Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design

Interview with Damon Aval

From “Junior Prize” winner to Red Dot jury member: Damon Aval in an interview

In 2012, he was awarded the Red Dot: Junior Prize; today, he decides about awarding the coveted Red Dot distinctions: Damon Aval, who was appointed Creative Director at antoni GmbH in July 2018. Already since May 2015, he has been part of the start team at the newly founded agency in Berlin which exclusively supports Mercedes-Benz throughout Europe. Earlier, he has been Junior Art Director at Scholz & Friends in Düsseldorf, Art Director at Heimat in Berlin and Senior Art Director at Jung von Matt/Spree. Damon Aval, who has also given lectures at the Miami Ad School in Berlin since 2014, studied communication design at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld, Germany, where he graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts. In 2012, he received a prize in the Red Dot Award for an image film about and for the university. Since 2015, he has been a member of the jury himself. In an interview, he grants insights into his work as a designer.

Red Dot: Which was your first project as a designer?
Damon Aval: My first project (job) was, as a student, an image film for my university, called “Dein Lebenslauf wartet darauf geschrieben zu werden.“ (“Your CV/future is waiting to be written”). At that time, our team received the Red Dot: Junior Prize for the film. That was absolutely amazing for us.

How do you stay innovative in such a creative industry?
By keeping work separate from leisure time. I find inspiration when I’m doing something completely different.

And how do you develop good ideas?
I learn a lot about the project and wait for the light bulb moment. If that doesn’t work, then it is just hard work. That means sitting down and racking my brains, ideally in a team. That clears the logjam.

How important is it to pay attention to tradition and heritage when designing something new for a company?
It is very important. Every brand has a DNA and a heritage. This must be either brought completely into question, when they don’t fit the Zeitgeist anymore, or filled with the spirit of the time.

In your opinion, what is the most important aspect when designing for brands?
The DNA of the brand.

Why is advertising important for the success of a product?
Because it acts like a megaphone for brands.

How do you find the right access in order to address your target group?
Authenticity.

What is your design philosophy?
Simple, simple, simple.

Should one play safe or enjoy experimenting?
Always enjoy experimenting. It’s the only way to create something new.

How can designers benefit from being awarded with the Red Dot?
I would like to answer this question with a question: Why is advertising important for the success of a product?

Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2019

In 2019 again, Damon Aval will evaluate the design quality of the creative projects and communications works from across the globe together with his jury colleagues. Still until 28 June, designers, agencies and companies are invited to participate in the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design. For the first time, companies can submit their brands: there are 36 industries available for the registration, in which they can apply for the distinction “Red Dot: Brand of the Year” with their well-designed brand communication. In the “Communication Design” section, participants can enter single projects in the 17 categories available.