Search the directory

Generic filters

Graduate Design Awards

The IDI Graduate Awards were created to recognise and reward outstanding and innovative design by new designers at the beginning of their creative careers.

Welcome to the much anticipated IDI Graduate Design Awards 2024, where the creativity and the remarkable achievements of graduate designers across Ireland is celebrated. This year, we are proud to present a programme that promises to be more expansive than ever before, featuring new categories and awards. This provides graduate designers with an excellent opportunity to showcase the breath, depth and promise of their work, as well as demonstrate how they are pushing the boundaries of their discipline.

Judged by an international panel of industry and educational leaders, the IDI Graduate Awards ensure Irish graduate design is benchmarked to international industry standards. We looking forward to you joining us as we celebrate the best of Ireland’s emerging graduate designers, the individuals who will shape the future landscape of Irish commercial design.





In this category, entrants can submit projects that use animation (2D/3D), motion graphics, visual effects, digital animation, or gaming. Projects should consider the use of storytelling and narrative, demonstrating its creative contribution to the overall project. Entrants can submit moving image files or links to externally hosted content together with storyboards.



Projects in this category must be for the built environment, including all residential, commercial, retail, office, hospitality, healthcare, education, conservation, leisure, marine, public, performance, and museum-based projects. The project entries can be new builds or retrofits. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images.

Interior Design


Projects in this category must focus on the design of interiors, including public, commercial, or residential cases. This category also covers fit-outs, renovations, and alterations to existing structures. The jury will consider the use of space, adaptation, complexity, purpose, innovation, impact, clarity, accessibility, sustainability, materiality, and transition of the project. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images. Walk-through videos are also welcome (3 mins. or less).

Design for Digital


Projects in this category can include UI/UX and Digital Product Design. The Design for Digital award recognises user orientation and outstanding design in products and digital solutions. For websites, please provide a link to a live site. The jury will focus on how the project met the demands of present-day and future users, brought positive user experience, added human value and imagination. The jury will be looking for appropriate, empathetic, and accessible projects. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images. Under the attachments section, you may include a 1-page PDF document further elaborating on the process in addition to the maximum 500-word description given under the criteria section.



This category is for the design of fabrics, yarns, and fibres, whether for clothing, accessories, or other uses. The jury will be looking for ground-breaking print, weave, knit, and other techniques, quality, functionality, and overall design. Please include macro/close-up photographs of your fabrics and how they have been used. Strong photography is essential for judging the final submission as judges will not see actual fabric samples. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images.

Fashion Design


This category is for garments or a collection of garments that are functional or experimental and are executed considering silhouette, cut, draping, and movement. The jury will be looking for technical ability in the production of the garment, use of fabrics, functionality, and overall demonstration of design and making. Pay particular emphasis on the quality of the photography. As well as photo-shoot images of garments worn, it would be very helpful to include detailed images to showcase your project. These could be close-ups of tailoring, embellishments, and detailing. Bear in mind the judges only have images to review, and important details of the design may not be apparent. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images.

Craft Design


Entries for this category should exhibit innovative and imaginative ideas in any of the various mediums including, but not limited to, the fields of ceramics, glass, furniture, or jewellery. Judges are looking to celebrate creative solutions, excellent making, and artistic merit. Bear in mind that judges will only have images of your work to review, so high-quality, well-lit photographs of your work will be very beneficial to best showcase your project and to highlight important details of the design.

Design Research - Written


This category is for academic research as an extended essay or thesis (Minimum word count: 3000). The Design Research category awards academic research that is embedded in any design sector and aims to improve, investigate, or add to understanding of that topic. This category applies to Bachelors and Masters projects, including those submitted for a BA, BArch, BDes, BSc, MA, MDes, MSc, or MRes. Please upload a separate abstract along with the body of text in PDF format.

Design Research - by Practice


This category is for practice-led research undertaken through a robust and rigorous design process. This category applies to research projects submitted for a BA, BArch, BDes, BSc, MA, MDes, MSc, or MRes. Submissions should outline the primary and secondary research undertaken, use or development of design methods and tools, and impact of the research in a PDF format.

Furniture Design


This category is for designed pieces of bespoke furniture, furniture designed to be manufactured commercially, or architectural and interior fittings. The jury will be looking for innovative and appropriate use of materials, quality, and overall design. Pay particular attention to the quality of the visuals submitted. As well as photo-shoot images, it would be very helpful to include detailed images to showcase your project. Bear in mind the judges only have images to review, and important details of the design may not be apparent. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images.

Product Design


This category is for any project for the consumer and non-consumer market including industrial, heavy equipment, lighting, products for children, office equipment, and transportation. The jury will be looking for innovative design that places the end user at the centre of the proposed solution, use of material, high quality, and overall attention to detail. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images. This category excludes medical devices and furniture.

