AIGA Corporate Leadership Award

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 practice and policy.

Awards Selection Committee

  • Chris Dingwall, Design Historian and Curator, Oakland University
  • Karin Fong, Director + Designer, Imaginary Forces
  • Gaby Hernández, Social Design Researcher and Educator, University of Florida
  • Hugh Weber (Co-Chair), Managing Director, We Must Be Bold and The Great Discontent
  • Forest Young (Co-Chair), Chief Creative Officer, Wolff Olins

Advisors to the Committee (non-voting):

  • Dana Arnett, Chief Executive Officer, VSA Partners
  • Ashleigh Axios, Chief Experience Officer and Partner, Coforma
  • Christine Taylor, Creative Manager, Licensing, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Returning committee members were invited to participate in the committee deliberations as non-voting members to provide guidance on the criteria.

Nominations, Elegibility, and Selection Criteria

    AIGA members are invited to submit nominations to be considered by next year’s committee. 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. Include the name of the nominee, 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 year, nominations for the Corporate Leadership Award are reviewed by an awards committee to verify eligibility. Yearly recommendations for the award are then presented to the AIGA National Board of Directors 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 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 or headquartered in the United States. The company/organization is striving and should be perceived as attaining a level of holistic design excellence—the best-in-class—across all facets of their experience, systems, products, and services.

    The AIGA National Board of Directors has issued the following instructions:

    The company/organization must demonstrate it has met the below criteria for at least the last five years.

    • Design Leadership: strives to position design and their designers as strategic partners across all facets of their business—experience, systems, products, and services (i.e. Designers in C-suite/upper management/key decision-making roles; demonstrates design in business, creative problem solving, design-thinking, consumer-focused solutions beyond just the visual communication roles).
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: employs and embraces a diverse workforce in all positions of the company (i.e. diversity in gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, capabilities, disabilities, education, environment, design practices, heritages, backgrounds, etc.). Should share the same practices in consumer-facing approaches, 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.
    • Innovation: invests in R&D and Innovative practices that strive to advance their industry forward. This can be in consumer products and services or internal development processes and procedures that apply efficiencies at scale for their industry as a whole
    • Social impact: 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.
    • 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.

    While these are not mandatory, they are thoughtful considerations for making final selections.

    • Relationship with AIGA: Does the company support AIGA’s mission, have a corporate membership, participate in local and national events, have employees that are engaged in the organization?
    • Relevancy to Membership: Do our members know who they are, do they engage with our members or do our members engage with their products or services, is their reach broad enough to be relevant to a larger community?
    • Design Diversity: Does the company reflect more than just traditional products and services? Do they employ a variety of design skills from print to digital to UX/UI, etc.

    Nominations

    Nominations open
    Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis and are considered year after year for the next awards cycle.

    Nominations close
    The deadline for nominations to be considered by the AIGA Awards Nominating Committee during the 2022 cycle will be announced in the summer.

    Nominate

    Learn More

    Recent Awardees

    Recipients

    2021

    Warby Parker

    2019

    Microsoft

    2018

    Google

    2017

    Bloomberg L.P.

    2010

    Tiffany & Co.

    2010

    Method

    2009

    Patagonia

    2009

    Jetblue

    2008

    Harley Davidson

    2008

    Design Within Reach

    2007

    Samsung

    2007

    Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

    2006

    MTV Networks, A Viacom Company

    2006

    Target

    2005

    The Gillette Company

    2005

    Hallmark Cards, Inc.

    1999

    Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

    1998

    Champion International Corporation

    1993

    Nike, Inc.

    1992

    Sesame Street, Children's Television Workshop

    1991

    Olivetti

    1991

    MTV

    1990

    The National Park Service

    1989

    Adobe Systems

    1988

    The New York Times

    1987

    Walker Arts Center

    1986

    Espirit

    1985

    WGBH Education Foundation, Inc.

    1984

    Herman Miller, Inc.

    1983

    Cummins Engine Company, Inc.

    1982

    Container Corporation of America

    1981

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    1980

    IBM Corporation

    Building Partnerships With A Vibrant Community

    The National Partnership Program is about leadership, relevance, and impact—with, within, and through design—to build and sustain programs, initiatives, and resources that champion a more contemporary and inclusive profession.