Voxpop: Design Effectiveness Awards

There were murmurings at this year’s Design Business Association Design Effectiveness Awards that some of the most effective designs were less aesthetically attractive. Why do some designers feel affronted by this?

What is ‘aesthetically attractive’ is a highly subjective notion. Effective packaging design communicates a brand’s strategic needs in a way that really makes the consumer want to buy it. Pushing the boundaries of a giant brand like Foster’s is a big challenge, as any new design has to be different enough to be noticed, but still obviously Foster’s. Being recognised for doing this successfully by huge numbers of lager drinkers is something we’re very proud of. We’re here to whet the appetites of our clients’ consumers, not those of other designers.

John Wynne, Creative director, BR & Me

I left a space on the mantlepiece thinking that this might be the one. Deservedly, So Organic, Green & Black’s and TomTom won. When I lose out to work like this I feel disappointment, not resentment, because while answering the client’s brief to sell more product, the designers have also challenged and pushed forward the creative solution.When I see the DBA Grand Prix winner, I applaud the sales success, but not at the expense of the innovative reputation of our industry.

 Glenn Tutssel, Executive creative director, Enterprise IG

It’s hard doing design that’s strategically correct and visually stunning. Add in the requirement to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the design ‘worked’ and it’s no surprise the DBA entries attract this kind of criticism.

Michael Johnson, Partner, Johnson Banks

Shane Greeves

The work was not judged on the strength of pure design; it was judged according to its impact on business performance. Some entries were of a higher design standard than others, but we can look forward to seeing the consistency of design work in this category rise.

Shane Greeves, Executive creative director, FutureBrand

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