Corporate Leadership Award

Filed Under: Inspiration , awards , AIGA Medal

Established in 1980,  the AIGA Corporate Leadership Award recognizes the role of perceptive and forward-thinking organizations that have been instrumental in the advancement of design by applying the highest standards, as a matter of policy.


To nominate a company, client, or organization whose mission and use of design has made a significant impact in the U.S., simply complete the nomination form, including the name, a short paragraph about why the company/organization should be considered, and a link to their website. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis and are considered year after year for the next awards cycle. Each Fall (October/November), nominations for the Corporate Leadership Award are reviewed by an awards subcommittee of the national board of directors to verify eligibility. Yearly recommendations for the prize are then presented to the entire board for majority approval. Recipients of the award will be asked to produce and finance their own video and editorial content to help share their story with our members.

The 2019 Awards Committee:

  • Ashleigh Axios, design exponent, Automattic (AIGA Washington, DC)
  • Jennifer Morla, president and creative director, Morla Design (AIGA San Francisco)
  • Christine Taylor (chair), creative account manager, licensing, Hallmark Cards, Inc. (AIGA Kansas City)
  • Richard Ting, EVP, global chief experience officer and partner, R/GA Ventures (AIGA New York)
  • Forest Young, global principal, Wolff Olins (AIGA San Francisco)

The board asked AIGA president, Dana Arnett, vice chairman and founding partner, VSA Partners (AIGA Chicago), to participate in the committee deliberations as a non-voting member and observer to provide guidance on the criteria for multiple awards. Additional guidance provided by Connie Birdsall.

The 2019 awards will be announced in February and will be recognized at the AIGA Design Conference in Pasadena, California Saturday, April 6, 2019. Follow @AIGAdesign for updates.

Selection criteria

The recipients of this award demonstrate respect for the millions whose lives they touch, a rare commitment to consistency and quality, and a model for the successful interaction between aesthetics and pragmatics. Eligibility is open to global companies and organizations that have a strong presence and offices based out of the United States.

The AIGA board of directors has issued the following instructions:

  • Design excellence, the company/organization is perceived as attaining a level of holistic design excellence—across all facets of their experience, systems, products, and services.
  • Economic impact, the company/organization has demonstrated how use of design practices has made a significant and measurable economic impact on the products, brands, and areas important to the success of the entire enterprise.
  • Sustainability, the company/organization has shown how use of design practices has made significant and measurable sustainability and/or environmental improvements on the products, brands, and areas important to the success of the entire enterprise.
  • Social responsibility, the organization has made a significant contribution to support the development of design as a force for good in their organization as well as in the external community in the U.S. or globally.
  • Commitment, the organization can demonstrate it has met the above criteria for the last five years.



Google, 2018, recognized for exemplifying design’s potential to delight users, inspire visionary products and services, fuel innovation in every facet of its business, and improve our world
Bloomberg L.P., 2017
Method, 2010
Tiffany & Co., 2010


JetBlue, 2009
Patagonia, 2009
Design Within Reach, 2008
Harley-Davidson, 2008
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, 2007
Samsung, 2007
MTV Networks, a Viacom Company, 2006
Target Corporation, 2006
The Gillette Company, 2005
Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005


Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999
Champion International Corporation, 1998
Nike, Inc., 1993
Sesame Street, Children's Television Workshop, 1992
MTV, 1991
Olivetti, 1991
The National Park Service, 1990


Adobe Systems, 1989
Apple, 1989
The New York Times, 1988
Walker Arts Center, 1987
Esprit, 1986
WGBH Educational Foundation, Inc., 1985
Herman Miller, Inc., 1984
Cummins Engine Company, Inc., 1983
Container Corporation of America, 1982
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981
IBM Corporation, 1980

Contact us

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To learn more about how you can support AIGA, visit Contribute to AIGA.

We are accepting nominations for three awards: AIGA Medal, Corporate Leadership Award, and the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary.