Differentiation by design
Results and trends of the red dot award: product design 2008




Design is of great significance for a company’s commercial success, because design provides good ideas with a form and is indispensable for differentiation in the global market. Many companies have come to internalise this realisation, as the results of this year’s red dot design award clearly demonstrate: for the first time 1,253 companies from 51 countries submitted more than 3,200 products for expert assessment in Essen. The winners of the red dot award: product design 2008, one of the largest and most renowned international design competitions, have now been selected. In total 50 top products received the “red dot: best of the best” for their outstanding and innovative design, another 676 received the “red dot” quality seal for high design quality. The festive awards presentation with more than 1,000 guests will take place on 23 June 2008 in the Essen Opera House, the Aalto Theatre.


Economic upturn due to design? – US companies increasingly bank on design
“Good design is good business” – This slogan coined by IBM president Tom Watson appears to have reflected the design understanding of US American manufacturers until today. While right from the start design in the US has been strongly characterised by the pragmatism of the sought market success, now a new design awareness appears to be emerging in the face of looming recession: Never before have so many US American companies taken part in the red dot design award with such high-quality design products as in this year. The numbers are impressive: 56 products of American companies and/or design firms received an award this year, six of them a red dot: best of the best for highest design quality. “While in the past design has for many American entrepreneurs been a means to end, more and more are now realising that they have to pursue a premium strategy in order to be internationally competitive in the long run,” says expert Professor Dr. Peter Zec, initiator of the red dot design award, explaining this development. “Design awareness appears to be changing. Apple has successfully led the way, but now other interested companies follow suit.”

Competition results
The current results of the red dot award: product design 2008 show the growing importance of high-quality design: after receiving 2,548 entries in 2007, the competition received the record number of 3,203 entries from a total of 51 countries. In the face of an overall further increase in design quality the international jury of 24 was able to award the “red dot” quality label for good design 676 times this year. Fifty products even received the “red dot: best of the best”, the highest award of the competition, for their pioneering design and special innovations.

This year the design experts for the first time honoured 137 products, which stood out from the masses due to their extremely successful detail solutions, with an honourable mention. Such an honourable mention is to encourage companies and designers to further increase their investment in design and quality and continue on the path they have taken.

The honorary gala: awards presentation on 23 June 2008, 6:00pm
The honouring of the prize-winners will take place at the traditionally festive awards presentation in the special atmosphere of the Essen Aalto Theatre. Like every year, numerous design greats will meet up with personalities from politics, sports, media and entertainment from all around the world and honour the best of industrial design in a cultural event. At the Winners’ Party, which will take place directly after the awards presentation in the red dot design museum, award winners and guests will be able to celebrate together into the small hours.

The exhibition of the winning products in the red dot design museum
All award-winning and honourable mention-winning products will be presented in the “Design on stage – winners red dot award: product design 2008” exhibition from 24 June to 27 July 2008 in the Essen red dot design museum on the premises of the ‘Zeche Zollverein’ World Cultural Heritage Site. With 1,500 products on more than 4,000 square metres, the red dot design museum houses the largest permanent exhibition of contemporary design worldwide.

The red dot design award
Today, the red dot design award, the origins of which go back to 1955, is one of the largest and most renowned design competitions worldwide. It consists of the individual disciplines “red dot award: product design”, “red dot award: communication design”, and “red dot award: design concepts”, which has been held annually in Singapore since 2005. In 2007 the competition recorded more than 7,000 entries from 60 nations.

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