10 Design Awards Every Designer Should Know About

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Designers have always worked towards creating something which surprises as well as delights the clients. The designer’s community is not well recognized, given our importance and significant accomplishments. Designers are the ones who push their boundaries and give their best creativity out there to create an experience and not just a design. Why won’t a designer love some recognition for such a rewarding job! Designers must get attention for their work and the creativity they bring into the world. As such, we’ve put together a list of 10 design awards from across the globe, which are amongst the most renowned and magnificent awards in the design industry.

Winning one of the listed awards is a lifetime achievement. The recognition and the fame the awards bring to the designer are fabulous and rewarding. The awards are a source of inspiration for the winners as well as for the upcoming designers. Evaluation of the designs in the competition is by done by stalwarts of the industry. The designs are judged with no bias and functionality.  Designers from several nations participate in this, not only for the award ceremony, but because of the knowledge which they can gain from this event

Here are the top 10 Design Award that introduces the world with the best creativity, designs, and designers. The Design Awards represents the worth of designing in the industry. Receiving such awards increases the scope of getting more clients, advertisements, and branding. Not only the designer would gain social credibility, but it would also motivate them, to perform better in the future.

1. D&AD Awards:

Design Awards- D&AD

Design and Art Direction Award is the most priced and esteemed design award in the advertising world. British Charity conducts the D&AD Awards, especially targeting design and advertising segment. Founded in 1962 by the top designers and art directors of the era, the award was simply for the honour of being nominated. The awards have high standards. So, it is one of the awards where it is not necessary to ensure that every category must award a winner.

There are eight categories of awards given to the candidates, and they are: 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) and Next Director Award (New Film Directors)

2. ADDYs Award:


ADDYs Award is one of the industry’s most significant creative competition. They get 40,000 entries yearly. It is one of the world’s prestigious advertising competition and is a haven for both creatives and digital agencies. It is a three-tier competition. The first level is competition at local level, then district level and then national level. The main objective is to award the great concepts that originate from the base level.

The award supports the entire advertising industry as the AAF and local districts enhance advertising through programs like internships, advocacy groups, advertisement education, consumer awareness and public service. The panel of judges evaluates the most creative design amongst all the entries received based on creative dimensions. Gold ADDY is superior to all other entries in the category and is for the highest level of artistic excellence. The second-best award is Silver ADDY. A panel of judges decides several awards in each category based on the quality of work in the category.

3. A’Design Awards:

A’Design Awards

A’Design Awards is one of the most significant international design competition conducted in Italy. The Awards include various categories like 3D models, Graphics and Furniture. The themes are unique, which are relevant to human resources that include digital communications idea and sustainable design.

The awards are given in tier form starting at the base from Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The award of the Designer of The Year is for the one who profoundly influences design industry and its advancement. The winner selection is amongst designers, architects, artists, creators and innovators. For the upcoming designers, there are ‘Young Design Pioneer Awards’. This award is for designer under the age of 40 and every year maximum of three awards are given in this category.

4. Cannes Lion Awards:

Design Awards - Cannes Lions Award

The global group of Cinema Screen Advertising Contractors decided advertising needed recognition. Just like Cannes Film Festival features movies, they established the Cannes Lion Awards in 1954 for advertising. There are several categories of awards- including creative effectiveness, digital communication, design, advertising and much more.

Cannes Lion Awards has set highly competitive award standards. It celebrates new ideas and the creativity that the upcoming designers have to offer. In the award function, one can network with global colleagues and know the best talent in the industry and world. The designers who have the most original and unique ideas as well as the most effective design wins the award. The International Film Festival is an inspiration for the establishment of The Cannes Lion Awards.

5. iF Design Award:

iF Design Award

iF Design Award comes under one of the most popular design awards. More than 20 nations come together to select the award winner based on the judgement that is not biased. Almost 60 architecture and design  specialists participate in the award. There are majorly two awards, i.e. iF Gold Award and iF Design Award. iF Gold Award is for those designers whose designs are highly creative. Out of numerous contestants, one-two percentage are awarded with the prize.

There are seven categories that contestant can apply- Communications, Professional Concept, Product, Packaging, Interior Architecture, Design/UX and Architecture, Service. The field of design is now globally recognized not just for creating a design or model but creating an experience. Introduction of Service Design/UX category in iF Design Award convey that the designs created in the industry are recognised and rewarded.

