The iF Design Award – international design competition

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iF awards
iF awards

Celebrated and Valued Design Competitions

iF International Forum Design GmbH organizes the iF DESIGN AWARD annually, one of the most prestigious and valued design competitions globally. Recognized as a symbol of design excellence worldwide, the iF DESIGN AWARD welcomed 2021 almost 10,000 submissions from 60 countries.

They are known as one of the oldest truly independent design institutions globally based on their integrity that clearly distinguishes their international reputation. Six guiding principles have been followed since 1953 by iF e.V.

  • To identify, support and promote good design
  • To raise awareness of design among the public and the role it plays in our lives
  • To help companies integrate design into their long-term strategies
  • To safeguard the role of professional designer and boost awareness for this job profile
  • To effect social change through design
  • To support talented young people and create a public platform for young designers


1953: Germany still struggled at home and abroad to overcome the consequences of the Second World War. Six years after Hanover was chosen as the venue for exhibitions by the British occupying forces, efforts were made to add an institute to the fair to foster and promote “Formal industrial design” in Germany.

The Hanover Messegesellschaft has been inspired by the ideas of visionary entrepreneur Philip Rosenthal, which was also instrumental in bringing together the cultural and business worlds in the German Industry (BDI) Federation. This concept has also been adopted for the institution’s establishment. Rosenthal created this single institution, the iF e.V., together with the Messegesellschaft and the German Industry Federation.

This was the start of a symbol of design excellence recognized to this day – the iF logo.

The aim was to draw attention to industrial products that were particularly well designed. They wanted to share the importance of design and everything it can achieve: for users, brands and companies. A new picture began to take shape for German products. It was fitting then that the resulting association was first known as ‘Die gute Industrieform e.V.’ (Good Industrial Form). The Industrial Forum (or short iF) was later named.


The iF Story in short: Design for Good since 1953. iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE. (n.d.).

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Industrial Design – Magazine 1954 – 2009 – Encyclopedia of Design

Alvin Lustig, Cover for Industrial Design magazine, April 1954, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Tamar Cohen, reproduced courtesy F + W Media, Inc. Founded when the industrial design profession was becoming firmly established in the American manufacturing industry, Industrial Design has long been established as America’s leading magazine for industrial designers.

Industrial Design – design for mass production – Encyclopedia of Design

After 1865, as industrialisation accelerated and consumer products proliferated, producers were forced to concentrate on product appearance. Ordinary people desired comfort, even luxury: patent furniture, opulent home interiors, and eclectic mail-order products. Celluloid and other new products imitated the look of luxury ivory and tortoiseshell.

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