Liz Reitman

5 min | The reit Way

Small Business, Big Awards

Before 2004, only agencies with over $10 million in revenue gained industry recognition for their work. Think Pentagram, BBDO, Havas… you name it. Big budgets, big awards. 

Starting my business out of the gates at 24, I never imagined my small shop could win big awards. In the grand scheme of things, it was only a few years ago when industry awards began acknowledging small businesses. Industry vets like PRINT and HOW began opening up their awards to businesses under the behemoth revenue threshold, and awards companies like Davey Awards, Summit International Awards, and Webby Awards started cropping up to support small business wins. 

Since that point, REIT has won over 100 awards to date! We shot our shot — multiple times — and struck hot throughout the years. And it feels good!

Most recently REIT captured Davey Awards titles for Website Design, with our client Collegiate Retail Consulting Group, and Branding/Signage for our tradeshow work with The New International Auto Show. We also received second place in Branding for our founder’s newest venture, Other Parents Like Me

These are just a couple examples that showcase the range of clients REIT works with, and gives you just a glimpse at the variety of projects we get to create here at the studio. And we’ve got more up our sleeves! 

As we ring in the new year, we’re taking time to celebrate our wins. Take a stroll back in time with us to see some of the memorable awards we won not just for ourselves, but in recognition of our innovative clients as well.

Barnes & Noble College

Business to Business Campaign, Barnes & Noble Annual Meeting, 2015
The Davey Awards — GOLD

REIT worked with Barnes & Noble College Division for over 12 years, providing strategy, creative direction and execution for their annual, week-long conference, where over 1000 managers from across the country celebrated the past year’s accomplishments and provided inspiration for the year ahead. In 2015, we created an immersive approach around the theme “INSPIRE,” delivering punchy signage, interactive design elements for attendees, and an awards ceremony honoring recipients by years of service. REIT took home The Davey Awards GOLD for our event work!

Reit Holiday Package

“Stir. Sip. Sigh. Repeat.” Self-Promotional Package, 2013
The Davey Awards — GOLD

During the 2013 holiday season, REIT created a year-end holiday gift that brought “comfort & joy” to our clients, with a REIT design twist! Using a mixture of photo-realism and our own whimsical hand-drawn illustrations, we crafted a box containing EVERYTHING needed to whip up a delicious mug of hot chocolate, delighting the minds and bellies of all ages. Included: 1 branded ceramic mug, 4 reusable jars of “Mix-Ins,” 5 interlocking cases of spices, and an interactive “Cocoa Contraption” offering 8 assorted recipes from 4 categories: Classic, Sweet, Spicy & Zesty. Perhaps our most successful holiday promo ever! Several recipients went out of their way to thank us, even posting photos on social media and tagging #reitdesign. REIT took home The Davey Awards GOLD for our packaging design!


“The Y Effect” Campaign Annual Report (Digital and Print), 2015
The Davey Awards — GOLD

REIT was tasked with creating the YMCA’s 2015 Annual Report and bringing “The Y Effect” campaign to life across digital and print assets. “The Y Effect” campaign went above and beyond the YMCA’s traditional associations with health and fitness, highlighting the Y’s impact on New York’s economy, health, children and the city itself. In both the print and website versions of the Annual Report, each facet of the “Y Effect” came to life through brief, engaging first-person narratives of individuals who benefited from their Y experience. REIT enhanced the printed Annual Report design with eye-catching icons and infographics and then carried this energy over to the website. From the very first click, the site grabs your attention with a host of interactive features from riveting videos and an image gallery, to a clickable map showing the Y leadership in those locations. It all adds up to a user experience worthy of the Y and its mission. REIT took home The Davey Awards GOLD for our digital footprint!