see the shortlist
Editor Design Week
The Design Week Awards has celebrated design excellence since its foundation in 1990, championing commercial design across all disciplines and while we still do this today, the kind of work that motivates studios has shifted over this time.
During my tenure as editor since 2016, I have seen designers and their clients begin to take a broader view. The apex of good design was once considered to be human-centric, but today a more holistic standpoint is aimed for. The human perspective is now often rooted in the environment and natural world, regenerative and circular design perspectives are embraced where relevant, and accessibility and inclusivity demanded by designers. This is not always the case, but it is changing.
While the economy at large is grappling with the idea of decarbonisation, and there is slightly more evidence of socially focussed endeavours by companies and organisations, designers are lighting the way by pushing for progress.
The awards categories have been adapted in recent years to accommodate this, while still recognising work where this is less relevant. The Design Week Awards is ever-changing and yet there is space for everything to be judged against its brief and a design team’s creative response so that all projects are assessed in an even-handed way. Today you’ll find a great mix of work that serves a variety of clients and consumers.
Our Best of Show is SEE MONSTER by Newsubstance. Winner of the exhibition category and highly commended in the social design category, this project typifies the ambition of progressive designers today in its ability to display playful, optimistic and informative responses to complex global issues.
In the accompanying video interview on this page you can hear how Newsubstance took a Government brief to recognise the best of science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths and moved way beyond it by repurposing a disused oil rig as an exhibition and experience, encouraging visitors to reflect on reuse, renewables and the Great British weather. Our judges were suitably impressed and it is fitting that the legacy of the piece will now serve as an exemplar of regenerative design, showing other designers what is possible.
With a panel of nearly 50 independent judges in place, this year’s work has been rigorously appraised by judges who lent their relevant expertise to specialist groups as part of a rigorous two-stage judging process.
Take a look at the judges picks video to find out about their favourite projects, which may or may not have been the overall winner in each category.
I want to thank all of the judges who gave up their time and put so much effort and energy into the process. You can read about some of the judges here.
As ever, there has been some incredibly strong work in our Communications section. Look out for our Identity Design – Rebrand winner, the IIT Institute of Design rebrand, by Collins. Our judges loved it for its ability to distil the complex history of the Bauhaus-influenced design school, into a “generative design structure” which “brought order from chaos”.
Meanwhile another design institution was launching a new brand. The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity by Manual for the Eames Institute needed to appeal to everyone from non-designers to well established designers. Our judges thought the resulting identity delighted and was declared nothing short of “a masterpiece”.
In our digital section there was a hard-fought battle in the TV, film and video graphics section, with the BBC One Idents by Man Vs Machine for BBC Creative eventually coming out on top. The studio nailed the brief by offering the channel’s viewers a calm window into a scene, which also provided an evergreen visual language to stand up to the challenge of the channel’s diverse programme output. Meanwhile, the Best Use of Data category saw some great expressions of designing with data and in the end WeTransfer’s Ideas Report 2022 came out on top. The global study of the creative workforce was beautifully designed and clearly laid out as part of an engaging experience.
There’s plenty more for you to explore in this year’s Winners’ Showcase, including finding out who our Rising Star winner is and meeting the two designers we have inducted into the Hall of Fame, so take a look around.
I’d like to thank all the winners, those who were highly commended and those who were shortlisted. You came a long way to make it through each of these stages. And thank you to everyone who entered this year.
I wish you all well in your pursuit of design excellence for the rest of 2023. Winners, look out for your trophies, which will be in the post soon. If you want to take a photo of your team with the gong, tweet @design_week #DWAwards23 and we’ll share with our followers.
Identity Design - Rebrand
Identity Design - Launch
Writing for Design
2D Packaging – Graphics
3D Packaging – Structural
Illustrations for Rebrands
HERE AT 10AM
HALL OF FAME WINNERS
Check out our video interview with them.
27 June 10:00 BST
best of show
Wayfinding and Environmental Graphics
Best use of Data
TV, Film and Video Graphics
Furniture & Lighting Design
PRODUCTS AND FURNITURE
Best In-House Design Team
Design, Climate, Action: Designing Sustainably
Best of Show
Hall of Fame
PRODUCTS AND FURNITURE