Red Dot Design Award

International design competition for excellent design

The Red Dot Design Award is a renowned international design competition, which singles out products and projects with outstanding design and presents their designers with an award every year. The beginnings of the award go back to 1955 when the “Permanent exhibition of well-designed manufactured industrial goods” first took place in the Krupp company’s Villa Hügel in Essen (Germany). The Red Dot Award, in the form that we today know it, was initiated by design expert Professor Dr. Peter Zec. Under his guidance, the “Red Dot” label has become a brand in its own right that is recognised around the world.

The design products, communication projects and design concepts that companies and designers submit cover product and communication design and are indicative of the latest developments and trends in the industry. In order to be able to carry out an expert assessment of the individual categories, the award is divided into three separate disciplines: Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. All three competitions are held on an annual basis and culminate in a glamorous award ceremony – the Red Dot Gala. The products that won an award in the design competition are subsequently exhibited in one of the museums that is part of the Red Dot world.

Red Dot Award: Product Design

At the Red Dot Award: Product Design, innovative products are judged for their design quality by a discerning jury. Designers, design studios and manufacturers from around the world submit their latest products and projects in the hope of winning the coveted award. The jury is made up of independent design experts who take the time to examine all entries and test them for their design quality. The level of innovation and the product’s functionality are just as important as their sustainable ecological compatibility.

Those who manage to convince jury members of the high design quality of their products due to an outstanding concept can count themselves lucky and will either receive the Red Dot or a Honourable Mention for a well-considered solution to a particular detail of the design. The best products in a single category are awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best. The highlight and culmination of the competition is the Red Dot Gala in Essen, Germany. This is where the winners of the Red Dot: Best of the Best receive the Red Dot Trophy and where the Red Dot: Design Team of the Year is announced. This is an honorary title given to a team that that has produced designs of a consistently high standard over many years. It is the highest single award the competition has to bestow. The awards are celebrated at the after-show party, the Designer’s Night, into the wee small hours.

After the offical award ceremony, the winning products are exhibited for at least a year in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen and  are also presented online on the Red Dot website under Red Dot Winners and in the Red Dot Design App. The Red Dot Awards are not only an opportunity for experienced designers and manufacturers to show what they can do, but also intended for up and coming young designers.

Young Professionals Application Day

Every year, 50 registration places are allocated by randomly allocated to talented young designers on the Young Professionals Application Day.

Participation is open to trained designers who need to have graduated in the previous five years. This gives young designers a unique opportunity to present their work to potential customers and persuade them of their creative skills.

Red Dot Award: Communication Design

The Red Dot Award: Communication Design is intended for companies, agencies, design studios and freelancers whose strength lies in communication and campaigns. Up until 2001, this competition was still known as the “Deutscher Preis für Kommunikationsdesign” (German Prize for Communication Design). The communication design works and projects submitted can come from the following areas, to name but a few: packaging, posters and billboards, online communication, corporate design and brand design, advertising. The design and creative aspects of every individual project are discussed separately by the Red Dot Design Award jury. These communication projects will only receive a Red Dot label if they manage to convince jury members of their design quality. The best entries in each category will receive a Red Dot: Best of the Best and will compete with each other for the greatest single award of the competition, the Red Dot: Grand Prix.
In addition, one of the agencies and design studios that register for the competition has the chance of of receiving the honorary title, Red Dot: Agency of the Year, while one of the companies that are the strongest contenders in the communication field can hope to receive the Red Dot: Brand of the Year. The annual competition ends with a glamorous award ceremony, the Red Dot Gala, which takes place in the design metropolis, Berlin. On that evening, the Red Dot: Best of the Best competition winners are presented with their trophies and the winners of the Red Dot: Junior Prize and the Red Dot: Grand Prix are announced. The winners who have been awarded a Red Dot or an Honourable Mention will receive their certificates at the Designer’s Night, at which all participants and winners jointly celebrate their success.

Up and coming designers at the Red Dot: Junior Award

The Red Dot: Junior Award is focused on the projects of up and coming young designers and forms part of the Red Dot Awards: Communication Design. It is aimed at students, trainees and up and coming young designers and offers them an interesting entry into the design sector. Just like in the Red Dot Award: Product Design, there is a chance they may receive a Red Dot or even a Red Dot: Best of the Best. The projects that are so convincing they manage to secure a Red Dot: Best of the Best are also contenders for the Red Dot: Junior Prize and therefore have the chance of winning prize money to the tune of 10,000 euros.

Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Whereas the awards for product and communication design may be at home in Germany, the annual Red Dot Award: Design Concept takes place in Singapore. Since 2016, entries can be submitted in the categories “Design concepts” and “Marketable products”. The award was introduced in 2005 as a platform for design concepts and prototypes. Since then, design studios, manufacturers, research laboratories and students of design have been able to use the award to have the design quality of their concepts assessed by an international jury of experts even before they are ready for production. The awards range from a Red Dot, the Red Dot: Best of the Best and an Honourable Mention to the ultimate award, the Red Dot: Luminary for the best concept of the year.