For the second year in a row, I attended the National Design Awards Gala. This year, I was lucky enough to be accompanied by my two dear friends Susan Avarde and Justin Stanwix.

The Awards honor excellence, innovation, and the enhancement of the quality of life, and the evening benefits NYC’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum. All the nominees and winners were just fab. Among my favorites: Lunar’s San Francisco Earthquake Preparedness Kits, Aaron Koblin’s innovative takes on data visualization, and Office’s AIGA Get Out the Vote campaign. The evening proved how well creative minds can develop artful products and messaging that recognize the consumer’s needs, including the need for clarity and beauty.