award, academic achievement award, Custom Lucite academic award

4. School Seal/Insignia

Another often neglected source of award desgins is the school seal or insignia. The laser etching technique employed in many Lucite designs is ideal for capturing the school symbol in a simple though elegant way. The University of California, Davis alumni award shown here is a great example. Laser-etched on the back of the piece is the seal of the University’s Alumni Association.

5. School Mascot

School mascots are an obvious source of ideas for distinctive awards. The challenge is incorporating the mascot into an award without the result looking garish or undignified. The design we prepared for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s annual “Scrappy” student-athlete awards (shown bottom left) provide a great example of that balance being struck: a creative, memorable piece that still looks both customized and substantial. The pieces were a perfect accompaniment to the University’s signature awards program.

The Gridiron Club Award, a student-athlete award presented by Boston College (shown bottom right), also makes good use of the school’s mascot. The Lucite award highlights the eagle through both a laser-etch on the back of the piece, and in color, through artwork suspended within the piece.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Lucite Mascot Athletic Award

Boston College Student Athlete Lucite Award

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David Parry is the Director of Digital Strategy & Content at Scholarly Awards, a company that designs and manufactures academic awards ranging from out of the box designs to fully customized lucite awards.

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