6. Red Dot Design Award:

Red Dot

International Council of Societies of Industrial Design established the Red Dot Design Award. The Design Award is also considered to be one of the largest and best design awards in the world. The event is organised in Germany every year. More than 50 countries participate in the award. There are 10,000+ entries. There are three categories for the award- Product Design, Design Concept and Communication Design. Introduction of the Design Concept was for those designs which are yet to release in the market.

So, any new product or services that are yet to release in the market or prototypes and innovative ideas that are in the development stage gets evaluated under the design concept. The ceremony gives an honorary prize to the best design team that is Design Team of The Year title. The jury offers an award to one of the teams selected from all the entries.  The award is to praise team effort, which brings out innovative ideas and design in the world. It is one honourable award for the designing. famous teams have won this award  like Audi, Nokia, Lenovo, Apple, and Sony in Japan.

7. IDEA Award:


IDEA Award is one of the most distinct design awards in the world. The abbreviation denotes International Design Excellence Awards. The award is well known for product design. IDEA Award is an internationally renowned award and is one of the major design awards along with iF Design Award and Red Dot Design Award.

The categories for entry range from Industrial Design like Automotive and Transportation to Digital Design, Service Design and Environmental Design. The panel of judge consists of top officials of the corporations like Microsoft, Google, Nike, efficient design studios and a specialist from each industry.  The decisions made are unbiased and the criteria for awards are innovativeness, aesthetic, and UX. The winning designs become part of collections from the Henry Ford Museum.

8. Good Design Award:

Good Design Award

One of the oldest design awards in the world is a Good Design Award. The Leading designers, Edgar KaufmannJr., renowned furniture designer Charles, Ray Eames, well known industrial designer Russel Wright and other acclaimed furniture designer George Nelson and remarkable architect Eero Saarinen founded Good Design Award in 1950.

The award ceremony gets conducted at The Chicago Athenaeum Museum. Good Design Award introduced a new category called Green Good Design in 2009. The Green Good Design Award is for designs that are sophisticated yet environment friendly.

9. Awwwards:


Awwwards is one such competition which recognizes the efforts and talents of the best developers, web designers and agencies in the world. It also has an impressive jury who are esteemed industry professionals. Moreover, the organization also run a series of Conferences ranging from countries like New York, LA, Barcelona, and London.

You can come to know the best in the industry at any Awwwards speaker event. The panel of jury consists of creative directors, bloggers, designers, and agencies in the industry who assess the talent and work submitted. The categories of the awards are of based on marketing and branding for Designs, Creativity, and Innovations on Internet. The events unite the best of agencies and leaders in the world of digital design.

10. International Design Award:


In 2007, designers, thinkers and entrepreneurs created the International Design Award. Establishing the awards was for the smart, sustainable and multidisciplinary design as it lacked recognition. The award intends to promote, celebrate, and recognize great designs and to encourage upcoming talent in Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic and Fashion design.

In this design award, graphic design is seen as work of art and the work of individuals and team who strive for perfection and create a new territory are appreciated. IDA acknowledges designs that are timeless with a clear identity. The design award welcomes entrants who creates exciting, bold, and unique designs.


Winning awards can motivate and inspire designers to do better in their field. Introducing the design category is a complement as designers push boundaries to bring out thoughts and creativity in the world. Winning award would make you a respected designer in your field, and there are higher chances of you getting hired easily in a reputed agency.

Generally, before submitting your work to the design competition, there are certain things that you ensure to do. Always make sure your online design portfolio is updated. Impressing judges is one colossal task which can be achieved by creating a shining portfolio. Once you receive an award and the honourable mention, you would want your potential clients could learn more about you and your work. Create your website and showcase your work as beautifully as you can.

So, make sure to promote your award win in social media and update your portfolio for better response. Designers are underrated as their skills go unnoticed.

Still, their accomplishments are on which the agencies and brands are running flawlessly. Awards and competition are one of the ways to gain recognition in the industry. Always create the best designs and which has the creativity and a new vision. The only tip to winning an award is to create a design without wishing for a reward but working with perfection and creating aesthetic designs.

HR is a skilled graphic designer, digital marketing consultant, web developer, and content creator. With more than 10 years of experience in content creation, HR is dedicated to contributing engaging and thorough graphic and web design articles to Line25.

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