Medical Device Design


This category is for any project, product, or solution that has been designed to address a requirement in the medical device sector. Projects would include those looking at assisted living technology, clinical and laboratory equipment, hospital, medical/healthcare devices, and other life sciences equipment. The jury will be looking for innovative design, of high quality that achieves a high aesthetic standard without compromising on usability. Design solutions should place the end-user at the centre of the proposed solution, and the benefit to the user should be clear. Use of material and overall attention to detail are important considerations. Use only good quality jpgs for your attached images.

Service Design


This category invites entries from students who have developed innovative service concepts or redesigned existing services to enhance user experiences and address societal needs. Entries may range from projects focused on healthcare, education, transportation, sustainability, or any other area where service design can make a meaningful difference. Judges will evaluate submissions based on the clarity of problem definition, effectiveness of user research and empathy mapping, creativity and feasibility of the service design solution, potential for impact and scalability, and demonstration of human-centred design principles throughout the process.

Brand Identity


In this category entrants can submit a variety of applications for a visual brand, including logo, stationery suites, brand guidelines, print, digital, environmental, signage etc. (all applications of the identity and visual language). The jury will be looking for an identity that shows a unified vision and tools that help the client build the brand.

Design for Moving Image


In this category entrants can submit projects that use moving image or film. These could include but are not limited to; audio/visual, silent film, advertising, music videos, dance pieces, short documentaries. The focus should be on the use of moving image or film as a storytelling device. Entrants can upload pieces with or without storyboards or link to externally hosted content.

Games Design


In this category entrants can submit projects that focus on games design. The projects could be digital or analogue (i.e., toy design). Entries will be judged based on innovative game concepts, engaging gameplay mechanics/processes, polished design aesthetics, and effective/appropriate use of technology. Judges will assess the originality of ideas, execution of game mechanics/processes, visual (and audio) quality, and overall player experience.



In this category entrants are asked to submit illustrations used in the context of a design project. Illustration work must be a body of work, no singular images, and can include any original artwork designed to be used for books, book covers, editorial, posters, packaging, web, digital etc. The jury will be looking for creativity, concept, and craft in both the illustration and how it fits into the overall design.

Book Design


In this category entrants can submit printed books; educational, text, children’s, art, coffee-table books etc. The jury will look at the overall presentation of the object, the context for which it is intended and the inventiveness of layout and care with type as well as print decisions and execution. Entrants should include a digital and/or video flip through of their entire book.

Typographic Design


In this category entrants will demonstrate excellence in typographic design, execution, and understanding. Judges welcome the submission of designed typefaces, as well as the application of typography. Typography should be an intrinsic element of the overall design solution. The jury will look for creativity, subtlety, nuance, or differentiating impact of the typography, craft, detail, consistency, originality, maintenance of superlative standards and clarity in visual communication of emotional or commercial message. Judges welcome the submission of designed typefaces, as well as the application of typography.

Universal Design


Is your entry a Universal Design? A Universal Design should be easy to Access, Understand, and Use by a wide range of people. Universal Design is a free extra (opt-in) IDI Award category. To opt-in for a Universal Design award, you must include the words “Universal Design” as part of the text about your entry. Judges will evaluate a qualifying entry based on how clearly you show that you followed a Universal Design Approach — the extent to which you have considered and addressed the more diverse needs, abilities, and characteristics of users throughout the design process (Age, Size, Ability, and Disability). Judges will also be looking for you to clearly show that your entry aligns with at least 4 of the 7 Principles of Universal Design by identifying the design features and elements that specifically achieve the relevant Universal Design Guidelines. *NOTE 1: Access, Understand, and Use is about how people generally interact with or experience a design: first they Access it (approach and perceive); secondly they Understand it (comprehend and decide); and thirdly they Use it (act or react). *NOTE 2: Terms such as “Design for All”, “Universal Design”, “accessible design”, “barrier-free design”, “inclusive design” and “transgenerational design” are often used interchangeably with the same meaning. “Universal Design” is the term used in Ireland and in related International publications. Find information about Universal Design at:

Experimental Design


This category invites entries which self-identity as experimental and/or speculative work. Projects may align to any disciplinary context (e.g., graphic design, digital design, fashion) but must ultimately demonstrate a clear rationale for why experimentation has taken place and a defined innovative outcome that embodies a compelling response to the initial rationale. Submissions should outline: the problem/opportunity; any primary and secondary research undertaken; the process and use or development of design methods and tools; and the final outcome in a PDF format.

Design for Sustainability


This category recognises outstanding sustainability-oriented work from all graduate entries. It will spotlight design work for environmental, social, and economic sustainability, biodiversity, regenerative design, climate action, and socially sustainable design and which consider the ongoing global context. Projects cannot be entered into this category rather judges will shortlist projects from all entries, which will be reviewed by the Graduate Awards Chair and IDI President.

