Last year, Co.Design and Fast Company inaugurated the Innovation By Design Awards, a celebration of the year’s most inspiring design work. And now, I’m happy to tell you, it’s back! We’ll be accepting entries until May 13.
Just like last year, we’ll be announcing the finalists in our annual design issue—our 10th anniversary design issue, as a matter of fact. Then, we’ll be announcing the winners at a party to be held in New York, on October 2, 2013. (One difference this year: That party will coincide with a one-day design conference. More on that soon.)
If you’re just now hearing about our design awards, perhaps a bit of explanation might be in order. What I wrote last year announcing the awards is still what we believe with the utmost conviction:
It might seem like we’re launching yet another design competition, much like those that have gone before. But here’s what’s different. Most design competitions tend to be run by the design community, and for the design community. So even when designers win them, all they’re really doing is telling other designers—who already know their work—that they won an award. As important as those awards are in elevating talent, they don’t pull design out from the margins.
Our aim, by contrast, is to place designers at their rightful place at the forefront of business innovation. Here’s what I mean: Finalists of our Innovation By Design Award will be published in a feature package in Fast Company's October design issue. Winners will be published and announced on Co.Design shortly thereafter. Together, Fast Company and Co.Design offer a reach and influence that’s unique—reaching not only designers, but also decision makers and entrepreneurs looking to find new talent for their new project. Fast Company reaches 2.9 million readers every issue. Co.Design reaches another
1.52.3 million readers a month, serving over 621 million pageviews.
Ultimately, we want to give innovators and businesses a record of the year’s most intriguing design ideas—and a catalogue of designers to hire. And we want to celebrate those designers whose influence rarely goes appreciated on a large, mainstream platform. All of this is a bet on something we believe in deeply: Though people have long predicted that design was on the rise, the moment is finally here. The best businesses have design woven into their DNA; the best designers have become some of the most powerful analysts of how we live today.
Just one more thing to add: Check out this year’s growing roster of all-star judges.
We hope that you or your company will enter the competition, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve done.