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9 Interesting Design Awards from Around the World

In this article, I would like to introduce 9 significant design awards from around the world. Being awarded with one of these is proof that your design is excellent, and will highly influence your advertisements, PR, or branding. As a designer, it is also a great opportunity to demonstrate your skills as well as gain social credibility.

I hope that this article will give you a better understanding of the design awards worldwide, as well as provide you with a source of inspiration through award-winning designs.

iF Design Award (Germany)

The iF Design Award is one of the world’s most prestigious and rigorous design awards. It has been held by German organisation Industrie Forum Design Hannover e.V. since 1953. Approximately 60 design and architecture specialists from over 20 nations gather to select the award-winner, basing their judgements on strictly neutral screening standards. There are two awards; the iF Design Award and the iF Gold Award. The iF Gold Award is given to designs that are especially highly evaluated. Only 1-2% of all contestants are awarded with this prize, meaning these designs will be praised as the best. There are seven categories for entry; Product, Packaging, Communication, Interior Architecture, Professional Concept, Service Design / UX, and Architecture. The “Service Design / UX” category seems to symbolise the expansion of the field of design in recent years. I feel that it is as if design is now globally recognised as something not just about creating a shape or model, but also about creating an experience.

Awards given

  • iF Gold Award (Highest ranking)
  • iF Design Award (Standard prize)

Red Dot Design Award (Germany)

The Red Dot Design Award is reputable worldwide and is among one of the largest and leading design awards in the world. The award was established in 1995 by ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Renamed World Design Organization in 2017) chairman Peter Zec. The event is held at Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany. More than 10,000 entries are sent in annually from more than 50 countries and regions for the three categories; Product Design, Communication Design, and Design Concept. The Design Concept category was established in 2005 and is aimed at new designs that have not yet been released in the market. New products or services awaiting release, as well as innovative ideas and prototypes in its early development stage are evaluated under this category. There is also a special honorary prize awarded to the best design team, the Design Team of the Year title. No contestant can enter specifically for this prize; one winner is chosen every year from all entries. This title is to praise the team’s success in continuously providing innovative designs to the world. For a design team, it is a truly honorable award. Many famous design teams have been awarded this title in the past, such as Apple, Audi, Nokia, and Lenovo. In Japan, only Sony has been awarded with the “Design Team of the Year”.

Awards given

[Product Design category]

  • Red Dot Best of the Best (Top prize)
  • Red Dot (Outstanding prize)
  • Red Dot Honourable Mention
  • Red Dot Design Team of the Year (Team prize)

[Communication Design category]

  • Red Dot Grand Prix (Highest ranking)
  • Red Dot Best of the Best (Top prize)
  • Red Dot (Outstanding prize)
  • Red Dot Junior Prize (Best up-and-coming designer)
  • Red Dot Agency of the Year (Agency prize)
  • Red Dot Brand of the Year (Brand prize)

[Design Concept category]

  • Red Dot Luminary (Highest achievement)
  • Red Dot Best of the Best (Top prize)
  • Red Dot (Outstanding prize)
  • Red Dot Honourable Mention

IDEA Award / International Design Excellence Awards (United States)

The IDEA Award was founded in 1980 by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and is one of the most distinguished design awards in the world. Instead of its full name, it is better known by its abbreviated form, the IDEA Award. This award is renowned internationally and is considered one of the three major design awards in the world, alongside the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award. The award is especially considered the most prestigious for product design. There are 20 categories for entry, ranging from industrial design such as automotive & transportation, to digital design, environmental design, and service design. The adjudication panel includes members from top ranking corporations such as Google, Microsoft, or Nike, as well as prominent design studios, and specialists from each industry. The decisions are made based on strict criteria including innovativeness, UX, and esthetics. Winning designs are kept as part of the collection in the Henry Ford Museum.

