A newsmaker is someone who has set an example for society by being a groundbreaker, a thought leader or made a difference through philanthropic or humanitarian endeavors. Malayala Manorama TV celebrates this achievement by presenting the recipient with a trophy that honors their achievement. We were tasked with creating a trophy that embodied what it meant to be a ‘Newsmaker’.
The final trophy is a delicate and organic abstraction of a candle flame, representing a guiding light. It uses aircraft-grade aluminum, high-tech ceramic, and laser etching for its construction. The design is influenced by the simple yet luminous nature of a flame while also symbolizing the triangular ‘three-pointed’ Manorama News logo. It celebrates the ‘Newsmaker’ as a ‘beacon of light’, someone who inspires a bright future for all.
The trophy is packed in a precise, handmade, solid wood container in order to protect it during transport. Inside the box, the trophy lies snugly cocooned by laser-cut high-density foam. As part of the unboxing experience, a visual graphic of the trophy has been laser-etched onto the sliding cover foreshadowing what lies inside. Once the cover is slid open, the recipient is greeted with a certificate that explains the design, manufacturing, and materials. When the certificate is removed the trophy is finally revealed glistening in the center of its enclosure.
The Newsmaker Trophy is not only unique in design, but in material and construction as well. It consists of three centrally aligned parts that are joined together to form the overall structure. Precise CAD models were built to create 3D printed ABS positives, that were used as a master for the final moulds. The innermost part is CNC machined from a single block of aluminium and polished. The graphical elements are then laser etched onto the front surface. The bottom has nine holes drilled into it to help the aluminium adhere to the ceramic using a specific high strength epoxy. The two larger parts are made from high purity alumina ceramic which is derived from aluminium oxide. This is synthesised from multiple minerals including corundum. This unique material is also found in rubies and sapphires. The trophy is created by slip casting liquid alumina, followed by sintering at very high temperatures. The result is an extremely tough ceramic with a brilliant white finish. Alumina is next to diamond in hardness and has very high abrasion resistance. Some other products that use this unique material are ballistics in bulletproof vests, biomedical products and high voltage fuses.
In order to design a meaningful trophy, one that symbolized an achievement worthy of a newsmaker, we used the concept of light to inspire various forms. The concept of light connects the medium of television, news cameras, and also represents a guiding path. The light emitted by fire, lamps, and torches typically mark an auspicious moment in Indian culture. Based on this we explored various design directions such as a candle, one of the simplest sources of light, and a torch or lamp which is an auspicious symbol of light.