Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design

Print never dies – Award-winning print work

In our thoroughly digitalised world, the demise of print has often been prophesied. In the meantime, we can state that there have certainly been shifts in the communication channels, but print has never lost its relevance. The award-winning works in this category in the Red Dot ward: Brands & Communication Design speak a clear language.

Relevance as a yardstick

Even though no one needs a printed instruction manual any more, there are still numerous applications that are only convincing in their printed form. Probably the biggest factor here is the possibility of multi-sensory appeal: we see, touch and smell print products. Effective finishes such as hot foil and the interplay of smooth and rough involve our fingertips in the experience. With such a noble eye-catcher, for example, the submission “Kampanilen” by Creative Zoo in 2022 was convincing – in combination with a sensitive layout, an exciting choice of paper and a Swiss binding, a surprising advertising magazine for a flat house in Aarhus was created. For the real estate sector with its high-priced offer, print communication still counts as an optimal sales promotion.

Paper speaks for itself

Today, anyone who decides to use print communication will choose the type of paper very consciously: It is not only a carrier, but an ambassador. A high grammage uncoated paper with a good grip speaks a different language than a glossy picture-printing paper. Both have their justification, but one and the same message will be completely different on different types. Material as a design element is therefore a factor in the overall effect that should not be underestimated. For example, the jurors of the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2021 particularly liked a coherently chosen paper together with an eye-catching lockstitch binding for the 15-part brochure series “The Pandemic” – here, a volume paper ensures a grippy reading pleasure.

Paper goes digital

The possibilities of combining digital experiences with impressive print objects are also creating new forms of communication: in the Red Dot: Junior Award 2021, for example, a hybrid poster solution from RheinMain University of Applied Sciences received a coveted Red Dot: Best of the Best. The work “Change of Perspective” offers a “completely new approach to a calendar and thus the possibility of a real change of perspective”, the jury stated. In the form of typographically varied quotations, people and facets of the university are presented here. Using a QR code with a smartphone and the Instagram app, an AR layer can be activated, whereby the quotes begin to move three-dimensionally in space.

Print and a thousand possibilities

Probably the most attractive aspect of the conception of print objects are the numerous adjusting screws that the designer can turn: Even an unusual format attracts attention, a special binding can create that certain something extra, and the interaction of different papers, types of finishing or additional components such as a slipcase or a banderole produce countless moments of surprise. Among other things, the second application book as the cultural capital of Hanover in 2021 was a special aha experience – 100 DIN A4 pages resulted in a 21-metre-long, roll-out manifesto. This design combines the book as a medium with the advantages of digital, endless reading; the jury agreed on this and awarded one of the Red Dot.

Hybrid print media

It is not only the combination of analogue and digital media that creates excitement in communication, but also the combination of different print formats. Last year, Hesse Design was able to convince with just this kind of play and feel honoured with a Red Dot: Best of the Best award: The limited-edition poster book “World News from Locust Jones” contains 42 printed sheets loosely inserted into each other. These can be joined together to form one large overall picture. The overall picture ultimately measures 8.30 × 1.26 metres. The individual sheets are the size of a newspaper to allow them to be mounted directly on the wall.

These outstanding examples clearly show how print can still be convincing today when it plays to its strengths in all facets – relevant content that is given finality through printing is a testament to quality and aspiration in communication.

Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2022

You still have until 17 June 2022 to enter this year's competition for brands and communication design. By participating, you are applying for the coveted “Red Dot” distinction, which will be decided by an internationally renowned jury.