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Feature Friday: 17 New Award-Winning School Websites
Mia Major

Since August, when we brought 10 new award-winning school websites into the spotlight, our design team has brought home another 17 design awards in some of the toughest international competitions. This brings our team's 2017 design award total to 36 (including these 9 from earlier in the year) — very impressive.

17 award-winning website logos

With 17 awards, spanning higher ed, international, and independent schools around the world, I posed a challenging question to the sites' designers: What do all of these websites have in common? Nathan Lyttle, the Senior Designer who designed four of these award-winning sites summarized it perfectly:

"Each of my award-winning sites were some of the most memorable and enjoyable to work on this year. The great thing about these sites is that, rather than emphasizing news and calendars, they focus on marketing the school though photos, video and content that allows for some unique, interesting layouts that help set them apart from the competition."

Let's take a look at this round of award-winning school websites:


The Davey Awards is known as the largest and most prestigious awards competition, with work judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms.

vanguard u homepage


According to our design team, the Vega awards pose some of the toughest competition and are extremely difficult to win. Vega Digital Awards confers worldwide recognition on winners' work.

penn charter homepage screenshot

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2017 W3 AWARDS

The W³ Awards honors creative excellence on the web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning sites, videos and marketing programs. The W3 awards are also judged by the AIVA.


The SIA is the oldest and most prestigious organization that administers an advertising award exclusively for firms with limited billings. Throughout its 24-year history, its Creative Award has established itself as a premier arbiter of creative and communication excellence. Using stringent evaluation criteria and blind judging processes, its competitions reward only those firms whose work exemplifies the best in its class.

2017 MarCom Awards

Since its inception in 2004, MarCom has evolved into one of the largest, most-respected creative competitions in the world. Each year about 6,000 print and digital entries are submitted from dozens of countries.

Sidwell Award

2017 Web Awards

This awards competition is hosted by the Web Marketing Association and boasts judges from companies like Microsoft, American Express, and Warner Bros. Entries are judged on design, creativity, innovation, and copywriting.

Brooks School Homepage

Global Indian International School's design is particularly unique because it is used across multiple campuses, which posed an exciting challenge that led to innovation. Senior Designer Kelly Wilson said:

"One of the biggest challenges in working on the new design for Global Indian International School was knowing that the design would be rolled out to over a dozen unique campus locations. This required a lot of research and time to be spent — before even jumping into design — to identify and pair down the key messaging that the School wanted to communicate."

click here to download a webinar titled, "2018 design trends to watch"


Mia Major

As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia plans and executes a variety of inbound marketing and digital content strategies. As a former TV and news reporter, freelance cinematographer and certified inbound marketer, Mia specialises in helping schools find new ways to share their stories online through web design, social media, copywriting, photography and videography. She is the author of numerous blogs, and Finalsite's popular eBook, The Website Redesign Playbook.

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