Design Guild Mark for Lighting in 2020. Here’s your chance to enter!

Here at the Light Review we just love shouting (writing!) about great design, so when we heard that the prestigious Design Guild Mark was going to include a category for Lighting for the first time, we just had to have a find out a little more.

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For those of you who have not come across the Design Guild Mark, it’s been around for the last 10 years, and prides itself in distinguishing the excellent from the ordinary. The categories included in this award are Furniture and Textiles, Wall coverings, Surfaces, Carpet and Floor coverings, and finally, Lighting.  

All entries for this award must be intended for volume production.

One thing that sets this design award apart from others, is that the panel of independent judges; all experts in the field of design; examine the submitted pieces and question the designer during a judging day that takes place in Carpenters’ Hall, in the City of London. The Mark recognises the highest standards in the design of furnishings in volume production by the finest designers working in Britain, or British designers working abroad.

The Design Guild Mark judging panels for 2020 in lighting will be accepting applications until the 23rd of January and there is an impressive list of judges –


  • Simon Alderson – twentytwentyone
  • Tim Rundle – Tim Rundle Studio
  • Simon Terry – Anglepoise
  • John Tree – Jasper Morrison
  • Sebastian Wrong – Established & Sons

Speaking to a very busy Rodney McMahon, chairman of the Design Guild Mark, I managed to ask him a few quick questions, just to get a bit of context; and I was firstly most curious to know why it had taken so long to include a Lighting Category?

‘We have run the DGM for Furniture for 11 years, introducing Textiles, Wall coverings and Surfaces two years ago, but now felt that the DGM is now sufficiently well regarded and supported to withstand an extension into a further sector.  We are keen to engage with as wide a range of British designers as possible into this important Mark of Excellence, the judges will be among other aspects looking for ‘excellence of design and execution’.

When judging the products, how much does innovation or aesthetic play a role in the awards process?

Innovation is a very important element of excellence, although the principal focus of the Mark, being Design, means that aesthetic takes a leading role.  

Lighting has been going through some pretty major changes over the last 10 years, what would you say is more important, good use of materials or technology?

I think good use of materials, and technology in terms of manufacturing rather than technical lighting capabilities.

The circular economy is becoming increasingly important in Lighting, will this be considered when judging the products?

Absolutely, sustainability and effective use of scarce resources is a key component in the judging process.

Often with lighting the effect of the luminaire is as important as the actual product, how will this be approached when trying to judge the lighting products value, worth?

I believe that the judges, over whom I can exert no control obviously, will be more concerned with the aesthetic of the actual product.

It will be interesting to see who, and what, will win the first ever Design Guild Mark in lighting, so keep your eyes peeled on The Light Review this coming May where I will be reporting on events on who the winner is on the day.

To all you designers working for British companies here and abroad if you want to apply you can find out more information at Design Guild Mark , the best of luck, the deadline is fast approaching . . .

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