German Design Award

Does anyone know if this design award is reputable or well known (even if only in Germany)? We got an invitation/nomination to apply, but the fee is quite hefty so was looking for some insight before proceeding. There’s very little information or press about it in english.


The “German Design Award” is a competition that is organized by the “rat für formgebung” and has a somewhat more staid reputation than other competitions, because it was initiated by the highest representatives of the German state and is still backed by official boards. The jury consist of very reputable ambassadors of the particular design fields.

"The Organiser makes all the Difference

The German Design Council, the expert for brand and design in Germany, bestows the German Design Award. Commissioned by the highest authority to represent new developments in the German design industry. Established on the initiative of the German Bundestag (the lower house of German parliament) as a foundation in 1953, it supports the industry in all matters consistently aimed at generating an added brand value through design. As a result, the German Design Council is one of the world’s leading competence centres for communication and brand management in the field of design. The exclusive network of foundation members includes in addition to designers and design associations, in particular the owners and brand directors of numerous renowned companies.
Website of the German Design Council"

So it is seen as an honor to receive said nomination. I have no idea what the fees are nowadays, nor can I vouch for it to be worth it, as you give no hint about what your approach to market is. What I can say is, that when I was in that race in the past all of the European customers opted to go for it and milk it for marketing, given they were successful.

If your main market is not the 80 Mill german customer base you might come to a different conclusion as well.
My compliments, now we need to see what got you the nomination.



At the end of the day (with any design award) you have to decide:

-Is the amount your spending worth the ROI you will get on recognition and PR. Most design awards these days are more about the press announcement then anything else. Big companies use the stacks of iF awards to help justify design expenses and it looks good when pitching products to customers.

-Are you willing to take the budget required (most of these awards wind up costing the finalists thousands of dollars) and spend it on the award instead of something else that might be useful for your team (equipment, training, conferences?)

-Will your budget for rewards be best served on this one, or on other more popular awards (iF, IDSA, Red Dot) which may carry more industry specific clout.

If you feel comfortable enough then I would say to do it, but if none of your customers or team members will care about it then don’t bother. Most of these awards are money making organizations one way or another. Those fancy gala balls have to be paid for somehow.

I hear Dieter will be emceeing the awards ceremony.

Thank you for the responses! We’ll take this into consideration. Germany is a large market for us so we’ll probably give it a go.