Awards given

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze

A’Design Award (Italy)

The A’Design Award is the world’s largest international design competition, held in Italy. There are 100 categories for entry, including furniture design, graphic design, and 3D model design. There are also some unique categories that apply to human resources, such as those that judge design strategy, or the futuristic design category which evaluates prospective products and services. The awards are given in ranking order of Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Iron. There is also the Designer of the Year Award which is given to the highest achieving designer. It is an honourable prize to praise the designer who most influenced the advancement of the design industry. The winner is chosen from designers, creators, architects, innovators, and artists. Moreover, there are the Young Design Pioneer Awards which are awarded to up-and-coming designers. This applies to candidates under the age of 40, and a maximum of three of these awards are given every year.

Awards given

  • Platinum
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze
  • Iron
  • Designer of the Year
  • Young Design Pioneer Awards

Good Design Awards (United States)

The Good Design Awards are known as the oldest design award in the world. It was founded in 1950 by the following leading designers of that generation: curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., acclaimed furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames, industrial designer Russel Wright, another famous furniture designer George Nelson, and renowned architect Eero Saarinen. The awards are held at the The Chicago Athenaeum Museum. In 2009, a new category called the Green Good Design Award was established. This award is given to the design that is sophisticated yet environmentally friendly.

Awards given

  • The Chicago Athenaeum Good Design
  • The Chicago Athenaeum Green Good Design

D&AD Awards (England)

The D&AD Awards were founded by British non-profit organisation D&AD (British Design & Art Direction) in 1962. This award is considered the most prestigious design and advertising award in the creative industry. The awards are also renowned for its extremely strict adjudication, and there are even years when the highest achieving Black Pencil award is not given out. In 2012, a new award called the White Pencil award was established. This award is to recognise those who came up with creative ideas that also impacted a change in society. There are also other awards, including: the D&AD Professional Awards to choose the world’s best photographer, the D&AD New Blood Awards aimed at up-and-coming people in the creative industry under the age of 23, and the Next Director Award which is given to a film director with less than two years of experience with high potential for the future.

Awards given

  • Black Pencil (Highest achievement)
  • Yellow Pencil (Gold)
  • Graphite Pencil (Silver)
  • Wood Pencil (Bronze)
  • White Pencil (Honourable mention)
  • D&AD Professional Awards (Photographers)
  • D&AD New Blood Awards (Youths)
  • Next Director Award (New film directors)


The ELLE DECO INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS were established in 2003, and is a prestigious award also referred to as the Oscars of interior design. Every year, 25 editors of the interior magazine ELLE DECO international network come together to choose the highest achieving work in 13 different categories. The awards are best known as EDIDA and its winners are announced during the largest furniture trade fair in the world, the Milan Furniture Fair. In 2012, Oki Sato of nendo became the youngest person to be awarded the Designer of the Year award. This is an internationally recognised honourable prize that is awarded to the designer who gained the most attention that year.

Awards given



The Pentawards are recognised as the most prestigious award in the world that specialises in packaging design. It was founded in 2007 by designers Jean Jacques Evrard and Brigitte Evrard. The awards ceremony is held in a city chosen amongst Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America. 12 international adjudicators of which include top class designers and packaging design directors of major corporations gather to judge entries from worldwide. There are 5 main categories for entry: Food, Beverage, Body, Other Markets, and Luxury. With 55 subcategories which branch out of these 5, the Pentawards are considered the most extensive awards for packaging design. The Diamond Pentaward, given to the most outstanding work out of all categories, is recognised as an extremely honorary award.
Official website:

Awards given

  • Diamond Pentaward (Most outstanding out of all categories)
  • Platinum Pentaward (Most outstanding of its category)
  • Gold Pentaward (Most outstanding of its subcategory)
  • Silver Pentaward (2 highest achieving works in its subcategory)
  • Bronze Pentaward (2 achieving works in its subcategory)
  • Nominations

Good Design Award (Japan)

The Good Design Award is the most distinguished design awards in Japan, better known as the “G Mark”. Established in 1957, over 44,000 awards have been given out over the years. The Good Design Award is described as below on its official website:

The Good Design Award is a comprehensive design-promotion system that picks good design out of a variety of unfolding phenomena, and aims to enrich our lives, industries, and society as a whole by highlighting and celebrating these works.

