The Red Dot Design Award is one of the highest design recognitions worldwide, comparable to the “Oscars” in the world of Design and Branding. The aim of this award is to recognise quality and innovation by designers and manufacturers in the creation of new domestic and professional products in the most prestigious international design competition, for product and packaging, as well as for visual communication campaigns. Without a doubt, the “Red Dot” award has consolidated itself as one of the most sought-after quality seals on an international level due to its good design.
The Red Dot tradition covers more than 60 years. On 30 July 1954, the association “Verein Industrieform”, was founded based on an initiative by Dr Carl Hundhausen, chief of the Advertising and Public Relations department of Krupp. The objective of this association was to help create a more attractive environment, modernise German consumer goods and make them suitable for export so as to form part of the transformation of Krupp’s image due to World War II.
A little bit of history
In 1955, the first annual design competition was created, and on 5 October of that same year the permanent exhibition of industrial products with an attractive design was inaugurated in the city of Hügel, Essen. This innovative exhibition of consumer goods was considered as a model for industry as well as for consumers and it received worldwide acknowledgement. In 1961, the product exhibition moved to the Old Synagogue in Essen, until in 1979 a short circuit caused a fire that destroyed most of the works. In 1981 a small space was opened to exhibit the works in the Amerikahaus in Essen, with a decline in importance. In 1988 it was moved to the old Essen city library (Stadtbibliothek), marking the beginning of extensive restructuring which placed design in the heart of the corporate success of companies. In 1990, the association “Verein Industrieform” became the “Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen (DZNRW), with the change of name and the corporate design by Otl Aicher. The following year, professor Dr Peter Zec took on the position of Managing Partner of DZNRW, changed the logo to a red dot, which was awarded for the first time in 1992, and developed what until then had been a national competition, transforming it into an international platform for the evaluation of design, expanding the brand on a global level.
- The Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany, contains more than 2.000 products, housing the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design.
- The Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore has several galleries and displays an exhibit of over 345 award-winning futuristic concepts.
- And the third Red Dot Design Museum is found in the city of Xiamen, China, made up of a common workspace, with a design school and a design library. What is most extraordinary about this museum is that it brings together award-winning designs from the three Red Dot Award competitions: Product design, Design concept and Design of brands and communication.
The Red Dot Awards
The Red Dot award is divided into 3 categories:
- Product design: This is the oldest category, the one that became known as Design Innovation as of the year 2000. The competition is open to different professional and domestic areas, such as furniture, home accessories, automobiles, etc. The best design group of the year is also honoured. Some winners of this category have been Apple, BMW and Bose Corporation.
- Design of communications: As of 2003, the Red Dot Award is also given to exceptional events and campaigns in the field of corporate design, advertising, interactive media and sound.
- Design concept: Since 2005 the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore recognises the best product or idea design concepts that are not yet on the market.
The jury of the Red Dot Awards is made up of 24 international experts who offer the utmost rigour in the selection of the winners. So as to avoid any conflict of interests, the members of the jury commit themselves to complying with an “Honour Code” by which they are not allowed to present their own works or projects in which they have participated directly or indirectly.
Some of the winners are designers such as: Philippe Patrick Starck, the French industrial designer recognised worldwide for the functionality and aesthetics of his designs, among which are the “Paláis de l’Elysée” or the Hugo Boss Boutique in Paris, winner of 11 Red Dot Awards and 3 German Design Awards; and Giorgetto Giugiaro cofounder of the design studio italdesign, famous for the design of immensely popular vehicles sold all across the world, among which are: the Fiat 850 Spider (1965), the DeLorean DMC-12 (1981) or the Ford Mustang Giugiaro (2006), winner of the Red Dot Awards in 2006 with the company LG Electronics.