2023 AA Awards: The projects behind the prizes

McCullough Creative took home impressive hardware at this year’s Addys. Here’s a closer look at our winning work.

Like a kid on a sugar high, the crew at McCullough Creative is still riding the wave of excitement that came with the American Advertising Federation® Awards.


The AA Awards provide an annual opportunity to soak in some of the region’s top-tier creativity. This year’s event had a little extra flavor thanks to its theme of Willy Wonka , a film revered for its quirky characters and outside-the-box approach. It was an appropriate tone-setter for an evening celebrating local work that took chances and pushed boundaries.


We were proud to take home a total of nine awards for seven different projects at the February 23 event, including the “Best of Show” honor.


Don’t get us wrong: The awards themselves are pretty cool. But our greatest source of pride is the dedication and creativity that led to this hardware—and the knowledge that our clients truly benefited from this creative work.


With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the projects that earned prizes at the 2023 AA Awards.


Logo Design

Dubuque County Library District Logo

Dubuque Country Library District

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Hoping to convey its modern mindset and versatile offerings, the Dubuque County Library District was seeking a dynamic new logo. With a mix of both sharp and rounded corners, this logomark was simultaneously bold and welcoming. Its simple-yet-impactful style aided readability, no matter the scale. And its defining feature—an off-color square rotated 45 degrees and displayed prominently in the negative space—defied visual expectation and built intrigue.


Integrated Brand Campaigns // Integrated Brand Identity - Local or Regional/National

Dubuque Country Library District Rebranding

Dubuque County Library District


Eager to share its breadth of services and ongoing evolution, the Dubuque Country Library District embarked on a comprehensive rebranding effort that included everything from a new website to a fresh logo. We helped the organization make this vision a reality, with a new logo, revamped website, and a variety of fresh marketing tools, including everything from library cards to signage. These collective efforts helped the DCLD pivot toward the future, highlighting its progressive approach and enlightening the communities it serves.


Logo Design

Capra Bank Logo

Capra Bank

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A new financial institution committed to an elevated banking experience needed a logo that reflected its values and conveyed its mission. This design mixed a traditional approach with contemporary freshness. With the Capra ibex posed atop a mountain, the logo conveys strength, vision, leadership, and pride.


Integrated Brand Campaigns // Integrated Brand Identity - Local or Regional/National

Capra Bank Marketing Materials

Capra Bank


To create brand exposure and convey what Capra stands for, the bank needed a variety of marketing materials that left a lasting impression on its intended audience. This multifaceted marketing approach included everything from billboards and stationery to credit card designs and direct-mail pieces. We also helped Capra establish a well-rounded web presence, which communicated the bank’s brand essence in a way that was modern, compelling, and cohesive.


Ambient Media/Single Installation

Capra Bank Office Space Desk

Capra Bank


Capra Bank needed a vibrant, dynamic space that advanced the brand and conveyed the essence of the company. The Capra office space played off the logo and included the mountainous, rocky imagery that helped bring the brand to life. To achieve this, we utilized a variety of different materials that worked in unison to create a distinctive and exciting atmosphere—and one that blends in naturally with the historic warehouse district in which the bank is located.


Collateral/ Editorial Spread or Feature Design

The Dirt Spring 2023 Spread

John Deere Construction & Forestry

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This spread tells the captivating story of how Hurricane Ian devastated Florida's Sanibel Island—and more importantly, how a determined community came together to rebuild. This narrative is vividly illustrated with thoughtful design and layout, starting with an introductory spread that pictures the post-hurricane devastation and the picturesque beauty of the island in better days. Images of waves and streak effects are utilized through the feature, emphasizing the powerful forces that created such profound damage on the island.


Audio/Video Sales Presentation

American Pavement Specialists Feature Video

John Deere Construction & Forestry

American Pavement Specialists is a unique company that offers the best of both words: a grittiness that helps it plow through the daily grind as well as a progressive, forward-thinking mindset that has encouraged the contractor to embrace unique marketing and social media campaigns. This video captured the essence of what American Pavement is all about, highlighting how its approach is pushing the industry forward and the ways John Deere machines and support help make that possible.