Both material and immaterial designs can be submitted. For example, the Japanese idol group AKB48 gained much attention after receiving a Good Design Award for the Entertainment Project Design category. In 2017, travel medium “Sunchi” by Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten Co., Ltd. was awarded the Good Design Special Award [Design of Production Development]. Goodpatch supported the design and development of this project. Other than this, Goodpatch has been awarded with several Good Design Awards for client projects Money Forward, TALKIE, and in-house products Prott and Balto.

Awards given

[Good Design Award] This award commends designs recognized as excellent designs that improve the quality of life, industry, and society among all screened items.

[Special Award] This award commends designs recognized as designs that further develop life, industry, and society as well as inspire the future among all award winning objects.

  • Good Design Grand Award
    This award is presented to the most outstanding design chosen from among all award winning objects of the 2017 Good Design Awards.
  • Good Design Gold Award
    This award is presented to particularly outstanding designs chosen from among all award winning objects of the 2017 Good Design Awards.
  • Good Design Special Award [Design of Production Development]
    This award is presented to particularly outstanding designs for the manufacturing or information/service industries chosen from among all small and medium-sized enterprises’ award winning objects of the 2017 Good Design Awards.
  • Good Design Special Award [Design for Community Development]
    This award is presented to designs expected to make particular contributions to the development of Japan’s economy through stimulating local economies, chosen from among all award winning objects of the 2017 Good Design Awards.
  • Good Design Special Award [Design for the Future]
    This award is presented to particularly advanced designs expected to contribute to the creation of new businesses or industries, chosen from among all award winning objects of the 2017 Good Design Awards.
  • Good Design Special Award [Disaster Recovery Design]
    This award is presented to outstanding designs expected to contribute to recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, chosen from among all award winning objects of the 2017 Good Design Awards.

Reference: Goodpatch

The most important industrial design awards

Winning an award is one of the most satisfying ways of receiving professional recognition and promoting designs and products. International competitions are a showcase for a sector that is constantly innovating and highly competitive and in which obtaining an award translates into an advantage over the competition and an increase in sales.

These are some of the most prestigious international awards in the industrial design sector:

Red Dot Award

The North Rhine-Westphalian design centre in Essen, Germany, gives the Red Dot Award to the best product design, design concept and communication design every year. The award is divided into 31 participation categories for industrial design and thousands of entries are received from dozens of countries every year. Our Delica tray won this award in 2007.

iF Product Design Award

The iF awards given annually by the International Forum Design (iF) are considered the Oscars of product and industrial design. Since 1953, this German competition has awarded excellence in 19 industrial design categories ranging from the design of lighting to office furniture and including car accessories and components. Besides awards for professionals and companies, there is a category for students aimed at young designers that finished their studies in the two years prior to the competition.

IDEA® International Design Excellence Awards

Since 1980, the annual competition of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) has been giving awards to the best international designs in 21 categories, one of which is restricted to design students. Every category has three winners who receive the gold, silver and bronze awards. The winning products are included in the Innovation Yearbook of Design Excellence published by the IDSA and they form part of the permanent collection of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The excellence criteria the jury uses to determine the excellence of a product are its innovation, benefits for the user, customers and society, and the product’s aesthetic values.

Good Design® Awards 

The Good Design programme is one of the most solidly established industrial design competitions worldwide. Created in 1950 by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, it is currently held in collaboration with the European Centre

for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. For 65 years these awards have recognised excellence in the fields of industrial and graphic design in products ranging from a humble paperclip to a Boeing 787. The jury of the Good Design awards comprises distinguished professionals and specialists whose decision is based on innovation criteria, the use of new technologies, form, materials, construction, concept, function, usefulness, energy efficiency and sensitivity to the environment.

