Who can enter?

The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are international and entries from any country are welcomed. They must be entered jointly by the agency, or in-house design team delivering the work, and the client commissioning it.

What can I enter?

Any type of design in any industry sector can be entered, so long as you have the measured proof that design made a clear and significant contribution to the results achieved by the work. The project could have launched at any time, but your entry must include some up-to-date evidence collated after 1 January 2021 (for 2024 entries).

How do I enter?

Entries for the 2024 DBA Design Effectiveness are now closed. You can download the 2024 entry pack for reference to find out everythign you need to know about entering here

How much does it cost?

  • Standard entry rate: £1120+vat
  • Discounted DBA member entry: £595+vat
  • £100 consultation discount: Book and complete your draft entry consultation by 29 September to save £100+vat on your entry fee. Email awards@dba.org.uk to book your consultation and receive your discount code.
  • £50 consultation discount: Book and complete your draft entry consultation by 13 October to save £50+vat on your entry fee. Email awards@dba.org.uk to book your consultation and receive your discount code.

Where does the money I spend on my entries go?

The DBA is a not for profit organisation, set up by the design industry for the design industry. By entering the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards you directly enable the ongoing delivery and development of this globally respected awards scheme, ensure the DBA has the resources and evidence to champion the value of design to business and to government, and help the industry to grow and prosper. Every penny that you invest in the Awards only covers the costs the DBA incurs against running it. 


How to write a case study and what support is available from the DBA

How the awards are judged

Entries are judged on their own merits through a rigorous, three-stage process. Entries are not judged in categories or against one another, but instead an entry is judged entirely on the merits of the case it makes for design effectiveness within its own context. The entry must evidence and prove that design led to the results achieved, by contextualising and evaluating the market and business environment in which it was created, and clearly exploring and explaining the impact of any other influencing factors.

You can take a look at the judging criteria and judging process for more information. The most comprehensive guidance around what the judges are looking for is found within the Entry Pack.

What about confidential data?

Entrants may have confidential information in their entry. The DBA takes the handling of confidential data very seriously. Entries are restricted to DBA administrators and judges only. Every judge signs a non-disclosure agreement upon appointment. Any judge with a conflict of interest to an entrant does not see that entry and plays no part in the discussion of that entry.

Entrants who have confidential information must provide two clearly labelled versions of their entry:
01. ‘Confidential – not for publication’ version for use in the judging process only.
02. ‘For publication’ version that states “redacted confidential data” in place of removed information throughout the entry. Alternatively, you may wish to use indices or percentages to
replace exact figures.

Winning ‘for publication’ cases will be published on the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards website. We advise keeping as much data publicly available as possible, in order to help the reading of your entry when it is published and accessible to the wider industry.

If only one version is submitted, it will be treated as the publication version.

Why do you need an unbranded ‘publication' version of our entry by 3 November if we are submitting a confidential version?
The reason we need this at the entry stage is because as soon as the shortlist is confirmed in March we use the publication version of your case study to form the basis for the website write-ups, the script articulation and all future communications etc. Winners will have time in March 2024 from the shortlist announcement to art-work their case study ready to add to the website. 

How many images can I include in my case study?

You can use between three and six images within your case study, and you must adhere to the page limit. 

Do I need a signature from senior contact of the agency and client company?

Yes, the details of the entrant’s principal / managing director or equivalent, and an appropriate senior executive of the other party must be added to the sign off sheet. This completed document must be added as a separate PDF online as part of your submission. 

A note on COVID-19 as an influencing factor on your entry

To be eligible to enter the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards this year, entries must contain some evidence collated after 1 January 2021. You can include data from any time before this date, so long as some has been collected after.

It may be that your case has been affected, either positively or negatively, by COVID-19. Depending on the individual circumstances of your entry and the data you have available, you can decide how best to talk about the effect of COVID-19 on the context of your case and the results achieved. This will be unique to each entry, and a decision to consider individually. If you include data from this period, it will be important to carefully consider the impact that it may have had.

The DBA ensures that all judges are fully briefed on how to consider factors that may have influenced an entry either positively or negatively, and judges are skilled at understanding the external factors that may impact success. The DBA will ensure, as always, that all entries are judged consistently against the criteria for design effectiveness.

If you’d like to speak to someone about the circumstances of your case and what data to include, please email awards@dba.org.uk.


The DBA team is here to support you through the entry process, from thinking through what might make a good case to submit, to discussing working drafts. To book a call please email awards@dba.org.uk and we will accommodate you on a first come first serve basis. 

Early entry scoping

If you’d like to chat about a case that you think might make a good entry before you embark on writing it up, or you would like to talk more generally about how to embed design effectiveness into your everyday working practices, you can book a meeting or call with one of the DBA team.
Scoping meetings are free for DBA members, £125+VAT for non-members. 

Draft entry consultations 

If you'd like to talk about your entry in detail and have a draft reviewed, you can book a 45 minute consultation with one of the team. Consultations can be booked once you pay for your entry online. 

A consultation with one of the team can help with the following elements of your entry:

  • Ensuring your entry is on the right track.
  • Flagging any areas that are missing.
  • Ensuring your project is suitable.
  • Answering any questions about the entry process.

What we can't help with:.

  • Specific guidance about how you should measure the results achieved, although we can give you suggestions on how to do this and talk you through some examples.
  • Feedback on previous entries.
  • How the judges might award your case / the likely outcomes of judging.

Calls are free for DBA members, £125+VAT for non-members. 


When will I hear any news?

You will be notified in March 2024 if your entry has been shortlisted for an award or not, and the 2024 shortlist of winners will be announced on the DBA website. Winners will then find out the level of their award at the prestigious awards ceremony in June 2024.

Can I get any feedback?

Once the shortlist of winners has been announced in March 2024, unsuccessful entrants can apply for feedback. After the shortlisted entries are awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold at the ceremony in June 2024, winners can then also apply for feedback.

Feedback calls are designed to help inform future case writing and to help you understand the outcome of judging. They will also help you, as an organisation, to consider the types of processes and ways of working that will help you maximise and track design effectiveness. To ensure that all feedback can be embedded into your agency, the most senior relevant person from your agency must be on the call.

Calls are free for DBA members, £125+VAT for non-members.

You will be invited to book a 45 minute feedback call once the result of your entry has been announced and we will schedule calls on a first come first served basis.

To ensure that you never miss a deadline and stay up to date with the DBA, sign up to our mailing list.