Designs that prove their worth pass the toughest test

Congratulations to all the winners in the 2005 Design Effectiveness Awards, announced in London at a dinner on Thursday. The awards, organised by the Design Business Association, are among the toughest in the industry.

Congratulations to all the winners in the 2005 Design Effectiveness Awards, announced in London at a dinner on Thursday. The awards, organised by the Design Business Association, are among the toughest in the industry, as they require cooperation from the client to prove that the project has improved the business performance, either of a particular brand or project, or the organisation as a whole.

You will find the full results in the Creative Survey supplement, published with this issue of Design Week, but it is worth singling out three winners for special mention here.

The Grand Prix winner, the Now Wash Your Hands campaign – created by Lucid for the National Patient Safety Agency to improve hygiene standards in healthcare – shows that you don’t have to work for a financial high-flyer to get a message across effectively, in a way that can be measured. It also demonstrates the increasing potential of the public sector to generate great work.

Meanwhile, Seymour Powell’s Tefal Aquaspeed steam iron for Calor SA, winner of the Export Award, sponsored by UK Trade & Investment, shows that even a relatively mundane product, if well designed, can have a great impact on sales.

But the real hero on Thursday night was surely the Serious** identity, by Elmwood, for waste management company Envirotech. A win in the DBA’s effectiveness awards puts the cherry on the top for a wonderfully witty and irreverent identity that has already won the Leeds-based consultancy a Design Week Award for its sheer creativity in March. It also took a prize in the Benchmarks for consistent branding across various platforms in October, and it is the first project to score a hat-trick.

Another plus for Serious** is that it isn’t just a beautiful piece of work. It owes its strength to no-nonsense writing, spelling out exactly what the client’s business is about and raising a smile in the process. Would that more identities adopted such a lively and memorable approach.

Lynda Relph-Knight, editor

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