As different as the criteria in this year's competitions have been, the international judges unanimously and independently agreed that the best corporate design relaunch of the year 2021 is the Deutsche Bahn brand identity developed by the brand and design agency Peter Schmidt Group. The judges of the 2021 CDP gave the iconic brand's corporate design its highest award, only two of which were presented this year. The Red Dot judges also called the project a "Best of the Best." And at the ADC, the highest award given this year in the category of corporate design redesign was presented to the Deutsche Bahn design system, which affords the iconic brand maximum conciseness while ensuring empathetic communication.
For managing partner Lukas Cottrell, the project's success is proof of the contribution design can make to the positive transformation of brands. “With our concept of empathic branding, we are giving brands the ability to be more empathetic and to build deeper emotional relationships. Because then even the smallest brand elements can interact empathetically with people, regardless of the medium. And this year the design of Deutsche Bahn provides the best example of this.”
Peter Schmidt Group consistently thought through the Deutsche Bahn brand elements and condensed the identity of one of Germany's best-known brands to a simple motif. Called the “Pulse,” it unfolds its full potential in digital interactions such as user interfaces and “micromoments” – in other words, precisely those touchpoints that are of increasing importance in today's era of digitally networked mobility. And although the Pulse is a new element, it feels like it has always been there. Because it is derived directly from existing brand elements, its appearance and functionality are inherently charactertistic of Deutsche Bahn.
Ruediger Goetz, managing director of Peter Schmidt Group, is convinced, “When it comes to evaluating the future viability of a brand presence, the CDP is the best place to look, because it is dedicated to the central discipline of successful brand management. That’s why we are parcticularly proud of this award that honors our work.”
Jürgen Kornmann, chief marketing officer Deutsche Bahn, is also enthusiastic about the award. “The design system is clever, and the Pulse is full of personality. This gives the brand a more human face and makes it easier to manage. We are pleased that this has been confirmed not just by our customers, but also by an international panel of judges in a major awards competition.”
In addition to the corporate design relaunch of Deutsche Bahn, the 16 judges in the CDP panel also honored two other Peter Schmidt Group projects by nominating the corporate design relaunch of location data provider HERE Technologies and the corporate design of the biodegradable summer shoes in the “Cocolette” collection.
The Corporate Design Prize (CDP)
The Corporate Design Prize honors corporate design launches and relaunches, as well as design elements that essentially constitute, support and impact the visual identity. Outstanding design and forward-looking ideas from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are honored. The panel of judges presents this singular award once a year to an outstanding design project. The judges also award prizes and nominations for exceptional work.