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2018 winners

2018 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards: Winners announced

Celebrating the role of effective design in the creation of business growth 

54 wide-ranging examples of design that have had a tangible and measurable effect on business success have been recognised at 2018 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards ceremony on Thursday 22 February at The Brewery in London. Judged by business leaders and entered jointly by client and designer, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards celebrate design’s transformative impact on business.

Waitrose, JKR, Kinneir Dufort, Dubai Airports, The Clearing, GSK, Engine, Diageo India, WPA Pinfold, London’s Air Ambulance, 20.20, Raspberry Pi, LA Design, Elmwood, Mars and Pearlfisher, were amongst the businesses presented with Bronze, Silver and Gold awards at the glittering ceremony. (A full list of winners can be found below and on our website.) 

carlsberg-taxiWith a 170% increase in distribution points in only 14 weeks, Carlsberg UK and Taxi Studio won the prestigious Grand Prix Award for the brand reinvigoration of Carlsberg.

Says Chairman of the Judges, Andrew Summers, “Carlsberg’s story shows just how design can turn around an ailing brand. A new proposition and premium rebrand oozed style and simplicity and have taken Carlsberg back to its roots. In a remarkably short time, Carlsberg turned from decline to growth, capturing the hearts of consumers and retailers.”

All 54 winning case studies can be viewed at

Hosted by award winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, with the keynote speech given by the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards celebrate the power of design to drive business success.

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says, “Now more than ever, British design and innovation is shaping the world we live in. The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are an annual recognition of some of the best of British design talent, and I congratulate all winners of this prestigious celebration of British creativity.”

In today’s challenging, fast moving markets with ever more discerning customers, design’s power to drive business success has never been more relevant. The DBA Design Effectiveness Award winners prove why design is a commercial imperative for any business of any size or sector.

Design driving growth in global businesses. danone-dragon-rouge

At a time when many businesses are struggling to identify where future growth opportunities will come from, Danone’s Light & Free is an example of a global business valuing design’s intrinsic ability to react to the challenges of changing markets to unearth opportunity and drive growth.

With perceptions towards health changing, Light & Free’s stylish design by Dragon Rouge won over millennials. Smashing the rules of the diet category, 3.9 million households tried the brand within 32 weeks and it achieved the highest penetration of all yoghurt innovations in the last four years. (Gold Award winner)

Design bringing brands to life experientially.

ab-inbev-jkrAs customers become ever more selective, their personal reaction to a brand, business or service can be pivotal to success. For AB InBev’s Budweiser, achieving an emotional connection with consumers with its bold ‘AmeriCan’ design reversed the brand’s sales declines, delivering sales volume growth for the first time since 2015. The limited edition packaging design by Jones Knowles Ritchie created vast amounts of media buzz – it secured 1.6 billion earned impressions worldwide and was seen by more people than the 2015 and 2016 Super Bowls combined.  (Gold Award winner)

Design that’s good for business is also good for government.

ypo-thompson-brand-partnersIn a post-Brexit economy, design will be a critical driver for growth. As buying organisation YPO has seen, design investment can be a catalyst for business expansion – opening up markets and growing workforces. YPO’s new proposition ‘Public Value Champions’ and branding by Thompson Brand Partners elevated its profile nationally. A more modern, sophisticated personality resulted in 384% increase in associate members (up from 13 to 63) and its UK wide growth has seen its workforce swell by 12% with 57 new jobs created.  (Gold Award winner)

Design breathing new life into brands and businesses.

carlsberg-taxiWith rapidly changing markets, once thriving businesses and brands can find themselves losing relevance. Design can reinvigorate a business back to growth, as Taxi Studio’s contemporary new design for Carlsberg demonstrates. With a shrinking lager market and a rise in discerning drinkers searching for premium alternatives, Carlsberg was in crisis, losing its position at the bar and on the shelf. Carlsberg Export’s new premium feel, transformed its outlook. Before the new visual identity, Export had 3,240 distribution points in Grocery customers – within only 14 weeks of launch it had over 9,000 and most significantly was re-listed in Sainsbury’s after a five-year absence.  (Gold Award winner)

