The Rules

Rules of entering

1. Entries must be submitted online by 5pm GMT, 3 November 2023. After the deadline no further changes will be accepted. Late entries will not be accepted. There will be no deadline extension.

2. The project may have been launched at any time, however, your entry must include some up-to-date evidence, collated after 1 January 2021.

3. Entries must be submitted anonymously and must not identify the name of the design agency or in-house teams responsible for the design work. Throughout the entry, please refer to the design team who is making the entry as “we”. Any additional parties, such as other business units or design agencies, refer to as “they” or “Business 2”, “Business 3”, etc. respectively. Client names can be included. You will be able to add identifying names and further art-work design for publication purposes should you be shortlisted for an award.

4. All entries must be made online and submitted in the form of a PDF report, black font on white background, font size 10, portrait, written in English and A4 in size. There should be no agency identifying marques. Graphs and pictures can be included to support the case, however it is not required to spend studio time on extensive art working. A maximum of 6 images can be included in your entry. Entries must adhere to the specified page limits (9 pages in total). If the entry exceeds the page limits, the additional pages will not be circulated to the judges.

5. If you have any confidential data in your case study, you must submit a ‘Confidential – not for publication’ and ‘For publication’ version of the entry. This wording must be included on the cover of your entry to indicate which version it is. If entries are not clearly marked the DBA is not liable if the entry is published. If only one entry version is provided, then it will be assumed that this is available for publication however it is marked. If submitting a second confidential version, the publication version must state ‘REDACTED CONFIDENTIAL DATA’ within the entry in place of every instance of removed information throughout the version. Alternatively, indices or percentages could be used to replace exact figures in publication versions. It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure that no confidential data is included in your ‘For publication’ version and the DBA will not be held responsible for any errors. We advise keeping as much data publicly available as possible to help the clarity of your case when it is read post-publication.

6. If your entry is shortlisted for an award, at that point you will be asked to re-format the ‘For publication’ version of your PDF ready for publication on the DBA website (June 2024), and studio time can be invested in art-working at that point (March 2024). The investment of extensive studio art-working time is of course not a requirement, however at this point the page limit will increase to 12 A4 sides, image use will be unrestricted, and you will be asked to re-introduce company names / logos. These are the only changes permitted at this stage. The ‘For publication’ version submitted at entry must be identical to the ‘Confidential – not for publication’ version apart from the redacted information. No changes to copy or content will be permitted, apart from art working.

7. Separate to the entry PDF, entrants must supply logos for both client and agency in addition to a minimum of three and a maximum of six images of the project. These should be supplied as 72dpi.jpgs online. Once you have submitted your entry online, please supply the same images via WeTransfer to These files should be high-resolution, CMYK/300 dpi, TIFF, or jpg file formats. If you include any images which feature someone else’s work, you must have permission to use these images and they must be labelled accordingly. All images must be sent to by Friday 10 November 2023.

8. Each entry must be finally approved, before submission, by the entrant’s principal / managing director or equivalent, and by an appropriate senior executive of the other party. The names of these individuals should be entered into the online form and included on the sign off sheet which can be found here. Once these names have been entered and the form has been signed, they have confirmed they have complied with these rules. DBA may ensure all these individuals have the necessary authority.

9. Entries submitted into the Awards should be honest and truthful and comply to the rules. Any entry that is found, subsequent to judging and / or the Awards Ceremony, to have included false or misleading information may be disqualified and / or have its Award withdrawn. By entering the Awards, entrants are confirming that the works they submit contain no personal data which would be governed by the Data Protection Act 2018. No works submitted should contain any libellous or obscene material, nor anything which infringes the intellectual property rights of others. All entry content is respected as the intellectual property of the entrants.

10. The decisions of the judging panels are final. 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 is free for DBA members and will be charged at £125+VAT for non-members.

11. You will be notified in March 2024 if your entry has been successful or not. The level of award you have won will be announced at the Awards ceremony June 2024 and the winners will feature on the DBA website with case studies on, the official website of the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards. There is absolutely no prior disclosure of this information.

12. The judges reserve the right not to accept an entry if the rules have not been strictly complied with.

13. Subject to Rule 5, by submitting written or artistic work each entrant guarantees that approval of their client has been obtained and entrants (on behalf of themselves and their clients) give the organisers (and any other third parties approved by the organiser as part of the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards scheme or PR / reporting covering them) the right to reproduce all or part of the publication version entry and supplied images at any time in the future. If for any reason they are unable to grant this right, each entrant indemnifies the organisers and the judges against all costs, claims and liabilities.

14. The organisers reserve the right to give permission to third parties to publish the whole or any part of the publication versions only of submitted material as part of the Awards or reporting thereafter.

15. Works submitted as part of an entry will not be returned. Unsuccessful entries will be deleted from our systems after 12 months from the entry deadline. Winning entries are kept indefinitely.

16. If entries submitted for the Awards are subsequently published, the authors must acknowledge the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.