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A Design Award Review

A Design Award Review

A quick yet in-depth review of the international Italian A-Prime Design Award.

There are many design awards out there but this is a review of the famous A’ Design Award. I cover a list of services they offer and try to compare their offerings and design prize with that of other design awards that you could nominate your design to. Do read this if you do good design, otherwise if you do not do good design, read anyway because this could be useful for you to do better.
First of all, A’ Design Award seems highly differentiated from any other design award I had reviewed so far, the most interesting aspect is the preliminary judging mechanism, basically what it means is that; you register to their website and then send your design free of charge and without any obligations to nominate, and in return get a free score of your design, you decide to nominate or not based on your score.
To try the preliminary score mechanism I uploaded a terrible yet realized and a good but conceptual project, the terrible project got a score of 2 over 10 which translates to: do not nominate it, it will fail and the good project got a 7. This is indeed good, while I already know which project was better, it could be beneficial for companies who are having difficulty choosing which work to nominate. I liked this about A’ Design Award.
Do you like exploiting online platforms and getting free services and things? I perhaps do like getting free things and therefore I must admit that I did exploit A’ Design Award to get free consultancy for some of the designs we have for a client. I used their preliminary score mechanism and uploaded the designs to get a free score. Not only I get a score from 0 to 10, they also suggested me how to present the designs better, all free of charge.
Now, I must note that the competition is not free of charge; you can register for free, you can upload a design for free, you can get a free preliminary score but the nomination is not free of charge, however since you already know what to expect more or less through preliminary score, so the risk is quite low, for me any score that is equal to or higher than 6 is worth nominating and I know a few people who got a five but nominated and won.
A Design Award Review
Then there is also a service called express evaluation service, I do not like these kind of add-on services usually but for a PR Person, this service seemed indeed highly useful, because when you do public relations you want to advertise as soon as the product is realized to the market, that is when you need to create a hype, and winning a design competition can indeed be useful to amplify the already existing advertising regarding your offering.
The express evaluation service allows you to quickly learn your results instead of waiting for a year, since time is money, waiting whole year is money lost, and by paying a small premium I am ready to learn my results much faster. While of course the service costed more money, I liked them even more because A’ Design Award clearly understands what the PR people need; instant publicity and fame.
Indeed the primary role of a design competition or a design award victory for a design is publicity; if a design competition can generate good publicity, that is a good design competition, and I really like the amount of work they put to create PR tools, such as translation to foreign languages, press release preparation and distribution, article placements and more make the A’ Design Award valuable to PR people.
So of course I am impressed as a PR Person but what about the other benefits, they got a page called the design prize which lists about twenty or more items, some are interesting for designers and some are valuable to brands, but among all, as a PR person I think the most important is the logo license; unlike other awards where you pay yearly for the award winning design logo, at A’ Design Award, if you are a laureate, you use it for a life time, free of charge.
The logo is very valuable; the award winning design logo when placed on products can actually increase sales, from a few to a dozen percentage; this is indeed very, very, very relevant for our clients who want to earn more money by selling more of their products, and I feel also good karma coming out of this because instead of regular products at least consumers are able to identify good designs that have more value.
In addition to the logo usage, winners get a public relations package that includes a press release, an electronic press kit that contains an amazing number of images and data to make it easy for press members and editors to feature your work. Of course I hate this set of services because it means my clients can just bypass me as a PR Agent and directly get everything I offer for much less, but luckily, they would probably not.
A Design Award Review
I do not feel threatened by their PR Services because it is not easy to upload a design, they have a big manual that you are supposed to follow and it takes a bit of time to get your design accepted to the competition, the organizers aim to ensure that all the entries are presented equally good so that in the end, it is the designs, rather than the design presentations being judged by the jury. So since it is not so much easy to send your work, you need to submit five images and enter some text nicely, I think I am covered.
Jury matters, the quality of a design award is very much correlated by the size and quality of its jury. A’ Design Award has one of the largest juries for any design competition in the World and entries are judged under hundreds of categories. The size of the jury, the width and depth of the competition as well as its methodology and documentation makes it highly prestigious. Prestigious is good, because when the competition is prestigious, winning it is more prestigious and it is easier to get featured.
What I do not like about A’ Design Award? I think it is rather hard to win it, many other design awards we get involved with is quite easy to win, you pay and they sell you the trophy, however at A’ Design Award, the trophy, certificate, book etc. all these things are free of charge if you win the award, so it is harder to win it, but at least you know if you could win in advance or not by getting their free preliminary score, but sometimes I find it frustrating because I got some clients for which I submit many entries and only one or two among dozens get a decent preliminary score.
We never nominate any design that got a score of four or less, but I heard some other agents doing it, I think it does not make sense as their preliminary score seems quite reliable and I would rather not take a risk my clients money, or my time. That being said there is another thing that I actually do not like about A’ Design Award; shipments.
In many other awards you are required to buy gala night tickets, other awards would sell you a table for ten, for a few thousand euros, but at the A’ Design Award, the gala night is free of charge for winners, however, if you do not go to gala night, they will not send your winner kits; unless you explicitly request a delivery, so I do not like this part.
Recently, I discovered that I could make a digital nomination which costs way much less but with same PR services so I usually use this for clients who are tight on budget. This does not have the gala night invitation or the winner kit included so one problem gone. Normally the regular or pro entry as they call it includes a lot of services as well as a lot of merchandise, print materials, gifts etc, the digital version includes mostly PR services and nothing physical but costs half so I like it a lot as a PR Person.
A Design Award Review
So as a summary, I really liked their services but I feel a bit threatened as a PR Agent initially as their services makes my service unneeded, but as a PR Agent I find the A' Design Award as a great competition which delivers exceptional value for advertising, publicity and public relation purposes but very close to making the job of a design PR Agent obsolete.
I was relieved when I discovered their bulk entry packages, they cost slightly less but if I wanted, I could buy them and nominate the works of many different clients. Furthermore, the design prize, the trophy, certificate, exhibition, pr services and gala etc everything is quite fantastic, you really feel the quality and you for sure feel the prestige and that it is not that hard to win.
In the end, I ended up using their free preliminary score service a lot, both to help me consult clients as well as to choose which products among my clients' portfolio to be nominated. I advise all people to make use of their preliminary score service to ensure that you nominate a design that would have a high chance of victory. You can register today at or learn more at

This article was added on Saturday, 30th of July, 2016 at 03.05 pm by author Frank Scott Tags: design award review, design competition review, design contest review. Read our copyright policy here.




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