Here are a dozen reasons why design awards are ridiculous*

#1

If you need reassurance from strangers that you're doing a good job you should be seeing a therapist. What not to do is expose yourself to almost certain failure in a public arena rammed with all your peers. It will not end well
(see point 2).

#2

The only thing guaranteed about an awards event is that you'll get drunk on terrible wine and make a fool of yourself on the dance floor or by looking overly proud whilst kissing/stroking/hugging a phallic shaped award. If you're massively insecure to begin with (see point 1) how are you going to feel when the photos of you appear on the inevitable 'crazy people having crazy fun' awards website? Freud would have a field day.

#3

The vast majority of people who enter awards end up as losers,
in all senses. Fact.

#4

You are rewarding people for doing what they are getting paid to do anyway, I thought society had decided that was a bad idea?

#5

Because good design should appeal to the target audience, not a bunch of fixed gear bicycle pedalling hipsters.

#6

The judges of awards (old, wacky or 'respected' people) know nothing about the process you went through, the brief from the client or indeed if the client was happy or not. Worse than that, some judging panels have seen fit to give awards to other panel members, but maybe that's because they've been able to explain themselves better.
Or because it's a fix.

#7

Any award you need to enter 'yourself' for is stupid.

#8

You should focus on your client and what works best for them alone. Taking away the distraction of entering awards can leave the designers brain to think solely of what is appropriate for the client. Does this fact imply that entering awards can have a clear negative impact on the quality of work a client receives? Surely not.

#9

Because D&AD don't see the irony of making lots of novelty jumbo sized pencils as a prize rewarding sustainability.

#10

Everyone knows there is loads of great work that the more secure agencies don't enter and which therefore can't be 'judged'. Therefore when an agency proclaims themselves as 'design agency of the decade' or some other such appalling 'my dad could batter your dad' type claim, it's not true. So, they are deluded fantasists.

#11

Who would want to work with deluded fantasists?

#12

If your agency has entered your project into an awards 'thing' you will almost certainly be paying for it (sometimes at a cost of thousands) and who do you think stands to benefit more, the agency or the client?