ADI-FAD Delta Awards

The Delta Awards are considered the most important design awards in Spain and they are recognised internationally as well.

These awards are given by ADI-FAD, the Association of Industrial Design located in Barcelona with links to FAD (Fostering Arts and Design). ADI-FAD was founded in 1960 and its purpose is to promote industrial design as a tool for social progress. Based on this aim, the association’s prestigious Delta Awards are held every other year to recognise industrial designers and manufacturing companies.

The Delica tray, designed by Zoocreative, won the Gold Delta Award at the 2005 ADI-FAD Awards, and the Aurea dish drainer designed by Ernest Perera was a finalist in the 2009 Delta Awards.

Competitions in the industrial design sector are always a controversial subject for several reasons, including the selection of the jury members and copyright protection. Let us know what you think about these international competitions in the comments and please share this article on social media.

Reference: Delica

Are design awards worth entering?

Massive pencils, glistening trophies, a hell of a lot of wine, some very heavy books, and dinner jackets—ah, the glitz and glamour of design awards. While everyone loves to be recognized for a brilliant project that the whole team has worked their butts off for, away from peer recognition, a great party and a nice ornament for the front desk, are design awards always worth the cost and effort of entering—do they reflect the best of the design industry at any given point? We asked a bunch of creatives from big agencies, small agencies and those going it alone for their thoughts.

“I’ve always had mixed feelings about design awards. As a youngster the thought of winning a D&AD Pencil or a Cannes Lion was thrilling. As I matured, I realized I didn’t need approval from the industry. I focus on the people who’ll be impacted by my work; that’s what gets me out of bed. This year I judged D&AD though, and loved the shift in work entered; design being used to make a difference, inspiring people to want to be better, do better, and make better. My mentor and first boss would say ‘whatever the project, make it award-winning.’ Somehow I always knew what that meant.”
Lisa Smith, head of design at Wolff Olins, New York

“The trouble with idealism is that it is needy and tricky. But I’m an idealist, and in my ideal world I would love awards to be a democratic representation of all progressive excellence practiced by our industry today. This means that, ideally, awards would cost nothing to enter so that success could never be bought. It means that work would be entered in raw form with verified data so it’s judged on its impact and not on any hype. It means that awards would reward not familiar tropes, but real innovation so that the industry furthers its relevance annually. And it means that any awarded work would have a proven, pro-social dimension so that great work is at a minimum, good. I write these criteria not as a criticism of awards, which in many cases are embracing some of these dimensions, but as a provocation to ensure that our industry’s recognized best is not just likeable, but outstanding.”
Naresh Ramchandani, Pentagram partner, London

“Creative awards are often very heavy. Many are made of valuable materials like semi-precious metals and rare woods, so as a raw commodity they are worth quite a bit if you have enough of them. Also, if design companies don’t have enough heavy metal in the reception area, they’re in danger of floating off into oblivion, a bit like the house inUp. For young designers though, the real value lies in helping them get a bigger pay increase or the chance to go out and get a better job.”
Nick Clark, executive creative director, The Partners, New York

“We’re currently designing the new identity, exhibition scheme, and digital campaign for the upcoming Designs of the Year show at the brand new Design Museum in London. It’s made us think about awards as a studio. In the past year Studio Hato has almost tripled in size to 16 members, with editors, operations, project, and studio managers joining the family. This has meant that physically entering an award has become much more viable. That said, we are very much a project-focused studio. We invest all our efforts in developing and pushing our projects further; working with our clients and collaborators to challenge and develop the briefs we are given. In the coming years it’s inevitable that we’ll begin looking into entering awards to reach wider markets—our projects are currently very much recognized by a ‘design audience’ and design press—but we’ll choose these very carefully; for an agency our size, awards are a big investment.”
Ken Kirton, founder, Studio Hato

