The iF product design award has been around for half a century and is now considered to be one of The Three Major Design Awards. The international jury from The Hanover Industrie Forum Design award hundreds of iF labels each year at the Hanover Exhibition Centre to new products of outstanding design quality deserving of international recognition.

Every year some 2 000 products from about 40 countries are judged by renowned experts, guaranteeing the product designer a recognised place on the cutting edge of contemporary design.[iF]

[Picture of iF logo brand]

Naturally the winners are far from shy about displaying their winning labels on web sites, blogs, feeds and brochures:

[Picture of screenshot][Picture of screenshot][Picture of screenshot][Picture of screenshot]

There are deadlines for submissions (usually around October), and then the exhibition itself. It’s quite a buzz, and it pushes new products and new designers into the fore as well as drawing attention to well designed and innovative articles. The media tend to run with the latest communications gadgets and the fanciest electronic wizardry, but ever more people are recognising design classics from bygone eras, they may have designed a kitchen or bathroom or renovated a property, and they will certainly have seen the changes in lifestyle afforded by all sorts of products from TVs and digital radios to gym equipment.

In such a brand and designer-label and celebrity-designer environment, the iF label can help cut through the product specifications and the shopping channel/ glossy magazine hard-sell. For many iF is a shorthand or short cut to the best new products.