The results of the red dot award: communication design 2004 show certain trends...
...and Prof. Dr. Zec concludes: Mass communication has negative effects on design quality
This year's award results made it clear: There is a crisis of the poster
The jurors at work for the red dot award: communication design 2003
Again this year, the nine jurors from seven nations garantee high quality and fair-play in the judgement of the award

Trends of the red dot award: communication design 2004

Mass communication has negative effect on design quality

In the field of companies’ internet presences, the jurors have observed two contrary developments. Today, the question is no longer whether companies have a web-site, but rather, how intensively they are using this medium. One group of web-sites provides increasing well-ordered information with an unbelievable clarity, thus more and more becoming a public archive of the owner.


The informational content of these web-sites normally exceeds the necessary by far and offers real added value. The other group aims to keep the user with half playful, half informative activities on their own web-site as long as possible. Thus, net-games have become an extension of corporate communication.

It also became clear in this field, that designing web-sites with a clearly defined target group allows for considerably more freedom on behalf of the communication designer compared to web-sites addressing a mass audience. “Mass communication ruins the quality”, regrets Professor Zec, “when addressing a target group, not only do you know your clients and their needs, but you can also meet their needs with a corresponding design.”

The crisis of the poster

Another development, which has already slowly become apparent during the last competitions, is the decreasing significance of the poster as a wide-spread communication medium. This has become highly obvious with regards to quality and quantity in the red dot award: communication design 2004 competition. It is mainly due to the fact that the audio-visual media outstrip the poster as a communication form. “The poster is facing a crisis. In particular in the cultural field there are only a few high-quality posters. Here, one can clearly sense the financial problems of the government. Only in Eastern European countries poster art is still wide-spread,” says Zec.

Background information on the competition

The red dot design is one of the oldest and most sought-after international design competitions. Since 1955, outstanding design quality has been annually selected and officially honoured by the organiser of the competition, the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. The jury is the heart of the red dot design award, because it guarantees the objectivity and fairness, which give the competition its worldwide significance. The nine jurors from seven countries are internationally well-known design experts.

The ‘red dot award: communication design 2004’ jury

• Christina Chiappini, Italy

• Mervyn Kurlansky, Mervyn Kurlansky Design, Danmark

• Thomas Kurppa, Stockholm Design Lab, Sweden

• Jean-Jacques Schaffner, Schaffner & Conzelmann, Switzerland

• Guy-A. Schockaert, Ad hoc Design, Belgium

• Erich Sommer, Total Design Köln, Germany

• Frido Steinen-Broo, eStudio Calamar S. L., Spain

• Kurt Weidemann, Germany

• Stefan Ytterborn, Ytterborn & Fuentes, Sweden

Presentation: Heide Hackenberg, AGD-Alliance of German Designers, and Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator of the red dot design award

The categories

• Advertising

• Corporate communication

• Financial communication

• Product communication

• Public Areas

• Printed Valuables

• Television and Electronic Media

• Culture and Sport

• Publishing

• Multimedia

You can find the results, numbers and nominations of the award here.