“Awards are important on many different levels. For our design teams, and increasingly our clients, they are a recognition of the time and passion that has been invested in a project. Awards also create a healthy level of creative competitiveness in the industry and set creative standards to aim for; the ‘wish I’d done that’ factor. Award annuals capturing the best of the year, such as D&AD, become chronicles of excellence and inspire the next generation of designers. They also increasingly result in new business calls as brand owners recognize their importance. My ‘watch out’ would be that they can be prohibitively expensive for start-up agencies, so these agencies should really decide on what award schemes are most appropriate for them, enter the ones with an established track records and reputations, and only enter work they really believe in.”
Graham Shearsby, chief creative officer, Design Bridge

“As an independent graphic designer, I have never entered a design competition (though projects I have worked on have been entered by past and present employers). I am part of a generation that has had a wealth of resources and information made easily accessible (and disposable) online. The internet has made it possible to share work instantly and globally to people of similar interests. If a designer is able to utilize this tool to their benefit via social media, websites, and blogs, then their potential audience is far greater than a design competition can offer. Recognition within the industry is increasingly driven by digital representation as well as physical representation and awards.”
Alex Brown, freelance graphic designer, currently working at Pentagram previously at SEA

“We have never entered any of our work into design competitions or awards, but would definitely consider it if the incentive and benefits of winning were attractive enough and were worth the time and potential fee attached for applying. When we were launching Warriors Studio and Graphic Design Festival Scotland (GDFS) in 2014, we applied for a business award to win £10,000 [about $13,000]. The potential money was worth the time spent, and in hindsight we’re glad we did, because we won it! 

“We assume that people enter design awards for increased publicity, peer recognition, and good additions to the CV, but really they’re more of a badge of honor to show non-designers. For us, award titles and physical trophies alone have never been a great incentive. As part of GDFS, we organize two competitions; the Live Project and the International Poster Competition. These are popular events within the program, but we believe that the incentives of work placements in the Live Project, £500 cash [about $650] and inclusion within the International Poster Exhibition are more lucrative than the actual award titles and physical trophies that come with them. We never say never for design awards though; if anyone wants to give us one, please feel free.”
James Gilchrist and Beth Wilson, co-founders, Warriors Studio and Graphic Design Festival Scotland, Glasgow

Making a Case for Design Awards

When it comes to design award competitions, opinions in the industry vary greatly. Some design firms swear by them, others think they’re overrated. Some think design awards are the best allocation of their marketing and PR dollars, others call it a rip-off or worse, a buy-out.

Why spend time, money and resources on design award competitions?

John Guenther, a 2016 Spark juror and former Director of Design at HP states that “the beauty of design competitions is the leveling of the playing field between big companies, small design firms, and students alike. The only thing that truly matters is the new and innovative design thinking they bring forward”.

The beauty of design competitions is the leveling of the playing field between big companies, small design firms, and students alike.

Flipping through the annual catalogs of individual award organizations indeed shows that new designs ranging from companies like Google and Tesla are judged next to innovative products from little-known startups. Each submission is equally graded on product form, function, and user experience.

Not all design awards are equal.

Harden admits that there are more award programs now than ever before and some are easier to win than others. Established programs such as iFRed Dot and IDEA have a 50-60 year history and are still held in the highest regard. Spark celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

The award spectrum has widened too. Next to the general design awards, more specialized ones have come into play for medical design, UX and even plastic parts.

For clients, being able to publicly attach a design award to their product brings an opportunity to build consumer confidence and boost business results. Depending on the industry, winning an award in their particular category may be a more beneficial validation from experts in their field. Medical companies for instance, will benefit more from participating in the Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA) rather than a general award program.

For clients, being able to publicly attach a design award to their product brings an opportunity to build consumer confidence and boost business results.

Design firms need a strategy when entering design awards – after all, they do cost time and money.  Are you a young and upcoming firm? Consider both national and international award competitions to help establish your name in the industry.  Pay special attention to awards that give a win the most visibility, especially beyond the annual catalog spread among peers. The program at Fast Company for instance gives winning designs mainstream visibility in print and online publications.

