Red Dot annual review

The 2021 competition year

We are starting the new year 2022 full of energy and optimism. We will continue to embrace the overarching idea that informed our actions in 2021, which was to come up with an alternative course of action instead of just giving up. Together with partners, colleagues and friends, we created unique moments. All three competitions were a huge success, with increased participant numbers all round. Entries for the Red Dot Award: Product Design even reached record levels. We want to thank you for this, and we look forward to another successful year in 2022.

For now, let’s take a look back at the past twelve months.


Celebratory exhibition openings impress guests from all over the world

The year’s highlights included especially those events that were able to take place in person again from the second half of the year:

Exhibition opening “Form Equals Function. Design by Studio F. A. Porsche” at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen

The first of these was the vernissage in September for the exhibition “Form Equals Function. Design by Studio F. A. Porsche”. The Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2021, Studio F. A. Porsche, travelled from Zell am See, Berlin and Ludwigsburg to the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen for the opening of their very own exhibition. They celebrated the honorary title together with guests, including some of the Red Dot jurors.

Vernissage of the studio exhibition “Red Dot Winners Selection” at the Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

In November, the in-person events continued in Berlin, with the studio exhibition “Red Dot Winners Selection” created together with the Museum für Kommunikation. International guests that included many of the award-winners and members of the Red Dot Jury were welcomed at the vernissage. In a first for a Red Dot vernissage in the MfK, there was live on-stage entertainment by musician Stefanie Lottermoser.

In cooperation with the Hong Kong Design Institute: the opening of the special exhibition “The Essence of Design – Creating Value”

Soon afterwards, the opening of the special exhibition “The Essence of Design – Creating Valuetook place in Hong Kong.The honorary guests present in person included Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, and Stefanie Seedig, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. Professor Dr. Peter Zec took part in the event by videolink and gave a keynote speech introducing the topic and the exhibition.

Photo exhibition „FORTY FACES“ by Ralf Schultheiß

Meanwhile, photographer Ralf Schultheiß invited guests to the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen. The vernissage for his photo exhibition FORTY FACES” was as personal as it was glamorous, providing a fitting end to the events for 2021. website relaunch

December also saw another type of opening – equally important, but to a little less fanfare: Our redesigned corporate website with significant usability updates went live. In addition to well-structured information on taking part in our competition, those interested in design will find lots of exciting content in the ‘Spotlight’ section in particular. We hope you enjoy discovering our new website! » Visit the website

The Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021

This year, the jurors were particularly struck by the high level of innovation of the award-winning entries. From cars and robots to medical technology and packaging, numerous winning products offered solutions to contemporary problems and thus made a key contribution to the further development of global living standards.

The hybrid jury session

The judging process needed to be adapted, and we came up with a hybrid selection procedure that allowed for all entries to be assessed fairly. All of the products to be assessed were present on site. The jurors joined by videolink to see the original products and discuss their merits for a distinction. The work we put in was worth the effort. In order to assess a product’s design quality properly, you need to be able to look at it from every angle and to touch it (or have someone touch it on your behalf). The new process meant that the jury members were in a position to view lots of wonderfully designed products and select the winners.

Studio F. A. Porsche is Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2021

In 2021, the title of honour “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year” went to Studio F. A. Porsche. With its headquarters in Zell am See in Austria and offices in Berlin, Ludwigsburg, Los Angeles and Shanghai, it is one of the world’s best-known design studios. The team has been designing functional and aesthetically appealing products of outstanding quality for many years. In doing so, they remain true to the ethos of studio founder Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, which was to design products that become life companions. You can watch a feature about the studio and an interview with Roland Heiler, Managing Director of Studio F. A. Porsche, here.

Die Red Dot Design Week 2021

All of the distinctions were celebrated online. A special online feature with lots of video content was carefully curated for the occasion. » Watch the special “Red Dot Design Week 2021” online feature


The Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2021

The entries for this year’s competition for brands and communication design were numerous and diverse.

