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Looking towards the future: A profession in transition | Award-winning communication design in the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2023


Commercial artists have already turned into communication designers – but what is next? Communication is the key to economic success, and today the design industry is more important than ever. Nevertheless, the industry remains in a state of transition: our lives are determined by artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, algorithms and a tsunami of bits and bytes. Actually, in taking a positive approach to understanding and making use of all of this, determinants need to be formulated that facilitate orientation and true value creation. In this context, designers fulfil an important role beyond basic communication – they select, curate and condense this very abundance of information to bring its essence visually into focus. As the TED founder Richard Saul Wurman puts it, designers have become information architects. The medium is irrelevant – whether print, app, exhibition or packaging, whether illustration, photography or graphics. In any design discipline, it is essential to communicate information clearly, so as to facilitate targeted navigation through the complex jungle of data.

This is precisely what makes the annual Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design so exciting: across all categories, it reveals which challenges designers worldwide have to master – both today and in the future. Moreover, this year, too, it has become evident in all design categories which fantastic tools are available to communicate information at a high level. Moreover, the award-winning works also demonstrate that two other important factors of our time have increasingly come into focus. Sustainability is now understood to be just as much of a creative driving force as the design challenge of achieving utmost inclusivity. “The advancing digitalisation of communication has in fact fundamentally changed the job description of commercial artists or graphic designers. Technical skills have been increasingly replaced by communicative skills. There is no longer any doubt that information is the ‘raw material’ of our time. However, this raw material is in need of designs for us to make use of it in society,” says Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot.

Diversity of winning projects

It is not surprising that the focus of communication has shifted to the digital world – after all, with Gen Z at least a highly coveted target group has emerged that has grown up in and with digitality. The digital works submitted this year are correspondingly diverse – yet at the same time, their seamless connection with “analogue” touchpoints is fascinating. For example, the Novartis Pavilion’s 10,000 solar modules, which not only light up 30,000 LEDs but also produce electricity, can be seen from afar and attract visitors into an exhibition space where scientific questions are answered. This project by iart received an award, as did the Dot Pad by Serviceplan, which translates texts, images and graphics into a tactile surface and Braille for visually impaired people.

The fact that print still has surprises on offer – and can appeal to all the senses in high-quality form – is also shown by the award-winning entries. Walter Oczlon’s 31-metre-long accordion-fold book impressed in terms of both form and content, while his “Verhüllungen” (Coverings) were also awarded. As every year, these and other award-winning works all share a characteristic that has long distinguished the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design: creative quality.

Award ceremony in Berlin and announcement of the winners

The festive award ceremony on 3 November 2023 in Berlin will once again celebrate the Red Dot maxim “In search of good design and creativity”. The Red Dot: Best of the Best recipients will be invited onto the stage of the Berlin Konzerthaus to be honoured with a trophy. Moreover, the winners of the highest single distinction, the Red Dot: Grand Prix, will be announced in public for the first time.

This year, the Red Dot jury selected six outstanding works to receive the prestigious Grand Prix – from around 9,000 entries in 18 competition categories and originating from 56 countries.

Another highlight of the awards ceremony will be the honorary title “Red Dot: Agency of the Year”, which is presented annually to an agency that has earned an international reputation in the industry through consistently high design quality, creative vision and relevant projects. Last year, this title recognised the innovative work of MetaDesign, an agency that has been operating successfully since 1979.

It will be a special November evening for the winner of the Red Dot: Junior Award 2023 as well, which is endowed with 10,000 euros. The person who succeeded in securing this preeminent award is a mystery not yet revealed.

A glimpse at the winning works

Some of the winning entries will be on display at the Museum für Kommunikation Berlin from 4 November 2023. In addition, all award-winning projects can be found in the “Winners” section of Red Dot Online starting on 3 November. And all those who wish to gain even deeper insights into the concepts of the works can look forward to the Red Dot Yearbooks later in the year as a rich source of inspiration.

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