Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018 – Putting design to the test

Design is more than just the external appearance of a product. Good designs win people over through their ease of use, high level of functionality, attractive appearance and compatibility with the environment. Ultimately, it is the consumers who must choose the product design that suits them best. But they can get some guidance from the Red Dot Winner Label, which adorns products that have been successful in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. Until 9 February 2018, designers and companies have the opportunity to register for the competition and subject the design quality of their best products to scrutiny.

Design – More than just the appearance
Now more than ever, it is design that determines whether or not a product will be successful. As with so many things, the key to success lies beneath the surface: “Good design is not defined merely by a product’s appearance. Instead, it is also expressed through technical innovations and the special touch and feel of a product which, when in harmony with each other, lead to a holistic product design”, explains Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award. He goes on to say: “There are four aspects which characterize outstanding design. They can be used to determine whether it meets high quality standards. In addition to the primary quality of use, the qualities of ‘function’, ‘seduction’ and ‘responsibility’ play a decisive role in the development and assessment of good design.” Depending on the type of product, these four aspects are weighted differently. For example, the most relevant quality for tools is use, while for jewellery the seduction quality is especially important. 

Red Dot Award: Product Design – Entries possible until 9 February
The Red Dot, the seal of quality of the Red Dot Design Award, gives consumers direction when deciding what products to buy, as it highlights their good design quality and thereby also their success in the Red Dot Design Award. Designers and companies from all over the world have until 9 February 2018 to enter their products in the competition. From furniture and seating or household appliances, sports equipment and jewellery to robot technology and drones, there are 48 categories in which this year’s participants can choose to enter their products.

Under the motto “In search of good design and innovation”, the 40-member jury will award the Red Dot seal only to products that are convincing in terms of their high design quality. Specialists like Datuk‘ Jimmy Choo, founder of the eponymous couture label, Alexander Neumeister, designer of the ICE, and Hideshi Hamaguchi, who participated in the development of the USB stick, will enrich this year’s jury with their expert knowledge. They will assess, discuss and test each individual product live and on site. Criteria such as the level of innovation, functionality, formal quality, ergonomics, durability and ecological compatibility provide a frame of reference when judging, which each juror then complements with his or her expertise and background.

The competition winners will be officially announced at the award ceremony on 9 July 2018. The Red Dot: Best of the Best winners receive their trophies on stage in the Aalto Theater in Essen, Germany, in front of approximately 1,200 guests. These successes are celebrated in the midst of the “Design on stage” Winners’ Exhibition at the subsequent Designers’ Night in the Red Dot Design Museum.

» More information about the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018 and registration for the competition at