The winners of the distinctions Red Dot: Grand Prix, Red Dot: Brand of the Year and Red Dot Junior Prize

Nine of the entries in the ‘Communication Design’ section met with widespread approval across the board thanks to their outstanding design quality and creativity. They received the highest individual distinction, the “Red Dot: Grand Prix”, in recognition of this achievement. In the ‘Brands’ section, the highest distinction, “Red Dot: Brand of the Year”, went to Minna Bank. Yu-Tsen Chang, Lu-Xi Jiang, Bo-Xian Chen and Cheng-Han Chuang from Chaoyang University of Technology in Taiwan won the Red Dot: Junior Prize for the best piece of work by up-and-coming designers, along with prize money of 10,000 euros. They received the distinction for designing the fictitious brand “Slow Fish”, an initiative for more sustainable fisheries management. » Find out more

Agency denkwerk” is Red Dot: Agency of the Year 2021

The honorary title “Red Dot: Agency of the Year” was awarded to the agency “denkwerk, which has repeatedly won over the jury in recent years with its outstanding design accomplishments. » Read more

Studio exhibitionRed Dot Winners Selection” in the Museum für Kommunikation and online award ceremony

The winners of the highest distinctions were on show in the studio exhibition “Red Dot Winners Selection” in the Museum für Kommunikation from 12 November 2021 to 9 January 2022. All of the laureates were celebrated online with the Red Dot Celebration.

The Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2021

The jury for the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2021 looked at more than 4,000 concepts from 54 countries. The winners were then celebrated as part of an online award ceremony on 20 October. The event culminated in the announcement of the Red Dot: Luminary, the highest distinction in the competition. Out of five nominees for the award, the distinction ultimately went to the Romanian-based company “.lumen” with its design partner DESIRO Vision and its design concept “.lumen – Glasses for the Blind”. » Special online feature


The Contemporary Good Design Award 2021

The competition year ended with the Contemporary Good Design Award, which has been held every year since 2015. The competition is well on the way to becoming one of the most important independent design awards in China with a far-reaching international impact. The current winners show in an impressive way what distinguishes contemporary design for the Chinese market, namely a special mix of technology and tradition.

Always worth a visit: the Red Dot Design Museums in Essen, Singapore and Xiamen

At three locations across Europe and Asia, we provide people who are interested in design with extensive insights into the world of design.

Current exhibitions at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen

In the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, we are currently showing the exhibitions “Milestones in Contemporary Design 2021–2022”, “Design on Stage 2021–2022”and “FORTY FACES”, the latter by communication designer and photographer Ralf Schultheiß.

Red Dot Design Museums in Asia

Meanwhile, the Red Dot Design Museum Singapore in Marina Bay is currently hosting the exhibition “A Preview of the Future”, which is showing more than 200 award-winning futuristic design concepts. Last but not least, in the Red Dot Design Museum in Xiamen, you can see the presentation of the winners of the Contemporary Good Design Award.

You can find out more about the current exhibitions in Essen, Singapore and Xiamen here.  

Red Dot Exhibition in Hong Kong “The Essence of Design – Creating Value”

The exhibition “The Essence of Design – Creating Value”, which is on show at the Hong Kong Design Institute from 26 November 2021 until 10 April 2022, poses the question of how design creates values and demonstrates the idea of “design value” using selected exhibits as examples. » Visit the accompanying website


Painful loss of a companion

Sadly, this year we were also forced to bid farewell to one of our most cherished companions, Michel de Boer, who died suddenly before Christmas. It was a great blessing that we had the opportunity to meet Michel, a juror and communication designer, in November at the vernissage in Berlin one last time. » Read the obituary


Outlook: The Red Dot Award 2022

Red Dot Award: Product Design

Designers and companies from all over the globe have until 11 February 2022 to register their best products for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2022.

Red Dot Design Week is planned for 20 to 24 June 2022.

Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Registration is already open for the Red Dot Award: Design Concept. There is an early bird phase that runs until 8 February, followed by the regular registration phase until 23 March and the subsequent latecomer phase, which ends on 18 May. » More information

The award ceremony is expected to take place in October, with the exact date yet to be announced.

Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design

The registration phase starts on 14 March 2022. » More Informationen

The Red Dot Celebration will take place on 28 October.

It remains to be seen what form the 2022 award ceremonies will take. We will of course keep you up to date!


We are already looking forward to lots of personal encounters and chances to connect with you in 2022.

Your Red Dot Team