Design for Change


The Design for Change category encompasses any project that aims to assist, improve or enhance a group or groups of people, or places through design intervention. This can be in the context of the environment, culture, society, disenfranchised or marginalized groups. Projects cannot be entered into this category rather judges will shortlist projects from all entries, which will be reviewed by the Graduate Awards Chair and IDI President.

Grand Prix


The Grand Prix recognises emerging talent from all graduate entries. This can come from any category and the winner must demonstrate the potential to become a leader in the design industry and an ambassador for the values IDI holds. Projects cannot be entered into this category rather judges will shortlist projects from all entries, which will be reviewed by the Graduate Awards Chair and IDI President.

The Eligibility Criteria & Rules

Eligibility Criteria

Entry to the awards is open to all students currently in college, set to graduate in 2024.

You must be graduating from a design programme at minimum Bachelor Degree (NQF level 7) in Ireland.

You may be graduating from a Bachelor (Hons) Degree (NQF level 8) or Masters programme (NQF level 9). Both taught Masters are eligible. These include; BA, BArch, BSc, BDes up to taught MA, MSc.

Entries can also be from Irish designers in full-time education based abroad, who are graduating with a design degree in 2024.

PhD students are ineligible to enter.



  • There is no entry fee for students that are eligible to enter under college membership. If your college is not registered, you must submit an entry fee of €10 per entry.
  • All competition entries must be via the IDI online entry system only.
  • If the person listed on the entry is not currently/recently in full-time study, the entry will be deleted.
  • You must identify the college you are graduating from and whether you are a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree graduating student.
  • Conceptual and completed designs are both acceptable.
  • The work entered must be original and be your design/design idea.
  • You can enter as many different design projects as you like once they fit into the category criteria.
  • You can enter the same project into multiple categories. The entry system comes with a ‘copy’ facility so that you don’t need to write out all your details again if you are entering the same details into more than one category.
  • You may enter up to 10 attachments as jpg files on each entry. Please see image and upload specifications.
  • You may enter individual images or presentation boards with your text, explaining your design intent (what was the challenge, why your design resolves the problem, and identifying key features of the design).
  • Projects entered don’t have to be final year projects but they must be a project completed as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate course.
  • Projects entered can be individual projects or group projects with a maximum of 5 designers in the group.
  • Ineligible or late entries will be deleted from the competition.
  • The online system will guide you through the process.

If in doubt, please contact

Enter the Graduate Awards

You can now submit your entry via the awards website

Enter the awards


Image/Upload technical specifications

You can upload between 3-10 images only per entry/project – Images can be in landscape, square or portrait format

Landscape: 2500px wide / any height
Portrait: 2500px wide / any height
Square: 2500px wide / 2500px high
Images should be supplied in JPG format
Maximum file size per image 5MB



Video files should be 1280 x 720 H264 codec video with an MP4 extension. Videos can also be uploaded to Vimeo or Youtube and the correct URL must be supplied (please double check for broken links).


Websites/Digital Projects

Provide website URLs to any publicly accessible campaigns or active URLs for a landing page. Please ensure that any applicable usernames and passwords are provided and active. For any paid games or apps, please supply a gift card/code that is valid until at least end of this year. Please do not send files via services with expiring links (e.g. WeTransfer). We may not be able to see or use them!


Text Details

You will be asked to supply the following information to explain your project:

  • Project entry title.
  • Project description – 500 words max (100 words min.)
  • Ensure you explain the rationale for your project, how you solved the problem and highlight any relevant design decisions or originality that is relevant to the judging process.
  • Clearly identify who the target audience is for your project.



  • The judges reserve the right to award all prizes or move entries to other categories.
  • The IDI GDA Jury has the right to query if an entry is eligible for these awards.
  • The IDI and Judges reserve the right to withdraw or expand a category.
  • The judges reserve the right to not award in any category should they feel the work does not match the judging criteria or meet the standard set.
  • No correspondence will be entered into regarding entries.
  • No physical work to be submitted. Online entries only.
  • Due consideration will be given to all of the entries and more than one award may be made in any given category.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • Please keep an eye on the IDI and The New Now social media channels for further updates.


Entries Open: Monday 27th May
Entries Closed: Wednesday 19th June 2024
**** DEADLINE EXTENDED: 24th June @ 5pm
Shortlist Announced: Monday 16th September 2024 


Awards Ceremony: Thursday 24th Oct 2024, Belfast School of Art. Time TBC.

Previous Winners

Browse Grand Prix Winners from past IDI Graduate Design Awards from 2005 to 2023

View previous winners

Subscribe for regular updates

By signing up to receive emails from us, you agree to our Privacy Policy.