What makes a successful entry?

1. Look for appropriate projects to enter

As a general rule, the sort of projects which will do well in this competition are those where tight and specific objectives were set at the beginning and where sufficient data currently exists to allow serious evaluation against those objectives.

2. Involve all parties from the outset (and start NOW)

You will need the full co-operation of any internal or external customers to obtain the sort of data needed to make a convincing case for effectiveness (see Focus on Effectiveness below).

3. Early preparation of your entry

Experience shows that the longer you have to gather supporting data for your entry the better, especially if those supplying you with data are not to be put under undue pressure to supply statistics and other information for case studies.

4. Reference previous DEA winners

We advise you to read through the award winning case studies on this site. We have selected some examples of particularly well written case studies below for you to reference when writing your submmission, as a guide to style and how much detail should be given. Remember to keep to the word counts and page limits set out in the current entry pack.

FT.com - Financial Times & 999 Design

Graft Brand - Polyseam & The Engine Room

SKYR - Arla Foods & Elmwood

Booths own label - Booths & Smith&+Village

Harrogate Spring Water - Harrogate Water Brands & Thompson Brand Partners

Mindmate - NHS Leeds South & East Clinical Commissioning Group & Thompson Brand Partners

Dune 'Catwalk Concept' - The Dune Group & Four-by-Two

5. Extrapolate other influencing factors

Successful entries can make a clear distinction between the role of design and other influencing factors. These can include market trends, fads, cultural shifts, major events, advertising, industry regulation change, legislative changes, direct mail or PR campaigns that could have influenced the overall success. It's important to extrapolate the impact of this other activity from the contribution of the design.

6. Pay attention to the presentation and writing of your entry

Unlike most other design competitions, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are judged on written submissions. Visuals are only used to give judges an appreciation of the scope and nature of the design work. It is in your interest to produce a well presented, clearly written and logically argued case.


The key parts of your entry are those describing the project objectives, evaluating the outcome against those objectives, and demonstrating that design made a specific contribution to the project's commercial success. There is not one pre-determined route that can be applied to each project in order to assess effectiveness. Download our reference guides Tips on using data in your entry and Tips for evaluating design effectiveness to help you with your entry.

8. Stick to the rules

Make sure you read the rules of entering carefully and stick to them. Remember to stick to the word counts specified in the entry pack.

9. Sign up for alerts

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