Design proving its power to persuade.

homeward-bound-elmwoodCustomer and citizen decisions hinge on a business or service’s power to persuade and Elmwood’s brand identity and awareness campaign for Homeward Bound did just that. With a vision to increase the influence of women in climate change decision-making, Elmwood and Homeward Bound created an emotive identity and message ‘Mother Nature Needs her Daughters’. The rallying cry sparked conversations globally: over 450 million media impressions have been achieved to date with no media or advertising-spend and the movement has had more than the cumulative media coverage recorded for women in science, ever.  (Gold Award winner)

Design as the critical enabler for competitive advantage.

advanced-graymatter In any marketplace, only one business or brand can be the cheapest, the others need to differentiate to stand out from competitors and succeed. Software provider Advanced and Graymatter certainly achieved this with their highly unique and creative approach to a new proposition ‘right-first-time-solutions’. To achieve greater recall amongst their CEO target, they gave the campaign a humorous and creatively driven twist. FairITales was a risky strategy, but it had a happy ending: a sales pipeline of £3.93 million was achieved, 293% up on a target of £1 million.  (Gold Award winner)

Design as the fast growth imperative for start-ups.

brew-york-craft-brewery-united-by-designAs a fresh-faced start up business, Brew York needed to build recognition in a highly competitive market. United by Design’s eye-catching branding and packaging delivers shelf-standout and enabled Brew York to smash its five year production growth plan within only 16 months. The speed of on and off trade sales have resulted in the craft brewery exceeding their business plan over three years early and entering the top 45% of SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) members for the highest turnover, within the first year of trading.  (Gold Award winner)

Design realising business opportunity.

raspberry-pi-kinneir-dufortRaspberry Pi’s Official Case for their low-cost, high-performance computer has created a world of opportunity and demonstrates how potent the addition of design to a technology product can be. In just two years the sleek, fun case designed by Kinneir Dufort has generated profits of £725,000 for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. But beyond that, it has also created new ways to bundle the core products to reach new consumers, and whilst not setting out to become a brand, the Official Case has strengthened Raspberry Pi’s position by creating a distinct and recognisable visual identity.  (Gold Award winner)

Special Awards

In addition to the Grand Prix which was won by Carlsberg and Taxi Studio for the brand reinvigoration of Carlsberg, two other special awards were presented on the night.

Elmwood received the Top of the League Award recognising the most impressive cumulative performance from an agency over the last three years.

And the International Export Award, which is presented for the most effective piece of work undertaken by an agency for an overseas client, went to Zumtobel Group and GW+Co for THORNeco: Meet the family.

Judging panel 

This year’s judging panel included Paul Edwards, Head of Design and Brand Management, Airbus, Peter Fossick, Service Design Programme Director, IBM, Julie Dixon, Head of Marketing and Communications, Transport for London, Elif Yigit, Country Marketing Director UKIRE, HP, Bruce Daisley VP EMEA, Twitter, Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, Caroline Norbury, Chief Executive, Creative England amongst other leading figures. View the full judging panel 

Further details

To receive further details about the Design Effectiveness Awards and to register your interest to enter, please email

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards sponsors

The awards are kindly sponsored by UPM Raflatac, Red Setter, Epic Print and Stratton Craig.


