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iF: Design for Good

Each year, iF International Forum Design GmbH organizes one of the world's most celebrated and valued design competitions: the iF DESIGN AWARD. Recognized as a symbol of design excellence around the world, the iF DESIGN AWARD welcomes over 5,000 submissions from 70 countries every year.

Our flagship award is complemented by a number of other awards, including the iF STUDENT DESIGN AWARD and the two iF PUBLIC VALUE AWARDS.


1953: Germany was still struggling to overcome the impact of the Second World War, at home and abroad.

A group of industry representatives led by Philip Rosenthal met with the Hannover Trade Fair company (Hannover Messe). Their aim was to draw attention to particularly well-designed industrial products. In doing so, they wanted to communicate the importance of design and all it can achieve: for users, for brands and for societies. A new image for German products began to take shape. Fitting then that the resulting association was first known as 'Die gute Industrieform e.V.’ (Good Industrial Form). The name Industrie Forum (or iF for short) came later. 

This was the start of a symbol of design excellence that is recognized to this day – the iF logo.

As the original movement looked back to the Bauhaus and its concept of ‘good form’ – a combination of ethical and aesthetic qualities – so too the iF DESIGN AWARD has long become a symbol for excellent form, for aesthetic quality, and for user-focused, ergonomic and efficient design in all disciplines, by companies around the world.


2016: Today, iF is looking towards the future. Now as never before, the future of design and the future of our entire planet are intertwined. Problems such as inequality, overconsumption and climate change have been addressed by designers before. Today and tomorrow, social responsibility is a topic that design cannot ignore. Established designers and students alike are challenged as never before to find creative solutions to the greatest problems of our time.

Our core business is organizing awards, and to this end we have created several awards to move design forward into the future: the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD catering to young designers at the beginning of their careers and the iF PUBLIC VALUE AWARD with the goal of finding solutions to the problems in the world today.

Our reputation as one of the oldest truly independent design institutions in the world rests on our integrity, which clearly sets us apart from our competitors. Since 1953, iF e.V. has followed six guiding principles:

  • To identify, support and promote good design
  • To raise awareness of design among the public and the role it plays in our lives
  • To help companies integrate design into their long-term strategies
  • To safeguard the role of professional designer and boost awareness for this job profile
  • To effect social change through design
  • To support talented young people and create a public platform for young designers

We are confident that the coming sixty years of design will be even more exciting and more fruitful than the last sixty years. iF is honored to be a part of the history and future of design.