Innovation By Design Awards


The 2018 Innovation By Design Awards honor the designers and businesses solving the problems of today and tomorrow. The competition, now in its seventh year, has featured a cross-section of blue-chip companies, scruffy startups, and hungry young talents. It is one of the most sought-after design awards in the industry.
There are 15 categories in all, and the judges include renowned designers from a variety of disciplines, business leaders from some of the most innovative companies in the world, and Fast Company’s own editors. Entries are judged on the key ingredients of innovation: Functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, depth of user insight, cultural impact, and business impact.
Update: The entry period for the 2018 Innovation By Design Awards is now closed. Please click here to sign up for future award notifications.
For full competition details, see the rules, FAQs, and last year’s honorees.

Why Enter

Every entry will be seen by Fast Company editors. Winners, finalists, and honorable mentions will appear in the October issue of Fast Company magazine and on Co.Design; winners will be celebrated at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival this October, and receive a complimentary pass. And for the first time ever, we’ll name a design company of the year.


ProductsHardware and industrial design geared toward mass consumers and niche markets.
Apps and GamesInterfaces and productivity tools built for phones, tablets, and touchscreens.
Spaces, Place, and CitiesProjects that improve the urban fabric, including urban planning, architecture, interactive kiosks, and apps.
Social GoodSystems, processes, and fundraising platforms that enhance the success of developing countries or underprivileged communities.
ExperimentalConcepts, prototypes, and pioneering designs intended to push boundaries and excite the imagination.
StudentsWork created while attending either an undergraduate or graduate program, or within a year of graduation.
Web DesignInteractive experiences on mobile and desktop that delight, inspire, and push the boundaries of technology.
Retail EnvironmentsPhysical settings that bring a brand, service, or product to life.
Fashion and BeautyProducts, environments, and services that reflect–and enhance–who we are and what we wear.
HealthConsumer products that improve health and well-being, including apps, medical devices, fitness trackers, and athletic equipment.
Graphic Design and Data VisualizationVisual design that serves a function, from typography to branding to data visualization. Includes both static and interactive design.
User ExperienceProjects that encompass, from beginning to end, the many types and stages of an experience, whether it’s taking a vacation or visiting the doctor.
Workplace (NEW)Buildings, interiors, furniture, desk accessories, and tools built to make workers happier and more productive.
Timeless Design (NEW)Honoring iconic, impactful, and measurably lasting design–including spaces, graphics, digital experiences, and products–developed any time in the past 30 years.
General ExcellenceThe most innovative contemporary designs with no category restrictions, selected by Fast Company editors.
Design Company Of The Year (NEW)The most innovative design company of the year, selected by Fast Company editors. Organizations that submit three or more entries to any of the categories above will be automatically considered. Companies will be judged on the quality, breadth, and ambition of their submitted work.

Our 2018 Judges

Kate Aronowitz
Kate Aronowitz Design Partner GV
George Aye
George Aye Cofounder Greater Good Studio
Carly Ayres
Carly Ayres Partner HAWRAF
Guive Balooch
Guive Balooch Global Vice President L’Oreal
Jason Chua
Jason Chua Designer and Prototyper
August de los Reyes
August de los Reyes Product Design Pinterest
Darcy DiNucci
Darcy DiNucci Head of User Experience Ammunition
Jonas Downey
Jonas Downey Designer Basecamp
John Edson
John Edson LUNAR
Jenny Friedler
Jenny Friedler Senior Director Planned Parenthood
Amy Gu
Amy Gu Managing Partner Hemi Ventures
Hao Ko
Hao Ko Managing Director Gensler
John Hoke
John Hoke Vice President and Chief Design Officer Nike
Kat Holmes
Kat Holmes Founder Kata
Linda Jiang
Linda Jiang Head of Industrial Design Essential
George Lois
George Lois
Dan Makoski
Dan Makoski Lead Design Walmart
Steve McConnell
Steve McConnell Managing Partner NBBJ
Ceasar McDowell
Ceasar McDowell Professor MIT
Misha Nonoo
Misha Nonoo Fashion Designer
Tetsuya O'Hara
Tetsuya O’Hara Vice President Gap Inc.
Primo Orpilla
Primo Orpilla Cofounder Studio O+A
Edel Rodriguez
Edel Rodriguez Artist
Ivy Ross
Ivy Ross VP of Design for the Hardware Product Area Google
Alex Schleifer
Alex Schleifer Head of Design Airbnb
Bonnie Siegler
Bonnie Siegler Founder Eight and a Half
Hamish Smyth
Hamish Smyth Partner Order
Clark Valberg
Clark Valberg Cofounder and CEO InVision
Steve Vassallo
Steve Vassallo General Partner Foundation Capital
Emily Weiss
Emily Weiss Founder and CEO Glossier
Ryan Wilkerson
Ryan Wilkerson VP of Experience Design HBO
Forest Young
Forest Young Head of Design Wolff Olins
Diego Zambrano
Diego Zambrano Partner Work & Co
Logo by Sawdust