6 Design Awards tips from
previous winners

23rd November 2021

New to the awards game? Entered before but keen to really nail it this year? Some of our previous BDQ Design Awards winners have put together tips & tricks to help you make the most of the awards season...

1. You’ve got to be in it to win it. Don’t be afraid to enter. Don’t think it's too hard and don’t think that you can’t compete. Budgets and blings are some of the story but that’s not all - no project is too small to enter! The judging criteria is seeking to reward those who are able to respond to the needs of their client, the project and the site. Sometimes this is more important than looking great.

2. Plan ahead! Create a list of projects that you complete throughout the year that might be good for awards - as awards season approaches shortlist and check the appropriateness of categories for your project. Document your brief before you design and be sure to reflect on it during and after you have finished designing. If you have done this you already should have 90% of the information required to complete the questions in the entry.

3. Get some GREAT photos. Good quality photography is important - don't simply take photos on your iPhone. Get a professional in and offer to share the costs and the results with the builder. Use the photos for both yours and your builders own marketing and give your client a copy of the portfolio. It costs very little to do this and the cred that you gain is huge. You'll need at least 12 unique for your entry, so get in early and book a session! Not sure where to find a great photographer? Ask your fellow BDAQ members - many will have a 'go-to' photographer they use and will be happy to pass their details on.

4. Take care when answering entry questions. As part of your entry process, you'll be asked several questions about your project. Write your answers in full sentences and aim them towards someone who is not familiar with your project. Judges have a limited time to look over entries - make their job as easy as possible! Get a staff member, colleague or friend to look over your wording to ensure it makes sense to read - we all need a 'sanity check' sometimes!

5. Sell your work! Point out to the judges what's unique & special about this project. Don't waste your words by pointing out obvious things - our judges work in the industry and know what they're looking out. Sell the judges on why THIS project should win.

6. Probably most importantly... be proud of the work that you do. As designers we have a tendency to be a little introverted. We all run businesses and businesses need work to survive. If you don’t tell others that you are good at what you do then others are unlikely to do so either.