Purpose of Design Awards

The General Purpose of Design Awards Is to Create Awareness For Good Design and More

Before we dive into discussion on the purpose of design awards, we need to make one thing very clear. Design Awards are different than Design Competitions and Design Contests and indeed there are more than 40 different genres of design accolades, trophies, tournaments and prizes organized each year. I would like to give a brief idea about the three major types before discussing the purpose as well as merits of awards for design.Design Competitions are events to procure designs usually organized by governments or large companies, they are great; they have good prizes and a jury. Design Contests are lesser competitions organized by crowd-sourcing companies on behalf of small clients, they are mostly useless; they offer little prizes and do not have jury. Design Awards are organized by design award organization companies with the sole reason to create awareness for good design, they offer prizes in form of publicity, fame and recognition.Design Awards are very useful tools to promote good design, unlike design contests and competitions, participants do not need to transfer their intellectual property rights related to their designs to organizers (many designer who take part in contests loose right to their designs without knowing). Furthermore since design awards are organized by independent third parties, there is no need to worry about nepotism or political favoritism.One of the major roles of design awards is to help public understand the intrinsic value of design projects by certifying the quality of design work behind projects: Not all design is visible (sometimes it is not the outside but inside of the product that is being designed and developed), thus there is the need to put forward the hidden design work, and the design award jury, together with the design award patrons and endorsers, could act as a proxy to explain the public the intrinsic design value embedded in products and projects that are normally not easy to be seen by public. Of course, this benefits award winning designers and companies who can now explain to press members and their customers, clients and consumers with more confidence the worth of their work.Design awards can also be useful to recognize academic achievement of designers, while scientist would publish papers and results of their experiments could be patented, designers can do designs and result of their designs are usually covered by copyright as well as patents depending on the type of design, and in many countries and in many institutions winning international design awards could contribute as academic achievements especially if there is a correct methodology and jury panel involved.For designers, the purpose of design awards is to get their works published but more importantly publicized and advertised. Good design award programs are especially crafted in a way to create publicity and buzz for award winners, many design award programs also offering public relations, publicity or publishing services for winners. These services support the designers by connecting them to further audiences.Design awards also help discovery of original design work for award winners, as you know there is too much information available to digest, and to make a work or design more discoverable you need to highlight and promote it, this applies for anything as well as increased exposure in search engines which results in increases exposure in magazines and more prospects and revenues for the designer.Design awards also serve to create business opportunities for its winners, design awards create business opportunities to their laureates in many ways but the basic way is through intensive promotion, however for example gala-nights that bring companies and designers together as well as realization possibilities via sponsors or even potential monetary prizes could provide a commercial push.Design awards can also help designers to improve their design skills by providing feedback and services to check their presentations prior and after competition, for example designers can improve their design presentation via entry guidelines published by design awards or improve designs via feedback provided by award jurors, not all design awards provide this, but the best design awards do provide these services.For design competitions, briefs could teach know how, just reading a brief could help a designer learn about a new manufacturing procedure or discover a previously understated problem that requires attention. Designers could gain experience and practice design under a real life business scenario by trying to create solutions to problems described in design competition briefs.Another aspect where a design award could be useful is the fact that it could act as a barrier for copy; design competitions could let world the know you are the original designer. Now many people would argue the exact opposite and they could state that design awards would publish the works therefore create more exposure and more risk of being copied, this is perhaps true, but what I say is even more true, I had the experience myself that one of my design was copied and plagiarized by a large company, this large company later paid me a sorry we did it money under the title of contribution to design, but I am pretty sure if my design was not published in over twenty different publications they would not only pay me any contribution, my friend would not even be able to let me know that my design was copied. When you publish your work a lot, it creates fame, prestige and authority, and authority is power, people are afraid of power, and design awards give you the power of authority over design.Design awards are also obliged to create awareness, this awareness could be for good design practices and principles or for any other relevant social aspect, for example design awards that are focused on sustainable designs, could create awareness for importance of sustainable design, design awards that are focused on technological design, could create awareness about technologies that requires further attention from the public. Design awards can also simply serve as a mental tool to ignite designers, if the incentive is great, a designer could focus all his energy and try to come up with a product, design or service that makes difference. Design awards are like moms, they push you to do better. Design awards also push forward the design discipline by creating incentives for designers to come up with superior products and projects that benefit society.Design award and competitions could also lead a role to provide financial or logistic support for young designers or design awards could be used as an indirect government subsidy for supporting designers as well as industries which need innovation, creative thinking and original ideas. Financing design oriented research via competitions are indeed very possible and more common than you think.Design competitions can be good tools to have procurement of design in a correct and fair way, as well as an efficient and economic way, it could turn many designers' focus on a single topic, creating many and varied design solutions and ideas within a limited time period. Design awards could also serve a similar purpose but from the reverse, companies could approach design awards to buy the very best designs if they are available for sale, and could contract the very best designers and commission them for new design works if their award winning work is not for sale.Design awards create culture. Design awards create social culture by disseminating news about award winning designers and their works, pushing a taste and understanding of design to public. Design awards create corporate culture by igniting the competitive spirit within design teams within companies, pushing them to out do themselves. Furthermore design awards can serve to archive and document the progression of design industry itself.Design awards support industry in many ways, but one of the most prominent ways is by exploring many different possibilities of forms, combinations and technologies at once by presenting an array of diverse design solutions for specific design competitions and awards. Design industries in which many design awards and competitions are more often organized are able to create new trends and solutions towards better life and economy.To recap, by disseminating news about the winners and about the competition, design awards can help the public to determine what is good design. Design awards could push designers worldwide to come up with new and novel solutions to existing, past and future problems. Design awards can support the economy as well as design industry itself by promoting good design practices and principles.To conclude the ultimate goal of all design awards should be three folds, first design awards should serve as social tools to create an awareness for good design by highlighting, recognizing and promoting good design, second design awards should create incentives for designers and brands worldwide to come up with better designs that benefit society, third, design awards should support design discipline and cultivate a taste for design, educating general public on the merits of design when possible.If you are a designer, you should join design awards, I remember the pleasure and happiness I felt when one of my work was announced as a grand winner in a national design awards program. I felt important and relevant but the support the awards program gave me help me push further to achieve even more, so the final purpose of a design award is also to give a purpose for designers to achieve better, it pushes the society to appreciate good design so that more good designs could be created.Exerpt:Before we dive into discussion on the purpose of design awards, we need to make one thing very clear. Design Awards are different than Design Competitions and Design Contests and indeed there are more than 40 different genres of design accolades, trophies, tournaments and prizes organized each year. I would like to give a brief idea about the three major types before discussing the purpose as well as merits of awards for design.Design Competitions are events to procure designs usually organized ..

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