Be a 2012 winner

What makes a successful entry?

1. Look for appropriate projects to enter

As a general rule, the sort of projects which will do well in this competition are those where tight and specific objectives were set at the beginning and where sufficient data currently exists to allow serious evaluation against those objectives.

2. Involve clients from the outset (and start NOW)

Entries must be made with the approval of your client. You will also need their full co-operation to obtain the sort of data needed to make a convincing case for effectiveness (see Focus on Effectiveness below). For help and advice on how to gain your client's supportor for a client focused version of the entry pack, email here

3. Early preparation of your entry

Experience shows that the longer you have to gather supporting data for your entry the better, especially if your clients are not to be put under undue pressure to supply statistics and other information for case studies.

4. Reference previous DBA winners

We advise you to read through the Award winning case studies on this site as a guide to style and how much detail should be given. Download the example entries used in the DEA workshop.

5. Extrapolate other influencing factors

Successful entries can make a clear distinction between the role of design and other influencing factors such as other marketing communications, market conditions and sales trends. For examples of how this has been executed in previous submissions click here.

6. Pay attention to the presentation and writing of your entry

Unlike most other design competitions, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are judged on written submissions. Visuals are only used to give judges an appreciation of the scope and nature of the design work. It is in your interest to produce a well presented, clearly written and logically argued case.


The key parts of your entry are those describing the project objectives, evaluating the outcome against those objectives, and demonstrating that design made a specific contribution to the project's commercial success. There is not one pre-determined route that can be applied to each project in order to assess effectiveness. Tips for using data in your entry and evaluating effectiveness, specific to the different categories can be downloaded from the menu above.

Useful Tips

On using data in your entry

Download example entries

On evaluating effectiveness specific to:

• Corporate/Brand Identity – over/under £100,000

• Design Management

• Digital Media – Business to Business Websites

• Digital Media – Business to Consumer Websites

• Digital Media – Online Promotion

• Environment

• Exhibitions

• Interiors – Office & Commercial

• Interiors – Retail & Leisure

• Internal Communications

• Packaging – Branded/Own Brand

• Print – Consumer/Business to Business

• Print – Corporate

• Product – Consumer/Industrial

The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise the return on investment that a coherent, well-thought-out and professionally executed design strategy can achieve.