Elmwood heads the shortlist for the Design Effectiveness Awards this year, with five projects jostling for the top prize, Design Week can reveal.
For the first time, the Design Business Association has announced the winners ahead of its official awards ceremony in November, when it will reveal whether the 38 projects on the shortlist have received bronze, silver or gold medals, as well as the winner of the Grand Prix.
Design Partners chairman Andrew Summers, who headed up the judging panel for this year’s awards, notes that, ‘The design was more strategic this year. It may have been restricted to product, packaging or branding, but it had an impact across the clients’ businesses.’
The DBA says it is steering away from categorising entries, grouping the winners according to which level of medal they have won instead. This is because entries compete with each other across categories.
Among this year’s winning projects is The Alloy’s BT Baby Monitor, Coley Porter Bell’s packaging for Comfort, Red Bee Media’s idents for TV channel Dave, Fitch’s retail design for HiQ and Pearlfisher’s This Water packaging.
Elmwood’s five entries include the packaging and branding for its own tea brand, Make Mine a Builder’s (pictured) and Bill Oddie’s Bird Food. The consultancy claims that its work for the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, helped to increase sales by 44 per cent and sponsorship by 81 per cent.
The Alloy chairman Gus Desantes says the BT Baby Monitor was created ‘as a stepping stone to stretching the BT brand away from voice’. ‘We were looking at themes of trust, home and communication and this idea did very well in the research stage,’ he says.
The design group claims its work helped to boost BT’s share of the baby monitor market to 18.6 per cent last year.
The award seeks to measure the financial value that design adds to a product or service, rather than creativity or innovation. It courted controversy two years ago when it awarded the Grand Prix to BR&Me’s multi-packs for Foster’s lager. ‘I hope we have chosen a Grand Prix winner which will be recognised as such immediately,’ says Summers.
The winners will be announced at the Hurlingham Club in London, SW6 on 4 November.
On the shortlist
• Elmwood – for Bill Oddie’s Bird Food (for Haith’s), Make Mine a Builder’s (for Elmwood), Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Polycell and Thirsty Planet (for Waterbrands)
• Pearlfisher – for This Water and Famous Grouse (for The Edrington Group)
• The Alloy – for Thomson Grass Valley and BT Baby Monitor