Cresta Awards, rebooted by a new team

Branding, Creativity, Festivals & Awards

After 26 years as one of the most respected international creative awards, Cresta has been given a complete makeover designed to align it with the current, fast changing creative landscape. Following last year’s awards, Cresta founder Nancy Ross retired and brought in a new team to take the highly regarded annual event into the modern era.

Lewis Blackwell, the new CEO, was previously SVP and Creative Director at Getty Images and before that editor and publisher of Creative Review. Alan Page, the new President, is a multi award-winning creative director with extensive digital experience.

The result is a complete revamp of both the look and the substance of the awards.

Lewis Blackwell:

Cresta has a unique judging system that is one of the fairest tests of creative work in the entire awards calendar. And we will be retaining and reinforcing that system. But other aspects needed updating and redefining to make Cresta even more relevant and rewarding for today’s creatives and their agencies.

A new website has been launched (, categories have been updated, additional high level jury members are already coming on board (Pol Hoenderboom, VP Creative Director, BBDO Worldwide is first up) and the new entry system claims to be ‘state-of-the-art’. But perhaps what most immediately sets the new Cresta apart from its competitors is its belief that “to judge the very best creative work, you have to be the very best creatively yourself.”

As part of its commitment to this, the team brought in award-winning designer Fernando Gutierrez (his work includes identities for The Design Museum, London and Museo del Prado, Madrid) to update the look. And Thought Bubble/Awards Engine ( the people behind numerous major awards entry systems) to rebuild Cresta online.

“ We took cutting edge fashion brands such as Acne and Comme de Garcon and content brands such as Kinfolk and Cereal as our inspiration”, said Page, “ our aim was to separate Cresta from other awards by adopting a more creative aesthetic and a strong, contemporary feel.”

This departure from the conventional creative awards approach is evident in all aspects of Cresta.

There will be no “lavish ceremonies” or “jury jaunts” as the new team characterize some established conventions in the awards industry. Instead they plan to work with partners to present a series of “high level, focused events around the world”.

These events will include Cresta Futures, a year-round global initiative to inspire, involve and inform the next generation of creatives.

“The future of Cresta is inextricably linked to the future talents, skills and abilities of a new generation of creatives” commented Blackwell “ and we want Cresta be at the forefront of making sure industry, government and today’s leading agencies are fully involved in developing and valuing that next generation.`’

2019 Cresta Awards opens for entries on February 1st.