International Design Excellence Awards

The latest news on the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)® finds one of the world's most prestigious and rigorous design competitions is getting a new look. For 37 years, IDEA has been conducted by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Now, with the help of fuseproject—the design studio founded by longtime IDSA member Yves Béhar—the awards program is undergoing changes including the redesign of its trophies. “For anyone who is a maker, who is building something, it’s the ultimate achievement to get an IDEA,” says Béhar. “IDEA is the award by designers, for designers. Fuseproject worked with IDSA specifically to rebrand IDEA and redesign the trophy to reflect the evolving industry it celebrates." Read more

IDEA 2018 opens for entry on Jan. 2, 2018. Top IDEA 2017 winners are featured in IDSA's INNOVATION magazine's Yearbook of Design Excellence;; and global media outreach. #IDSAIDEA 2017 Gold, Silver and Bronze winners are revealed in the IDEA Gallery. Read more about the IDEA 2017 Ceremony, held at the Rich Theatre—and the Gala, held at the High Museum of Art—on Aug. 19 in Atlanta. See the latest IDSA and IDEA media coverage, press releases and more here.


NEW for 2017  Plastics Innovation Award: Recognizing the most creative, innovative and best plastic application design; selected by the Plastics Industry Association.  


Benefits of Winning

IDEA winners receive significant, international publicity and exposure. Read winner testimonials. In contrast to many other design awards, most of the associated perks of winning an IDEA are included with your entry fee. In addition to our media partners' announcements of the winners, print and online media publicize IDEA winners' stories each year. IDSA's annual Yearbook of Design Excellence, featuring in-depth coverage of the Gold winners and a complete listing of all honorees, is distributed to an international audience of design and business executives.

  • Publicity–International press exposure of close to 500,000 views
  • Yearbook of Design Excellence–inclusion in and copy of this keepsake
  • IDEA Gallery online–attracting more than 3,000 page views/month and featuring a new SEARCH function, making it easier to find winning products
  • Winning products become part of the permanent collection of The Henry Ford Museum
  • License to display IDEA winner logo on the website, packaging, advertising and merchandising materials of the winning product

Judging Criteria

IDEA judging is based on the following criteria for design excellence. A winning design meets most of these criteria in a positive manner, category dependent.

  • Design Innovation - How is this design unique or innovative compared to other designs in this category?
  • User Experience - How does this design deliver a simple, intuitive or delightful user experience?
  • Benefit to the Client - How does this design improve the client or manufacturer's profitability, brand reputation, employee morale, etc.?
  • Benefit to Society - How does this design benefit the greater good; consider society, the environment, culture, the economy, etc.?
  • Appropriate Aesthetics - The judges will use the provided visual materials (photos and optional video) to assess this category dependent criteria.


  • Open for Entry – Jan. 2, 2018