The actual statuette weighs in at 6 lbs. and had a long journey to Los Angeles

By Kate Hogan
Updated December 18, 2014 08:35 PM

So we know who is going to the PEOPLE Magazine Awards on Thursday night – but what exactly are the winners getting?

Turns out it’s one very sleek new statuette.

The PEOPLE Magazine Award was born in Connecticut by Jerry Kuyper of Jerry Kuyper Partners.

“We were selected to design the award, never having designed an award before,” he tells PEOPLE. “Dick Clark Productions was interested in having a fresh approach to the award design and selected us based on the creativity shown with our brand identity design and sculpture.”

The criteria were pretty simple: Make an award that was “fun not serious,” “edgy not traditional,” “distinctive and memorable,” “enduring,” “photogenic,” “easy to hold and display in a trophy case.” Easy, right? (We kid.)

The end result was – drumroll, please – an exclamation point. As Kuyper explained in a presentation, it brings energy! Excitement! Attention! Pow! And so Thursday night’s winners will be putting said exclamation points on their already amazing years.

But before the award made it to Los Angeles, it made a stop in Chicago, where Joseph Petree at R.S. Owens & Co. created the physical statuette itself. Part of the award is clear – lucite, for strength (and less fingerprints!) – and the rest, etched with the PEOPLE logo and the winner’s name and accolade, is heavy metal.

In fact, the award’s weight is what was debated the most.

“As people held the award, some felt it was too heavy, others felt the weight offered a feeling of importance and value,” Kuyper says. But “having a certain gravitas prevailed,” so the final PEOPLE Magazine Award weighs in at a healthy 6 lbs. – about 2 lbs. lighter than an Oscar. Not only will it signify good work, but it will also give its recipients a good workout.