Reputation of the jury is everything

The quality of any design award program will rise and fall with the quality and integrity of the judges. A relevant and professional jury will guarantee that only the deserving solutions are impartially selected and awarded.

Word on the street is that some (not all) “general design awards” are less consistent in quality because the jurors are more general too. Before entering any design award competition, take a moment to research the jury. Are they reputable, practicing professionals themselves? Not all jurors are established experts in the category they are judging, and therefore not necessarily possessing the in-depth knowledge required for selecting the true cream of the industry crop.

Top award programs such as IDEA, Red Dot and iF remain extremely selective and very competitive to win.

The quality of any design award program will rise and fall with the quality and integrity of the judges.

Design awards and innovation.

“Innovation” is often linked to top award winners. Yet there is more to innovation than newness. If innovation is defined as the implementation of an idea at the intersection of (1) what the user wants, (2) what is technologically possible, and (3) what is viable in the marketplace … are design awards a credible representation of innovation?

“They can be,” says Ari Turgel, Director of Industrial & Interaction Design at Whipsaw. “Once again, it depends on the award program and the level of professional insight from the judges. Top award programs with a long history and impeccable reputation will facilitate multiple judging rounds, physical product submissions, and highly attentive jurors so potential innovation can be recognized and classified according to impact and merit.”

“People’s Choice Awards” are an interesting side concept. On the one hand they serve as a fun way to applaud a designer without relying on key industry insights to classify their project as good design or innovative in its category. On the other hand, since those voting for the People’s Choice Award are both interested in design, and they are potential consumers on top … aren’t their voices worth listening to? They may readily uncover what it is that users want, appreciate and expect from the products they embrace.

Are design awards (still) relevant?

Design award competitions were once instrumental in growing the concept, importance and philosophy behind good design. For a long time it was also the main if not sole PR resource for design firms. Not anymore, especially with social marketing tools widely available.

With so many different award programs out there, what practices would ensure the continued relevance of design awards?

The need for mainstream media coverage.

Key to the future relevance of design awards will be an increased visibility beyond the design industry and into the hands of mainstream media. Most award programs claim they bring this visibility to their winners, but the reality tells a different story. A press release and an online gallery is a fabulous start but not merely enough to cultivate a sensitivity for good design among the general public.

Moving beyond peer recognition and into mainstream media is what will keep design awards relevant, and the design industry moving forward.

This cultivation beyond peer recognition is what will keep design awards relevant, and the design industry moving forward.

Compared to European audiences, there is room to grow a more profound appreciation for design in the eyes of American audiences. German-based Red Dot and iF serve as beacons of good design that users respect and refer to when considering their purchases. Can we build a similar sensitivity in the United States?

IDEA is said to be the American Academy of Design Awards. On the heels of the IDEA announcement of this year’s top winners, Tech Insider published “The 19 best-designed products of 2016,” with selected highlights from the IDEA winner’s list. It is this type of coverage that will keep design awards relevant for all involved, including clients and end users.

Mainstream coverage of design awards will make the general public aware of the value of design innovation and help them appreciate the benefits it brings to their own life.

Clients of design firms benefit too from the public acknowledgment that their design investment was a good one. They receive additional PR and advertising for the products they sell, both inside and outside of the design industry. But most importantly the public applause for the commitment to design will motivate them to keep their own design standards high which in the end benefits consumers and designers alike.

Mainstream coverage of design awards will bring public recognition to the products our clients bring to market, boosting consumer confidence and business results on top.


Winning a design award makes us feel good yet its benefits go beyond the momentary reward for our creative skills and efforts. Unlike our European design friends, it is still only an elite American audience that uses design as a standard of living reference. Designers, design firms and award programs have the ability to move the needle to change that. What’s stopping us to make the next IDEA award label anything less than a symbol for consumer trust, client confidence and excellent business results for all?

