The Judging Process

The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise projects that demonstrate design’s tangible effect on a business. Entrants must present proof beyond doubt that the business problem was solved by design.

During the judging process, results such as profitability, sales, market penetration, distribution, staff morale and market share are considered against the initial brief. Were sales targets outperformed? And if so, by how much? Was company turnover affected? Did the new design cut print and production costs or otherwise impact profit margins? Did the design have social or behavioural implications? If so, what were they? How long did it take for design to deliver a return on investment?

Each entry is judged on its own merits and not by comparison to other entries. So there are an unlimited number of Bronze, Silver and Gold winners. This means that the field for entrants is wide open. Even if this is your first year of entering, there is nothing to stop you from taking home a Gold. It’s all about what your work achieved, and how it met the specific objectives outlined in your case, not how it compares to someone else’s work. DBA Design Effectiveness Awards judges are senior business figures who have been carefully chosen for their business experience and acumen.

Stage one
The first panel of judges will review each entry to determine whether it meets the standards required to win an award.

Stage two
The second panel of judges will decide the level of award each short-listed entry should win depending on the strength of the case. Bronze, Silver and Gold awards will be presented at the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Ceremony in February. The Bronze, Silver and Gold awards recognise and reflect the achievement of all the entries which reach this stage.

Stage three
The third panel of judges are all chief executives from FTSE 100 and design-driven companies. They will select the winner of the Grand Prix from amongst the Gold Awards.

Winning a DBA Design Effectiveness Award isn’t easy; each entry is put through a rigorous judging process and evaluation of the data provided.

The judges only reward those cases which categorically demonstrate that the design led to the results achieved, clearly extrapolate the impact of any other influencing factors and make a logically argued case for design effectiveness. It is fundamental for winning entries to show their results are measured and proven within the wider commercial context, in order for the judges to access the significance of the results and the scale of impact achieved by the design.

Bronze awards will go to projects that have conclusively proven design’s contribution to the commercial success of the project and delivered a strong return on investment.

Silver awards are reserved for excellent examples of design effectiveness. They will have provided impressive evidence to prove the design work exceeded expectations and led to significant business results.

Gold awards go to really outstanding projects that have provided unquestionable and considerable evidence of exceptional design effectiveness and results.

Grand Prix
The Grand Prix is presented to the winner who the judges feel demonstrates the most significant and impressive evidence of design effectiveness. The Grand Prix will be chosen from the Gold Award winners