The Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Designpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the official design award for Germany presented by the German Ministry for Economics and Technology. The award was given for the first time under the name 'Federal Award for Good Design' in 1969 and thereafter every two years. Moreover, the focus of the award was changed on each occasion. The name of the award was first changed in 1992. Thereafter, the Federal Product Design Award and the Federal Award Promoter of Design — which went to a personality for achievements in the design field — were presented annually. Since 2006, it has been called the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany and is given for outstanding achievements in the fields of product and communication design, and to a personality in the design sector. Since 2012, the prize competition has been administered by DMY Berlin GmbH & Co. KG.
A company can only enter the competition for the Design Award if its product has already been awarded a national or international design prize. Another precondition for entry is that companies must have been nominated by the Ministries and Senators of the Federal States or by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
Participants were nominated for it by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology or the relevant state ministries - and only if they had previously won another national or international design award. This is why the award was also called "the prize of prizes". It was not possible to apply for the prize oneself.
The award was decided by an independent and expert jury of ten members. It was made up of representatives from industry, academia, design and the media. It was appointed for a period of four years by the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology.
Like many other design prizes, this one did not entail any prize money for the participants; on the contrary, it was fee-based. The prize was therefore criticized by the professional public from 2006 onwards, triggered by an open letter from the nominated designer Juli Gudehus.
The organization of the prize was carried out by the German Design Council until 2011 and was entrusted for the first time in a new tender in 2012 to a young small private company, DMY Berlin GmbH & Co. KG, was entrusted with the task. Since then, the German Design Council has announced its own design prize, which was briefly called the "Designpreis Deutschland" and then renamed the German Design Award.
When the organization of the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany was transferred to the organizer DMY Berlin, the payment modalities changed: Companies or designers paid a participation fee as before; however, they no longer had to pay a "winner's fee." Young designers did have to pay an entry fee of €350 per submission, but the Young Designer Award had been endowed with €8000 since 2012.
Since the insolvency of the last organizer in 2014, the prize has not been offered again.