European Design Awards in Athens

An event aimed at promoting communication design across Europe was held internationally for the first time this year. The European Design Awards ceremony, which took place in Athens, was the initiative of Dimitris Fakinos publisher of +design (a bimonthly Greek magazine on design that has been published for the past nine years). Fakinos contacted 12 other leading design magazines published in different European countries and collaborated with them to organize the event. A catalog that presents the winners of the awards has just been released in the Netherlands and will be available in Greece in the next few weeks. (Orders can also be placed at Of the roughly 450 submissions for participation, 51 works from 15 countries were awarded. The categories in which the participants competed covered specialized areas of communication design. These were identity (as in brand logos for example), publications, digital media, packaging, posters, illustrations, typography, self-promotion, enviromental design and their sub-categories. There was also a jury prize which was given to Dutch group De Designpolitie and a Hall-of-Fame award (it included short-listed participants chosen from the 12 design magazines) which was given to renowned German designer Erik Spiekermann. The jury’s members came from the magazines that coorganized the event (these are: 2+3 D, CAP & Design, +design, Etapes, Eyes, IDPURE, Items, KAK, Lineagrafica, novum, TYPO and Visual). Of the 51 finalists, five were Greek: The packaging graphics award was given to Looking for their work for the Mastiha Shop products. K2DESIGN was awarded for its work for Korres natural beauty products. Beetroot Design Group was the winner in the corporate illustration category. Both and «g» topped the cultural poster category. The European Design Awards is, according to Fakinos, the only event in Europe that encompasses such a broad range of categories in communication design. What led Fakinos to initiate the event was the success of the EVGE awards on Greek graphic and illustration design, an event that +design has been organizing for the past six years. The European Design Awards also fills a gap in the area of communication design. It is a way of promoting the work of designers and creating a network that will enable future collaborations among designers. More importantly, it helps to establish standards of artistic excellence in the field and plays an educational role for aspiring designers. A conference that was organized in conjunction with the award ceremony (other parallel events also included two exhibitions) was another way of sparking discussion and bringing designers together. Next year’s European Design Awards will be held in Stockholm.

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