Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design

Design with a message

Communication design for a better world

An important task of communication design is to make products and services known, to convey their message and to lead them to market success. Furthermore, companies and designers use creative projects to take responsibility for the society and the world we live in. By changing perspectives with their communications projects and supporting people to be critical of the existing conditions, they add to making the world a better place. Among others, projects which manage to combine economic efficiency and socio-cultural responsibility in a perfect manner and are furthermore well-designed are awarded a prize by the jury of the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design.

Open your eyes!

Identifying problems and changing the world always has to do with looking at things. TERRE DES FEMMES‘s poster campaign “Open your Eyes” illustrates this in a powerful manner. Around the world, more than 200 million women are affected by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Every 11 seconds, one more is added, even in Western countries like Germany.

In order to raise awareness of this horrific practice of mutilation, GREY Germany / KW43 BRANDDESIGN designed expressive posters which demand a second look. “Viewers stare at the posters in irritation and shock, until they realise that what they see are actually closed eyes – looking deceptively similar and visualising the brutal practice of genital mutilation,” explained the Red Dot Jury.

In 2018, the expert panel awarded this work with a Red Dot: Best of the Best: “This outstanding idea has been realised in a highly eye-catching campaign and thus succeeds in drawing serious public attention to a severe problem.” Accompanied by an initiative, assisted by influencers and celebrities, as well as an online platform with personal stories of affected women, the campaign led to an increase in the number of the organisation’s supporters and donators.

About role models

„It is very unusual for a car manufacturer to make a statement on an important social issue. But this is exactly what the online film “Doors” achieves and it does it in an outstanding, elegant manner,” explained the Red Dot experts which awarded this work by thjnk with a Red Dot: Best of the Best. With this clip, Audi welcomes women from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the driver’s seats, as they were being allowed to obtain driver’s licenses and drive cars from 24 June 2018 on – an important step towards living a more independent life, which the German manufacturer highlighted with a charming script.

“Each scene has been realised thoughtfully in aesthetic images and well-matched music – both with regard to the film plot and the Audi brand,” praised the jury the execution of the film. It features a married modern Saudi couple, showing how they leave their house going to their car. Instead of sitting down on the passenger seat, the woman opens the passenger’s door for her husband and speeds off in the Audi with a smile on her face – “Time to open new doors”.

For a better discussion culture

In our digitally influenced age, the anonymity of the Internet leads to new problems. Among others, dialogue on online media has become much more raw, brutal and uninhibited. With the social media campaign “Sag’s mir ins Gesicht!” (Say it to my face!), designed by LA RED, Germany’s largest public news broadcaster “Tagesschau” draws attention to online hate speech. Furthermore, the initiative aims at improving the discussion culture by creating meaningful dialogue. The idea is to invite online haters to have the courage to come out of their anonymity, to confront their victims and to repeat what they wrote, whilst looking directly into their eyes. “Sag’s mir ins Gesicht!” was awarded with two Red Dots, in the categories “Advertising” and “Online”.

Democracy with scars

Even three “Red Dot” distinctions received the work “Scars of Democracy”. Two Red Dots went to the illustration and microsite of the project. Furthermore, the Red Dot Jury awarded the poster series, designed by Serviceplan / Plan.Net for STROKE Art Fair with a Red Dot: Best of the Best in 2018. It deals with the topic of artists’ rights of freedom of expression which are threatened worldwide. They portray politicians, whose decisions are shown with tattoos, thus being symbols for the irrevocability of political actions.

The finely illustrated symbols get under the skin of the politicians just like the message gets under the skin of the viewers. By clicking on the tattoos, which are presented online, the viewer gets more information on the heads of state’s misdemeanours with the help of articles and videos from trustworthy news sources. “The significance of the matter at stake was conveyed in an aesthetically brilliant and digitally smart manner,” explained the jury members.

Imprint of Suffering

In the Red Dot: Junior Award, creative up-and-coming designers put their design know-how to the test. In 2018, among others, Chen-Lin Hsieh from Chaoyang University of Technology in Taiwan succeeded in convincing the jurors with a poster illustration. “Imprint of Suffering” deals with the topic of overfishing the global oceans. The work draws attention to the fact that, in the past, extensive fishing has led to many fish populations being at the edge of extinction. This is visualised in a poster which seems to show an ordinary fish print at first sight. But when having a closer look, the beholder realises that a dark spot stands out in the middle of the body, showing a trawler. Its fishing net covers the whole body of the fish. In order to accentuate the damage caused by overfishing, the close-up in the second picture gives the impression that the fishing net has spread over the entire ocean.

Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2019

In the future, communication designers and companies will continue addressing problems and taking a stand in order to raise the awareness of people around the globe for the challenges of our time. In July, when the Red Dot Jury will evaluate the works entered in the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2019, the experts will get to know which topics move the communication design scene at present. Until 14 June, registering for the internationally organised competition for communication design and brand communication is possible. “Early Birds” benefit from the reduced fee in the “Communication Design” section until and including 3 April.