Reference: Whipsaw

iF – World Design Guide

Each year, iF International Forum Design GmbH organizes one of the world’s most celebrated and valued design competitions: the iF DESIGN AWARD. Recognized as a symbol of design excellence around the world, the iF DESIGN AWARD welcomes over 5,000 submissions from 70 countries every year.

1953: Germany was still struggling to overcome the impact of the Second World War, at home and abroad.

A group of industry representatives led by Philip Rosenthal met with the Hannover Trade Fair company (Hannover Messe). Their aim was to draw attention to particularly well-designed industrial products. In doing so, they wanted to communicate the importance of design and all it can achieve: for users, for brands and for societies. A new image for German products began to take shape. Fitting then that the resulting association was first known as ‘Die gute Industrieform e.V.’ (Good Industrial Form). The name Industrie Forum (or iF for short) came later.

This was the start of a symbol of design excellence that is recognized to this day – the iF logo.

As the original movement looked back to the Bauhaus and its concept of ‘good form’ – a combination of ethical and aesthetic qualities – so too the iF DESIGN AWARD has long become a symbol for excellent form, for aesthetic quality, and for user-focused, ergonomic and efficient design in all disciplines, by companies around the world.

2016: Today, iF is looking towards the future. Now as never before, the future of design and the future of our entire planet are intertwined. Problems such as inequality, overconsumption and climate change have been addressed by designers before. Today and tomorrow, social responsibility is a topic that design cannot ignore. Established designers and students alike are challenged as never before to find creative solutions to the greatest problems of our time.

Our core business is organizing awards, and to this end we have created a new student award to move design forward into the future: the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD catering to young designers at the beginning of their careers.

Our reputation as one of the oldest truly independent design institutions in the world rests on our integrity, which clearly sets us apart from our competitors. Since 1953, iF e.V. has followed six guiding principles:

  • To identify, support and promote good design
  • To raise awareness of design among the public and the role it plays in our lives
  • To help companies integrate design into their long-term strategies
  • To safeguard the role of professional designer and boost awareness for this job profile
  • To effect social change through design
  • To support talented young people and create a public platform for young designers

We are confident that the coming sixty years of design will be even more exciting and more fruitful than the last sixty years. iF is honored to be a part of the history and future of design.

Website: iF – World Design Guide

Reddot Award – Design Concept

Identifying good design since 1950, the Red Dot Design Award received more than 18,000 applications in 2016. Making the competition one of the biggest and most prestigious design awards worldwide. In 2005, the award recognised the need to identify and celebrate new design concept and innovation, the precursor of tomorrow’s great product. Believing a design concept must be evaluated based on its design merit without prejudice, the award created a unprecedented platform that accept entries from companies to design students.

These entries are subjected to a “blind” adjudication where the information of the participant are hidden from the jury.  A testament to this belief, the result is a wide spectrum of winners for the Red Dot: Luminary, presented to the best concept of the year. From 2007 to 2016, the winners are Saab Automobile AB and GM Europe Design, Francesco Sommacal, Design Exchange, Agent, Philips Design, Huang Hsin Ya and Huang Pin Chen, Massey University, School of Design, College of Creative Arts, Superperdestrian, Hankook Tire, Google, Inc., and most recently, Beijing Onemile Technology.

Today, the Red Dot Award for design concept has grown to be the largest and most recognised professional design competition for design concept, prototypes ready to launch products worldwide. As the industry benchmark, this competition becomes the foundation of the Red Dot Design Ranking, published by the Red Dot Institute. The Red Dot Award: Design Concept is administered by Red Dot Singapore Pte Ltd. Every year, Red Dot Design Ranking, highlighting the top 15 companies, design studios and design institutions of different regions is now the ultimate reference for design achievement and capability. In 2017, the Red Dot Award for design concept received 4,724 entries from 58 countries.

