The winners of 2020 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards have been unveiled, with the top award this year being split between three different design studios that worked on one project.
Run annually by the Design Business Association (DBA), the awards are assessed by a panel of judges which take into consideration a design project’s contribution to business success by way of growth and profits. This year was the 31st instalment of the awards and was celebrated with a marked difference – because of the global coronavirus pandemic the ceremony was held virtually over Zoom.
In total, 26 awards were given out this year: five Gold accolades, 12 Silver and nine Bronze. The top award, the Grand Prix, was awarded to Bompas & Parr, Design Bridge and Dolmen jointly, for their work with alcoholic beverages company Diageo.
The winning project in question was a “disruptive” new fount for Irish brewers Guinness. Called the Guinness Hero Harp, it was designed and developed to help restore Guinness’ draught presence at the bar. So sought after was the project that according to the DBA, in the 20 months that followed its launch, some 22,860 British outlets had installed the new founts – a stark contrast to the previous 30-month target of 13,000 installations.
Glasgow-based branding and design studio 999 Design also scooped a Gold award this year for its work with Glasgow City Council. In this project, the 999 team were tasked with connecting with traditionally “hard-to-reach” groups so that Glasgow Club, the council’s sports and leisure facilities, could compete with budget gyms in the area.
This was achieved through a “distinctive” new brand identity and flexible messaging system and produced excellent results: clubs’ membership grew 16% in the year after the redesign (versus an industry average of just 2%) and sign-ups from those in the 55-74 age bracket rose 19%.
London-based B&B Studio also won big with its work for healthy vending machine brand Mother. With the ultimate aim to challenge the unhealthy associations surrounding vending machines, Mother needed a design that supported this. B&B therefore gave the start-up a sleek machine design, along with a stylish touch-screen interface and that could also work to challenge traditional vending machines’ reputation for being temperamental.
Five years from the launch of the design and Mother can count Apple and Amazon as customers and has 83 machines around the UK. The design has gone beyond the UK’s average weekly vending machine sales target by 239%.
Elsewhere, two other studios were recognised for their Gold-standard work: Coley Porter Bell for its rebrand of sustainable juice brand Flawsome! (previously Get Wonky) and design studio Contagious for its work with Ian Macleod Distillers and the Glengoyne Distillery Experience.
Other notable winners from this year’s ceremony included Vault49’s work for Bailey’s Strawberries and Cream (silver) and the Plant Kitchen branding work done by Coley Porter Bell (bronze).
Speaking of this year’s winners, DBA CEO Deborah Dawton highlighted how the projects gave evidence to the adaptability of design and designers, and how relevant this was given the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on brands and companies the world over.
“[The winners] demonstrate that if a market has changed, or the needs of customers have changed, design can catalyse a business to think differently and react appropriately, to bridge that gap.
“They prove that an investment in design, is an investment in the future of a business.”
To see the full list of Gold, Silver and Bronze winners, head to the DBA website.