The Low-Down On The iF Product Design Awards

I've received several press releases in the last few days about different products that received the iF Product Award. What few of them state, or even imply, is that 801 other products also received the award. As there are only 16 categories of products, 801 awards are bound to hit the same products a few times, so hold on to your credit cards until the top 50 Gold Awards are announced!

Motorola APX 7000, iF Product Design AwardMotorola APX 7000, iF Product Design Award "iF" International Forum Design, began as an exposition in 1953 in Hannover, Germany. Called the "Special Exposition of Well-designed Industrial Products," the fair was a successful way for product designers to get together with leaders of industry to execute their products. Over the years, though the name changed a few times, iF branched out in different ways to recognize new models of communication, new materials, new packaging, even new concepts. And, there are now separate awards given for innovations from China.

The home for iF still resides in Hannover, but representatives from 21 countries do the judging in their own fields, be it product design, or communication systems. This year there was a total of 2,808 products from 39 countries submitted to the judges in one of 16 categories:

Toyota Traigo: iF Product Design AwardToyota Traigo: iF Product Design Award 01. Transportation Design,
02. Leisure / Lifestyle,
03. Audio / Video,
04. Telecommunications,
05. Computers,
06. Office / Business,
07. Lighting,
08. Furniture / Home Textiles,
09. Kitchen / Household
10. Bathroom / Wellness,
11. Buildings,
12. Public Design / Interior Design,
13. Medicine / Health+Care,
14. Industry / Skilled Trades,
15. Special Vehicles / Construction / Agriculture,
16. Advanced Studies.

For those inventors, designers, and manufacturers who would like to enter their products in the competition for the 2010 awards, the criteria for evaluating products are:

  • Design qualityFujitsu Siemens ESPRIMO MA: iF Product Design AwardFujitsu Siemens ESPRIMO MA: iF Product Design Award
  • Workmanship
  • Choice of material
  • Degree of innovativeness
  • Environmental compatibility
  • Functionality
  • Ergonomics
  • Visualization of use
  • Safety
  • Brand value / branding
  • Universal design

Products will be accepted if they have entered the market during the last three years or are about to enter the mass market in the coming year. The dates for entry in the 2010 iF competitions have not been released yet; however if you would like to pre-register you can get email updates on the deadlines.

And, if you're interested in knowing the Gold Award product winners of 2009, they will be announced on March 3, 2009 at the award ceremony in Hannover, Germany.

iF Design
Photos: Just 3 of the 801 iF Product Design Awards for 2009