In addition to the sheer number of participation and the illustrious list of winners, the award’s prestige is also built upon the special privilege bestowed upon winners. Today, Red Dot Design Award is the only international design award that has two large world class design museums to celebrate and showcase its winners.  Every year, the winning concepts of the Red Dot Award for design concepts is exhibited at the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore.  The museum, together with the yearbook, the yearbook apps, the online exhibition, the travelling exhibitions and the numerous media features brings attention of millions to the achievement of the winners, making the Red Dot Award for design concepts, the definitive award to win.

In order to appraise the wide scope of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award is broken down into the three distinct disciplines: the Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. Each of the award addresses specific area of design and does not conflict with one another. The award for design concept accepts design concepts for products, services or communication designs that are not already mass produced and sold in the market at the time of submission to the competition. The award for product design accepts products that are already available in the market and the award for communication design accepts communication related design works that have already executed and published.

Website: Reddot Award: Design Concept

Core77 – Design Awards

Founded in 2011, the Core77 Design Awards champions the principles of inclusivity, innovation, and excellence. Recognizing the broad spectrum nature of the design field, the Awards program offers 14 distinct categories for entry, each further broken into dedicated sections for professionals and students. Featuring a strong global presence, honorees are chosen by international panels of design leaders for their insight, integrity, and intent. After eight highly successful seasons, the Core77 Design Awards continues to celebrate the richness of the design profession and the brilliance of its practitioners.

Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards annually celebrates the richness of the design profession as well as the insight and perseverance of its practitioners. Now in its eighth year, the Awards program remains dedicated to excellence and inclusivity, offering both students and professionals the opportunity to promote their best work on a global scale across 14 distinct design disciplines.

Website: Core77 – Design Awards

GDA – Good Design Award

The Good Design Award is a movement aimed at enriching our lives and society through design. Since the foundation in 1957, it has been commonly known together with the “G Mark”, the symbol of winning the award. Good Design Award has recognized various objects surrounding us, including industrial goods, architecture, software, systems, services and so on. No matter tangible or intangible, Good Design Award will take it as design, evaluate and honor its quality, as long as it is created to fulfill certain ideals or purposes.

Nowadays, in the increasingly complex society, our expectations for the role of design in solving problems and discovering new topics are evolving constantly. Through the screening and various ways of promotion, Good Design Award aims to provide support to those who have managed to identify the possibilities of design, explore what can be made happen with design, broaden the fields where design can play a role, and ultimately lead to the creation of the society where everyone can lead a rich and creative life.

Good Design Award is not a competition to judge the superiority or inferiority of the designs. Instead, it is a system to discover new things through the screening, broadly share the discoveries with the society through the use of G Mark, and thus build a bridge to the next innovation. In Good Design Award, five fundamental themes have been chosen to be the guiding ideals, which we should always keep in mind.

HUMANITY – the creativity that guides the making of things
HONESTY – the ability to clearly see the nature of modern society
INNOVATION – the vision to open up the future
ESTHETICS – the imagination to evoke a rich life and culture
ETHICS – the thoughtfulness to shape society and the environment
If you are a winner of the Good Design Award, you are able to communicate to the public that your entry is an example of society-leading good design. This will be useful in promoting your design, as well as in enhancing the image of your company. It will also provide many opportunities for communicating and promoting your design, through participating in Good Design Exhibition as well as other events. There are a variety of other merits as well, some of which are introduced here.

Website: Good Design Award

IDEA – International Design Excellence Awards

The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) is a worldwide design competition celebrating the very best in design excellence for design professionals and students.

The International Design Excellence Awards  is one of the longest-running and most prestigious design awards programs in existence.

Over 41 years the program has grown to highlight design in many connected disciplines including design strategy, branding, digital interaction and so much more.

Each year, thousands of entries are submitted by design teams across the globe, and each year the jury reviews entries across 5 criteria:

  • Design Innovation
  • Benefit to User
  • Benefit to Client/Brand
  • Benefit to Society
  • Appropriate Aesthetics