Has it all been in vain? What do you do when the Design Council, our refashioned commercially aware responsible promoter of design, co-sponsors a design competition to find the “best use of design” in 20 categories and then, as some sort of postscript, tags on three effectiveness awards?
For years the Design Business Association has promoted the Design Effectiveness Awards with the clear objective of fostering the understanding that buying design is about buying something that enhances commercial performance, something that owes its raison d’Ãªtre to delivering bottom-line results; something that is, in other words, effective.
For me, the “best use of design” in the context of the newly launched Marketing Design Awards must mean effective, otherwise we are back to judging design purely on aesthetics, and while clients like to have packs, products and communications that look good, in the end commercial design is bought for the results it can deliver. Why then hive off effective design to a mere three categories out of 24? It really is sending the wrong message.
And if the Marketing Design Awards are about effectiveness, are not all concerned shooting themselves in the feet by not being explicit about it and by duplicating a well-established award programme that has its own distinctive and hard-won niche?