Design Guild Mark

Design Guild Mark

About the Design Guild Mark

The prestigious Design Guild Mark is awarded to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation. The Award recognises the highest standards in the design of furniture for volume production, by the finest 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 evaluation process. Uniquely the designers present their furniture in person on judging day, and the judges are able to examine the design closely.

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

  • 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?
  • Will it last?

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 Alex Gifford, former Design Guild Mark chairman, our 2017 judging panel was:

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



A Design Guild Mark can be awarded for a piece or range
which is in current volume production and is designed either

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



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

  • To use the Design Guild Mark logo on publicity material such as product labelling, swing tags, 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 in our own PR.

2017 PR

Additional Prizes

All entries which receive a Mark are eligible for the following prizes which the independent judging panel will judge on the same day as the Design Guild Mark awards.

The Jonathan Hindle Prize for Excellence

Created in 2015 by Design Guild Mark founder Jonathan Hindle, this cash prize of £1000 will be awarded to the most outstanding design.

The John Makepeace Prize for Innovation

This £3000 cash prize is to encourage radical innovation that embraces and exploits current art and/or science.

The prize will recognise and reward the designer of the most exceptional design that demonstrates new possibilities that has been awarded a Bespoke or Design Guild Mark, or has won a Wood Award in any one year.

To be eligible for entry to this prize please complete the relevant section on the Design Guild Mark Call for Entries form and provide additional images to illustrate your application.

How to apply

An application form is available to download. Questions can be answered by George Cooper, marketing & communications manager by emailing or by calling 020 7256 5558.