The origins of the Red Dot Design Award date back to 1955. The institution behind the competition is the Design Zentrum NRW, which is led by Professor Dr. Peter Zec since 1991. Its distinction, the Red Dot, is established internationally as one of the most sought-after quality marks for good design. In order to assess the diversity in the field of design in a thorough and professional manner, the award breaks down into three competitions: the Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept – each is organised once a year. From products to communication projects and packaging to design concepts and prototypes, the Red Dot Award tracks the most prominent trends worldwide.
Since 1993, the Red Dot Award: Communication Design, known as the “Deutscher Preis für Kommunikationsdesign” (German Prize for Communication Design) until 2001, is hosted annually by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. It is geared to agencies, designers and companies from around the world. In 18 categories, they can enter their works, which will be evaluated by the Red Dot jury. A winning work receives the distinction “Red Dot”, while outstanding entries get the Red Dot: Best of the Best. Only the best piece of work in a category receives the top award “Red Dot: Grand Prix”. Part of the Red Dot Award: Communication Design is the Red Dot: Junior Award. It is intended for up and coming young designers (up to two years post-graduation). The Red Dot: Junior Prize is endowed with 10,000 Euros and goes to the best project.
The works and projects submitted in the Red Dot Award: Communication Design are assessed by the Red Dot jury. Following the motto “In search of good design and creativity”, the international experts evaluate all of the entries live and in situ. The works are not compared directly against each other, and no preselection takes place. Each project is discussed and assessed individually and on its own merits. The most important information on the registration and ideal presentation of your work during the jury session can be found in the “Guides to Success”.
The jury session is aligned according to established evaluation criteria, which are constantly being adapted to new knowledge about technical, social, economic and ecological requirements. These criteria are the frame, which is filled out individually by each juror.
These include design quality and aesthetics to check whether an independent, high-quality design concept is recognisable, the implementation as well as the chosen medium. The functional and aesthetic aspects of the work, such as originality and recognition value also play a role.
Besides the individual handwriting of the projects, the jury looks at clarity and emotion: Is the message adequately and geared towards the target groups? Does the work affect the viewer in an emotional and sustainable way? Not forgetting craft and, depending on the type of work, haptic of the project: How is it technically implemented and is the choice of materials appropriate? Only projects that win over the jury with their overall quality and creative achievement are awarded the Red Dot seal. The winners benefit from comprehensive services, which are part of the Winner Package and include among others the usage of the winner label, the presentation in the yearbook and winners’ exhibition.