Judging criteria

In these Awards, effectiveness is measured in terms of commercial benefits achieved for the client and the customer and is not related to standards of aesthetics, or ‘good’ and ‘bad’ design. For example, increasing sales alone is not as significant as increasing sales in a declining market and increasing staff morale. 

The key judging criteria are:

Clarity of presentation

How well-written, structured and presented is the case? Clear, concise entries will deliver a stronger message.

Cause and effect

Proof beyond reasonable doubt of a cause and effect between the design solution and the results. Evidence of the targets set in the original brief against the results achieved.

Clarity of results

The judges are not looking for an in-depth analysis of why a particular design solution was chosen but evidence of what results were achieved.

Scale of effect

The significance of these results in the relevant commercial context or in the overall context of the business itself. Winning entries often describe design projects that have had a significant impact on business performance in a broad context. For example, a product or identity that creates new business and jobs and captures a significant share of an existing market could be relatively more significant than an entry describing only an increase in sales.

A 300% increase in sales in a booming market may be less significant than a 10% increase in a saturated one. A design that turns a whole company around is more significant than one that adds a modest increase to sales.

Explanation and proof of effect

A project’s success must be linked to a measured fact rather than an assumption. Use factual research to substantiate your claims (wherever possible this should be independent of your business and consultancy). The effect of the design must be isolated by also evaluating the effect of other influencing factors e.g. advertising campaign, direct marketing. It is not enough to state that sales went up by X percent after the introduction of a new design.

Other influencing factors

You must identify any factors that might have contributed to the success of the project other than the design. For example, advertising, direct mail or PR campaigns could have influenced the overall success, so it’s important to extrapolate the impact of this activity from the contribution of the design. A lack of convincing information will go against your entry. 

For more information on any of these points, please contact hannah@dba.org.uk