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Recently two of our projects – the Victoria Police ADT and the Dermapen 4 – were selected as finalists for this year’s Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. This is exciting in itself, but it also gave us a chance to look back on our accomplishments.

Over the years, Cobalt’s work has been recognised through numerous design and industry awards. These include:

  • Good Design Award, Best in Class – Victoria Police ADT (2018)
  • Good Design Award, Winner – Dermapen 4 (2018)
  • Australian International Design Award – Concave boots (2016)
  • Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame, Professional Services (2016)
  • The DIA Award for Professional Practice (2016)
  • Mercedes Benz Innovation Prize, Hack My Van – Innovito Mobile Coding Van (2016)
  • Land Defence Australia Innovation Award – ONE299 Frame for ADA (2016)
  • Victorian Premier’s Design Award, overall winner – ASRC Food Justice Truck (2015)
  • Good Design Award, Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design – KeepCup Brew (2014)
  • Australian International Design Award, Best in Category – Agilent 4300 FTIR Spectrometer (2013)
  • Australian International Design Award – Zgo Monitor Arm (2012)
  • Australian International Design Award & Patron Prize – Minelab F3 Compact Mine Detector (2012)
  • Australian Design Award – LEX Slimline LED Exit Sign (2010)
  • Australian Design Award – Heartsine Samaritan PAD (2005)
  • Australian Design Award – Victoria Police Booze Bus (2004)

On top of these we’ve received dozens more finalist nominations and special mentions local and international panels, as well as other channels like academic books and television news.

Icing on the cake

As much as independent awards are appreciated and validate our team’s professionalism, the ultimate measure of success is the commercial performance of the products we develop for our clients.

And keeping awards in perspective is important for other reasons.  Over the years we’ve learnt that certain projects appeal to design award judges, and others don’t. This doesn’t mean the others are any less worthy – instead, it demonstrates that judging design can be very subjective; so even if a product is successful, judges may overlook it if they don’t recognise or understand its context.

For instance, in 2017 we commenced over 60 projects; the vast majority of which would go to become fully finished products which would be commercially successful for our clients. However, for a myriad of reasons only 2-3 projects are likely to be submitted for an award. Hence we see awards as the icing on the cake, and the product’s commercial success as the real prize.

The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards will be presented at an official ceremony in September. We hope we can take home another trophy for our cabinet, but in the meantime we’re proud to be nominated, and even more excited to be helping the rest of our clients achieve their own product design winner.