Out of more than 1,200 submissions from 33 countries, Blacksburg Transit’s  bus wrap, designed for First & Main Shopping Center, by Pamplin Reinventing Social Media (PRISM,) has won a gold award in the 2016 Muse Creative Awards competition. The winning work was created by Molly Marshall of PRISM.

My motivation behind the design was to convey First & Main’s high-quality, modern, and practical characteristics.

The First & Main bus wrap design process spanned over four months and was led by Pamplin Reinventing Social Media (PRISM,) which is the official social media partner of First & Main. PRISM is an interdisciplinary student organization that serves as the in-house advertising, marketing, and social media agency for the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business. Partnered with the Virginia Tech School of Visual Arts, PRISM is able to provide support for Pamplin in all aspects regarding design, videography, marketing, event planning, social media, copy, and analytics.

As PRISM has expanded from its inception to present day the organization has grown to accommodate not just Pamplin, but additional clients outside of Virginia Tech, in the local Blacksburg community and beyond. This innovative organization allows students to work on real, impactful projects for clients such as First & Main.

Molly Marshall, a recent graduate, led the team and gained critiques and insights from the clients, as well as creative directors from all over the country to ensure success.

The design exhibits uniqueness and contemporary flair. These features differ greatly from other buses in circulation around the college town. The sleek, black color contrasts with the yellow geometrical design that gives the effect of a gold shimmer when in motion. The images used on the bus are divided into four sections that exemplify the “Eat. Drink. Shop. Play.” motto of the First & Main shopping center.

The Muse Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals who inspire through concept, writing or design, whether through traditional or electronic media.

“We wish to recognize the singular achievements of small and medium-sized firms, and the creative professionals who represent the heart and soul of the global marketing communications industry,” said Kenjo Ong, co-managing director for the Muse Creative Awards. “They follow the spark of an inner muse, lighting the path to success with deep knowledge and shining originality.”

Muse Creative Awards is administered and judged by International Awards Association (IAA) and a carefully selected panel of internationally-recognized creative professionals. The association oversees awards and recognition, provides judges, and sets competition standards for excellence.

This year’s panel of international judges included:


  • Fabiano Sanroma, CEO, Menttoo – Brazil
  • Michael Saravia, Brand & Digital Strategist, elGrafiko – Canada
  • Masanori Eto, Creative Director, ADBRAIN Inc. – Japan
  • WenJun Zhou, Founder & Design Director, 524 Studio – China
  • Marshall Lorenzo, Creative Director – Canada
  • Alex Tan, Creative Director, Nokua Design – Malaysia
  • Dan May, Associate Professor of Art and Design, University of Nebraska- Kearney – United States
  • Donald Samson, Creative Director, Cartier Communication Marketing – Canada
  • Deepti Kshirsagar, Founder, WOW Design Pvt. Ltd. – India
  • Leonardo Zakour, CEO & Interaction Designer, BONS – Germany
  • Shangning Wang, Freelance Designer, Business Owner – United States
  • Joe Hui, Project Manager – Malaysia
  • Jong Jik Kim, Lighting TD / Senior 3D Designer, Blue Sky Studios – 20th Century Fox – United States
  • 20+ marketing, advertising, communication, web, public relations, and free-lance professionals.


Entries in 128 categories were rated according to rigorous standards. During blind judging, the panelists worked to identify the most innovative and creative concepts, the strongest executions, and the highest quality in messaging. Winners were selected in a broad scope of categories, from broadcast and print to social media and emerging platforms.

“Winning a Muse Creative Award is a significant career accomplishment for the recipients,” Ong said. “With vetted panelists, tough criteria, blind judging processes, and strict bylaws limiting winners, only the best entries received recognition. The creative work this year was truly outstanding and inspiring.”