Design Guild Mark

Design Guild Mark

About the Design Guild Mark

The prestigious Design Guild Mark is awarded by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, in order to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation.

The Mark recognises the highest standards in the design of furniture in volume production, by designers working in Britain or British designers working abroad. The judges are renowned experts in their respective fields and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the process.

Numbered Design Guild Marks will be awarded to the designers of pieces or ranges of furniture in volume production which are judged to achieve excellence in respect of the various criteria below.


The piece should demonstrate excellence in design, materials, manufacture and function.

Is the design outstanding? Consideration will be given, for example to:

  • Are the materials appropriate?
  • Are they from sustainable sources?
  • Does the piece show new thinking?
  • Does it represent value?
  • Does it solve a problem?
  • Is it fit for purpose?
  • Does the design have longevity?
  • Has the design been refined for and is it capable of being produced in volume?

Judging Panel

The Design Guild Mark has been described as the  ‘most important British design award programme‘ and this is partly due to the calibre of our independent judging panel.

Led by Rodney McMahon,  Design Guild Mark chairman, our 2018 judging panel will be:

  • Simon Alderson, twentytwentyone
  • Joanna Biggs, GA Design
  • Barbara Chandler, Evening Standard
  • Diana Monkhouse, Space Invader Design
  • Jeremy Myerson, Royal College of Art
  • Thomas Pearce, Sebastian Conran Associates
  • Philippa Prinsloo, John Lewis
  • Pernille Stafford, Resonate Interior Architecture
  • Jason Wilary-Attew, The Conran Shop
  • Terence Woodgate, Terence Woodgate Design


A Design Guild Mark can be awarded, for a piece or range, which is in current volume production and is designed to be manufactured in batches of 100 or more. Evidence of this must be provided in terms of the design process and the means of production.

Furthermore, the piece/range must be designed:

  • By any British designer, or
  • By any United Kingdom-based design practice


Pieces or ranges of furniture awarded a Design Guild Mark are recognisably items of quality and excellence. To substantiate and promote this accolade, Design Guild Mark holders are entitled:

  • To use the Design Guild Mark logo on publicity material such as product labelling, letterheads and brochures relating to each piece or range that has been awarded a Guild Mark. Guidelines and logos will be provided
  • To receive a numbered Design Guild Mark certificate for each piece or range awarded a Guild Mark
  • To have a page on The Furniture Makers’ Company website ( containing a link to the holders own site, contact details, a general description of their practice and images of each Design Guild Mark that they hold
  • To benefit from publicity generated by The Furniture Makers’ Company for all Design Guild Mark designers with its own PR, website and social media activity
  • To be considered for display at national design shows and exhibitions

The Jonathan Hindle Prize for Excellence

All entries which receive a Mark are eligible for the following prize which the independent judging panel will judge on the same day as the Design Guild Mark awards. Created in 2015 by Design Guild Mark founder Jonathan Hindle, this cash prize of £1000 will be awarded to the most outstanding design.

How to apply

An application form is available to download. Questions can be answered by Doreen Oddy, Guildmarks Manager by emailing or by calling 020 7256 5558.


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