Industrial Designers and awards.

I am coming from an ad school background so I am new to ID, so bear with me. :slight_smile: I know more about the ad world than I do industrial design, so hence my question about awards and status. I know Art Directors/copywriters in an ad agency, if they win lots of awards, they gain status within an agency and then they make more money and can move up the ladder within the agency or even get “bought” by another agency at a higher salary or gain great stuff to put in their portfolio that makes them more marketable, etc etc. In the ID world, does it work the same way and does the designer get credit for his creation or does the agency as a whole? How do designers get the recognition for the work they do in ID. And lastly, do designers submit their work to competitions or do they get nominated by an awards commitee? Thanks guys. I am totally clueless.


It doesn’t quite work like that in ID. Awards are often given to a corporation or firm vs individual designers (they may be named on the award), and while saying you have an IDSA gold, or IF, or Red Dot is nice, I doubt it would get anyone more money because they do not translate into sales.

I think what does get a designer more is proving that you can bring more value to the company or firm.

first of all are design competitions a real testament to one’s cerativity ?

well I think to a certain extent it does. but I don’t think it really measures someone’s ingenuity in this area. Some people may just avoid the contests because they do not see the prizes as attractive as the profits that they may get. The other reason being that not all contests are beneficial to the competitors.

Contests would only be good if you have already patented and sold the products before you go for competition.

…it punches up the ol’ resume a bit, but that is about it.

I’ve always wondered about that. All the ad guys I’ve met have shelves filled with awards. Not so with ID.

I think it has to do with the nature of the work. Ads are fast, fairly easy, and almost guaranteed to make it into production. Our folios are filled with expensive secrets…

yes mrd, it does make the CV looks better, but as far as I see it it doesn’t really add pay to the designer. At least thats what I see. Maybe I am wrong.

competition wins/nominations can’t hurt, but doesnt tell me much about an acutal designers skills/competencies.

esp. a lot of the professional compeitions (ie. non-student ones) that require a hefty fee for entry that keeps a lot of great designers/firms out.

bottom line- do good work, and it will get noticed. your best stuff will be in your portfolio anyhow and award or not you should be able to get yourself the $ and recognition you deserve.

…not to mention (at least in ID, but im sure true elsewhere), many times the best concept/idea isnt the one the client picks so often out of the running for an award (unless submitted as spec work). :slight_smile:


also i think in competitions there is always a method that you can follow and you can too win an award. One of your main points that I highly aggree is the high contest fees and the necessary patent fees that you need to spend before taking part of competitions. It also reasons out why most of the time its the big establishments that win more. The smaller ones have to wait for a while…