Do clients care about design awards?

The annual awards season is in full swing, and as we go to press, organisations like D&AD, The One Club and Cannes Lions are licking the envelopes marked ‘Winners Inside’.

Lavish exhibitions and awards dinners are being planned, annuals are being readied for print and the design industry is holding its collective breath in anticipation of the winners being announced, and the celebrations that will follow.

Perhaps some of the work you can see throughout this feature will be up on stage being rewarded. Our opening image, for instance, was created by Taku Satoh Design Office in Tokyo as part of its Pleats Please campaign for Issey Miyake. Having picked up the Gold Prize at the ADC Awards, it’s also been nominated for a Pencil in D&AD’s Graphic Design category.

“It’s a great honour,” enthuses Taku Satoh. “These awards allow our activities to be visible to even more people. They also provide inspiration for future jobs.”

Yet amid the excitement of the awards season, there will be plenty of cynical muttering too. The view that awards consist of the usual suspects slapping one another on the back in mutual self-congratulation isn’t new. Even D&AD’s CEO Tim Lindsay admits there may be a grain of truth to it – certain faces do turn up on the awards circuit more than others. However, this brand of cynicism isn’t confined just to the design industry. From the Oscars to the Golden Joysticks and on to the Turner Prize and the Booker, there will always be healthy scrutiny of the winners, which then spools back into the selection process; who was judging; possible conspiracies and so on.

Despite procedural imperfections and perceived injustices, however, awards schemes definitely have a useful part to play in the design industry. Hard-working and talented people deserve recognition, and as illustrator and D&AD 2013 Pencil nominee Marion Deuchars points out, it goes far beyond receiving ‘kudos’. In fact, she thinks that’s the wrong word. “I don’t think it’s just about the kudos – respect amongst your peers is important,” she insists. “It’s also nice to be acknowledged for the work you do. Most of us don’t only make work for ourselves but for others, and awards are a way of recognising that effort.”

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.