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DBA Design Effectiveness Awards: Take a look inside the judging

Founded in 1989, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise impactful, wide-ranging examples of design that have had a tangible and measurable impact upon business and societal success.

The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2021 are now open for entries. The deadline for submissions is 5pm GMT, 27 November 2020.

Here we take a look at the people whose job it is to interrogate the entries and determine the Bronze, Silver and Gold winners. Nowhere is the quality and effectiveness of the design industry’s offer more evident than across the case studies recognised in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.

What makes a DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Judge?

Judges are CEOs and leading figures from across industry and have been carefully chosen for their business experience and acumen, as well as their understanding of how design can – and does – create change in business and society. 

clive-grinyer-headshot-copy“I’ve always loved the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards because they show the impact of design in an unarguable and measurable way. They speak to the heart of organisations and show that whatever your objective is, design can transform the results you are reaching for,” Clive Grinyer, Chair of DBA Design Effectiveness Awards judging panel


The judging panel for the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2021 has been drawn together from an array of sectors. From global companies through to start-up challenger brands, their organisations understand how design can be used to create results.

Each judge brings a unique and critical insight into the rigorous judging process, measuring the strength of the entries on the merits of the case it makes for design effectiveness and the efficacy of the evidence used to prove how design created results.

Richard Walzer, Principal Designer, Mars Wrigley

This year’s panel features:

Cawston Press‘s Managing Director, Steve Kearns
eve sleep‘s CEO Cheryl Calverly
Harley Davidson
‘s Chief Strategy Officer, Luke Mansfield;
‘s Head of Global Retail Design, Sigrid Brewka-Steeves; 
Virgin Atlantic
‘s VP Digital & Distribution, Siobhan Fitzpatrick; 
Visa‘s Director of Design Strategy Andreas Roos; and 
McLaren‘s Head of Design Dan Toon to name but a few.

Getting the seal of approval from our expert judging panel provides independent and authoritative recognition of the value of your work.

A win will demonstrate your ability to create competitive advantage through design and deliver a multitude of benefits to your business and team.

Browse the stellar line-up of judges here.

Behind the judging process 

Past judges Jo Marshall, Executive Director, YPO, Phil Gowland, Commercial Director, Whitworths and Paul Fraser, Managing Director, 3V Natural Foods share the rigour surrounding the process below:

Throughout the process, judges won’t be looking at standards of aesthetics, or ‘good’ and ‘bad’ but at effectiveness measured in terms of commercial benefits for the client and the customer. Understand what the judges are looking for to help you create a case study that will steal the show. 


At the first stage of judging, judges determine which entries will make it through to stage two, selecting the entries that make a case for design effectiveness against their stated business objectives.


During the second stage of judging, the strength of the entry and the significance of the results achieved by design are assessed by the panel. Again, entries are judged entirely on their own merits and are not compared to any other entry. It is fundamental for entries to contextualise their results within their wider commercial context in order for the judges to understand the scale of impact achieved by design and reward this appropriately with a Bronze, Silver or Gold award.


The third stage of judging specifically considers the Grand Prix winner. The third panel of judges are all chief executives of highly successful companies. They select the winner of the Grand Prix from amongst the Gold awards.

Businesswoman and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden,
shares her experience judging the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix:

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2021 judging panel


Name  Company
Paul Fraser
Managing Director
 3V Natural Foods
Paul Edwards
Head of Creative Design


Marc McNeill
Customer Experience Director

 Auto Trader Group

Raj Kumar
Group Brand & Reputation Director
Belinda Moore
Marketing & Business Development Director
 Birketts LLP
Kingsley Wheaton
Chief Marketing Officer
 British American Tobacco
Steve Kearns
Managing Director
 Cawston Press
Deb Caldow
Global Brand, Sponsorship & Sustainability Director
 Costa Coffee
Jeremy Lindley
Global Design Director
Cheryl Calverly
 eve sleep
Andrew Barraclough
Vice President of Design
Luke Mansfield
Chief Strategy Officer
 Harley Davidson
Andrea Newman
Global Head of Brand
 HSBC Holdings
Hilary Pulver
Head of Marketing Excellence
 Jacobs Douwe Egberts
Mark Palmer
 LA Brewery
Martin Dowson
Head of DesignOps & EcoSystems
 Lloyds Banking Group
Richard Walzer
Principal Designer EMEA
 Mars Wrigley
Dan Toon
Head of Design
Claire Hooper
Head of Marketing
 McVitie’s Cake Company

Edward Simon
Senior Vice President, CMO, Head of Global Marketing & Innovation

 Oettinger Davidoff AG
Karen Baxter
Managing Director
 Pharmaceutical Press
Sigrid Brewka-Steeves
Head of Global Retail Design
Sam Blunt
Commercial Operations Director
Quorn Foods
Jos Harrison
Global Design Strategy Director
Olivia Salisbury
Group VP of Digital
 T. Rowe Price
David Knibbs
 The Tofoo Company
Julie Dixon
Head of Information, Design & Partnerships
 Transport for London (TfL)
Siobhan Fitzpatrick
VP Digital & Distribution
 Virgin Atlantic
Andreas Roos
Director of Design Strategy
Seiya Ohta
Director Global and Strategic Studies, Advanced Design & Innovation
 Volvo Group
Katie Swift
Global Brand Activation Director
 Walgreens Boots Alliance
Phil Gowland
Commercial Director

Take advantage of the support available from the DBA

design_effectiveness_awards_2017_-11The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2021 is now open for entries

Download your entry pack today to evidence your success and demonstrate the results that your design delivers. The deadline for entries is 5pm GMT, Friday 27 November 2020.

From July to November 2020 the DBA team is here to support you through the entry process, from thinking through what might make a good case to submit, to discussing working drafts and providing feedback. Book your consultation with a member of the DBA team. For further details please contact

Image credits:

Clive Grinyer
David Travis, Unsplash


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