red dot award: communication design 2004

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Successful corporate communication influences financial success – companies appeal to target groups on emotional level.

Whether on their websites or in their business reports – today, companies increasingly try to appeal to their target groups’ emotions. This is one of the trends, which has become apparent in this year’s red dot award: communication design. The best works in the field of communication design are selected annually from among the numerous entries in this competition.

Today, purely factual information rarely stands by itself, but is rather embedded into a network of additional information, photos and high-quality design. The target groups are addressed on an emotional level, thus becoming loyal to the company, the brand or the event, respectively. This has become particularly clear in the categories ‘Financial Communication’ and ‘Corporate Communication’ of the red dot award: communication design competition 2004. In their business reports, companies not only present results and figures, but make great efforts to appeal to investors’ and clients’ emotions. “The listed companies, in particular, have recognised, that they have to increasingly invest in communication to win back the investors’ trust,” summarizes Professor Dr. Zec, initiator of the red dot design award, “because in the financial system success and failure are closely related to successful financial communication. This also includes, apart from the expected factualness, appealing to the target groups’ aesthetic vein with the help of catchy design and illustration.”

Competition results
This year, the jury of nine international design experts faced a flood of 2,936 entries from 27 countries. 198 times they awarded the red dot quality label for outstanding design and 31 times the ‘red dot: best of the best’ for the best of the ten categories.

There is one innovation regarding the honorary prizes. The competition remains full of suspense, because the winner of the ‘red dot: grand prix’, worth € 10,000, which will go to the best work of the complete competition, and the winner of the ‘red dot: junior prize’ for the best student work, worth € 2,500, won’t be announced until the festive presentation of prizes on 3 December in the Essen Philharmonic Concert Hall. For each of the two prizes three works have been nominated.

The nominees for the red dot: grand prix are:
• “Wörlitz. Ein Hort der Toleranz” (“Wörlitz. A stronghold of tolerance”) advertising campaign by Heye & Partner, Unterhaching
• “Wer’s glaubt wird selig” (“Nonsense”) exhibition design by Jäger & Jäger, Überlingen
• “Crop Series” catalogue by Segura Inc., Chicago, USA

The nominees for the red dot: junior prize are:
• “Save your face!” TV-spot, Daniel Janssen, Hamburg
• “Stadt- und Bürgerkommunikation – Ein Corporate Identity-Konzept für die Stadt Wuppertal” (“Communcation for a city and its inhabitants - a corporate identity concept for the city of Wuppertal”), Nicolas Markwald and Nina Neusitzer, Wuppertal
• website, Nils Schrader, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The € 10,000 prize money for the winner of the red dot: grand prix has been sponsored by Krenzler Graf Biermann oHG from Essen, which is the main sponsor of this year’s competition and one of the largest Allianz Insurance chief agencies in Germany. With this co-operation, the company is continuing its long-standing successful partnership with the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. The € 2,500 Prize money for the juniorprize is sponsored by AGD, Alliance of German Designers.

This year, the ‘red dot: digital media’ has been announced for the first time. This prize will be awarded to the best work among all entries in the field of digital media. This includes works of the multimedia category such as websites and CD-ROMs, but also computer graphics and computer animations, trailers and TV-spots. The winner is the interactive installation ‘floating numbers’, which was created by the Art+Com design studio for a special exhibition of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

Presentation of prizes and special exhibition on 3 December, the prize-winners will be honoured at the festive award ceremony in the Essen Philharmonic Concert Hall and at the opening of the special exhibition in the red dot design museum.

The prize-winning works will be exhibited in the ‘Design Innovations 2004: red dot award’ special exhibition in the red dot design museum in Essen from 4 December 2004 to 9 January 2005.

Just in time for the presentation of prizes, the documentation of the competition, the “International Yearbook Communication Design 2004/2005” will be published.

Press contact:
Astrid Sprenger, Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen
Phone: +49 – (0)201-30104-33, Fax: +49 – (0)201-30104-44

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 website, but rather, how intensively they are using this medium. One group of websites 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 websites 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 website as long as possible. Thus, net-games have become an extension of corporate communication.

It also became clear in this field, that designing websites with a clearly defined target group allows for considerably more freedom on behalf of the communication designer compared to websites 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


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