DBA awards system needs to be rectified

For completeness of reporting on the Design Business Association’s Design Effectiveness Awards, your article “Corporate candidates fail to meet the mark” (DW 13 October), should have mentioned AEA Technology’s submission in the Corporate Identity over 1m category.

The AEA Technology identity programme was the only finalist in the category, despite the fact that it was not awarded “winner” status. As the only large corporate identity finalist it was clearly the best in its class this year, and we take that to mean that it was the clear winner of the category.

The DBA and its judges should reflect on the messages they are sending to the business world in not making awards for work which wins its category.

In the case of AEA Technology, the work has already been widely acknowledged for its effectiveness, and market research and measurable results have proved that the client’s own objectives were not just met, but exceeded.

This result raises the issue of how to assess the effectiveness of corporate identity, which is the most complex category of design.

A large corporate identity programme is a multi-faceted exercise with numerous objectives which vary from client to client. The assessment criteria for corporate identity need to be sharpened up in order to be able to cope with such varied and complex projects if the awards are to be taken seriously by consultants and clients in future years.

Finally, if this sounds like sour grapes, that is not the intention. Lloyd Northover Citigate has been winner of the Grand Prix, has won the Corporate Identity and Corporate Interiors categories outright and has been finalist in every year of the DBA’s awards. So we have little to grouse about.

Our concern is that these very important awards are operated in such a way that they command the respect they deserve.

John Lloyd

Lloyd Northover Citigate

London WC2

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