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Tips from the judges

Design Guild Mark - March 3, 2020 - 0 comments

Tips from the judges

The wait is almost over, the Design Guild Mark judging days are nearly upon us.

The Design Guild Mark is unlike other awards as, in order to achieve a mark of excellence, designers must present their design to our distinguished juries, who will inspect it and question the designer to ascertain whether it passes the bar.

The thought of pitching your design to a panel of experts may seem daunting, but it is nothing to be concerned about.

All our judges are giving up their time because they share our passion for championing British design and are eager to hear the journeys that have been travelled to get the submitted piece into volume production.

Last year we compiled a short list of preparation tips in the lead up to the judging days, which are still relevant and can be accessed here in our archive.

For 2020, we thought we’d ask members of the judging panels to offer up any words of wisdom they have for those who have progressed to the next stage of this year’s Design Guild Mark programme.

Simon Alderson, Twentytwentyone                    

Focus on materials, production techniques and functionality. Keep it short on the design as this should speak for itself.


Joanna Biggs, G.A Design International

It’s always useful to know the story behind the item. Whether a flash idea or an evolution of something else.  It’s important for the judges to see how each designer has reached the final product.


Corinne Pringle, tp bennett

It’s fascinating hearing directly from the designer on how they created and evolved their original thinking of the creation or the development of their product.  I like to hear how the development of the product has evolved and whether the original creative thought has been retained or further developed.  It’s also interesting understanding their main challenges and the key learnings from the process.

Simon Terry, Anglepoise

My best advice would be to firstly always start with a story that makes it personal and gets attention. Secondly, put yourself in the audience’s shoes when preparing what you are going to say. Finally, hand something out at the start, a little flyer, a product component or something that leaves them smiling and wanting more.


John Tree, John Tree Ltd

The judging venue probably won’t be the kind of space designers had intended for the design therefore it would be nice to have some articulation about where, how and by who they imagined it use.


Finally, if you have any questions about the judging days, please get in touch with Meera Samani by phone: 020 7562 8520 or email:

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