Table of winners:

Trophy Business Agency Project title Industry sector
Silver Maplin 20.20 Maplin: Store of the Future General retailers
Bronze Bergen International Festival ANTI Bergen Bergen International Festival Rebrand Charity
Gold Pip & Nut B&B studio It’s The Nuts Food Producers
Bronze Diageo India Bloom Royal Challenge: Engaging a New Generation Beverages

Maxxium España

Brandhouse Larios: The Mediterranean Gin Beverages

Dairy Crest

BrandOpus Vitalite Food Producers

McCain UK

BrandOpus McCain Shake Shake Fries Food Producers

Ernest Jackson & Co / Mondelēz International

Bulletproof Bassetts Vitamins Redesign Food Producers


Bulletproof PizzaExpress Retail Range Redesign Food Producers


Butcher & Gundersen Wainwright: The Golden Beer Beverages
Bronze Unilever Comfort Coley Porter Bell Comfort Summer Limited Edition Household Goods

USP Zdrowie

Creative Leap Inovox Express Pharmaceuticals & biotechnology


DCA Air Wick Scented Oil Warmer Household Goods

The Travelling Bee Company

DECIDE. The Travelling Bee Company Food Producers

Four Winds

Denomination Four Winds Vineyard Beverages


Design Bridge Matcha Green Tea: Reinventing a Classic Beverages


Design Bridge Tena Men: Tackling a Taboo Personal Goods


Dragon Rouge Light & Free Yogurt Food Producers

Homeward Bound

Elmwood Our Planet in Our Hands Education

Day One

Elmwood Signposting The Journey Back To Life Charity

London Beer Lab

Elmwood Raising The Bar For London Beer Lab Beverages


Elmwood Golden Eggs Food Producers

Procter & Gamble

Elmwood Fairy Cleans up for P&G Household Goods

Dubai Airports

Engine Service Design The Dubai Airports Hospitality Programme Travel & Leisure

The Dell

Good Branding The Dell Travel & Leisure


Graymatter FairITales Software & Computer Services

Zumtobel Group

GW+Co THORNeco: Meet The Family Electronic & Electrical Equipment

Java Republic

Honey Java Republic: Something’s Been Brewing Beverages


Interbrand Sensodyne True White Personal Goods

AB InBev

Jones Knowles Ritchie Budweiser: Taking Back The ‘AmeriCan’ Summer Beverages

Buttermilk Confections

Kingdom & Sparrow Buttermilk Rebrand Food Producers

Raspberry Pi

Kinneir Dufort Raspberry Pi Official Case Technology Hardware & Equipment

Lund Halsey

LA Design Kontrol Command – Control Room Consoles General Industries

Tata Global Beverages

Landor Brewing Warmth & Growth For Tetley Beverages


M Worldwide Hagkaup Smaralind: Happy Shopping! General Retailers

Imperial College Business School

OPX Imperial College Business School Visual Identity Education


Path Cornerstone: Delivering a Smooth Shave Personal Goods

Interflora Denmark

Pearlfisher ASK: Beer From Interflora Denmark Beverages


Pearlfisher Seedlip: The Art of Nature Beverages

Nestlé USA

Pearlfisher Putting The Love Back Into Lean Cuisine  Food Producers

Sadler’s Wells

Red&White Sadler’s Wells Media

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Stand Repositioning Glasgow Prestwick Airport Travel & Leisure

The Tofoo Company

Stormbrands The Tofoo Company Food Producers

Carlsberg UK

Taxi Studio Carlsberg: A Story of Brand Reinvigoration Beverages

AEG Powertools

The Canopy Studio AEG Powertools Warranty Campaign Construction & Materials

London’s Air Ambulance

The Clearing London’s Air Ambulance Charity

One Feeds Two

The Clearing One Feeds Two Charity

James Heal

Thompson Brand Partners James Heal: Setting The Standard Industrial Engineering


Thompson Brand Partners YPO: Public Value Champions Public Sector

Brew York Craft Brewery

United by Design Brew York Craft Brewery Brand Packaging Beverages


Waitrose Graphic Design Waitrose 1 Food & Drug Retailers

Hi Mark International – Body Sculpture

WPA Pinfold Body Sculpture Health Care Equipment & Services


WPA Pinfold Bulwark: The New World Cider Beverages


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