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post: 2005-12-01 » ICN
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Challenge Marksman Design Award 2005-2006:
¡®mobile electronic business accessory¡¯


Without laptop, mobile phone and Internet connection, busy executives can no longer get their work done in today¡¯s economy. All kinds of mobile peripherals and electronic business accessories can be connected to PCs, laptops and mobile phones. These handy accessories offer executives the efficient working environment that is so essential to them. Anytime, anywhere. That¡¯s why designing a mobile electronic business accessory as a business gift is such a challenge.

Plug in your innovation!
Managers and executives spend a lot of time traveling. Often to attend meetings, exhibitions and sales presentations all over the world. Because even in today¡¯s virtual age, face-to-face contact still remains important. That means precious traveling time, which is often put to good use by combining travel and work. Making PC, laptop and mobile phone important tools for executives on the move. Often, they are used together with electronic accessories. Such as a laptop light, a simcard reader, a USB memory stick, a wireless mouse or laser pointer and remote control for PowerPoint presentations. With the title ¡®Plug in your innovation¡¯, the Marksman Design Award challenges design students to conceive a new mobile electronic business accessory. On the other hand, you can aim for an astonishing redesign of an already existing mobile electronic business accessory.
So take up the challenge, and (re)design an innovative, premium-quality business gift!

The Marksman collection
PF Concept International, one of the biggest producers of business gifts in Europe, Asia and the USA, is a trendsetter in the field of innovative electronic products. The Marksman collection, which is PF Concept International¡¯s prestige catalogue of fine business gifts ranging from office items to travel accessories, is broadening its horizons. The quality, durability and functionality of the existing electronic products, clocks, bags, writing instruments, executive gifts and umbrellas that bear the Marksman brand already ensure that the Marksman logo is regarded as a symbol of refinement and consideration. As a multi-dimensional specialist in business gifts, PF Concept International aims to promote international interest in desirable, high-quality business gifts. Which is why we are looking for new design talent.

The design contest
PF Concept International is organizing its design contest for the fifth time. Called the Marksman Design Award, it gives talented and ambitious design students the opportunity to work on a practical case. PF Concept International is confident that the competition will yield designs that meet the tough quality requirements of the Marksman collection. It is open to students following higher vocational and academic industrial or architectural (product) design courses. So if you are following one of these or a similar study, this is your chance to make your name even before graduation!

Design a mobile electronic business accessory
The goal of the Marksman Design Award is to design an innovative and original business gift that complements the Marksman collection. We are looking for non-traditional designs for what is seen as a traditional market. Part of the challenge is to overcome this apparent paradox. This year, students are challenged to design a mobile electronic business accessory. Your entry could be an innovative electronic device that introduces a new function or tool for (mobile) computing or telephone use, or a surprising combination of functions. On the other hand, you can aim for an astonishing redesign of an already existing mobile electronic business accessory. Whatever your choice... your design should be related to office, business or travel use. Make sure that you share the thinking behind your design with us! You are also free to design a package for your business gift.

Check the commercial feasibility of your design!
An important additional element of the design task is its commercial viability. This is determined partly by the production costs. To give you an idea of what this involves, and possibly also to provide you with some extra inspiration, we are showing a number of existing mobile electronic business accessories, together with their production costs.

 Ypsilon laser presenter pointer
US$ 18.30
 8 in 1 card reader
US$ 9.50
 SIM card reader
US$ 3.40
 Laptop light
US$ 1.40
 USB extension cord
US$ 1.10
 USB HUB 4 ports
US$ 1.75
 USB memory plug (128MB)
US$ 10.55
 Laptop set
US$ 13.20

About the design
Outside the theme and the commercial feasibility, there are explicit rules by which the entries will be evaluated. First of all, the business gift has to fit in with the Marksman collection. This means that the design must be innovative and of high quality. And because the business gift is the carrier of a message, your design must have space to imprint the logo of the giver on it. Apart from that, the business gift must provide added value to the end-user. It must be functional, so that the recipient is likely to use it regularly and be frequently reminded of the giver.

Suitable for production
Because PF Concept International intends to put the winning design into production for the Marksman collection, one of the prerequisites is that the design is suitable for cost-effective mass production. The production costs of the product must not be higher than US$ 15, and the product must have a life cycle of more than three years. Furthermore, the design must not contain food, drink or perfume. Finally, you have to pay attention to the materials used, the production processes and environmental and safety aspects: the design must be as environment-friendly as possible. Because business gifts must be able to be posted without the risk of damage in transit, no fragile materials may be used in the design. And of course the product must be safe to use, and must not endanger the user¡¯s health.

Giving has a cultural aspect
Not the giver, but the recipient of your business gift should be put in the spotlight. On what occasion will the business gift be presented to him or her, and for what reason? Is it a gift for men, women ¨C or both? Cultural differences also play a part in choosing a business gift. In the USA, business gifts are usually given during holiday periods, such as Christmas, to create goodwill. In Western Europe, relatively expensive gifts could be interpreted as an attempt to unfairly influence the recipient. In Asia the price of the gift depends on the occasion and the social status of the recipient. And in Asian countries as much attention is paid to choosing a gift as to wrapping and presenting it.
It is easy to see how different cultural views on gift giving could result in misunderstandings. A European executive might feel uncomfortable receiving an expensive gift from an Asian business partner, whereas a Japanese businessman could be offended by the lack of attention paid to the wrapping and presentation. So when designing your business gift, it is important to take the characteristics of the intended recipient and the occasion into account and to think about the cultural values that may matter to him or her. All these issues must be addressed in your supporting reasoning, in which you should give the jury a clear picture of the public for which your gift is intended.

Submitting your design
There is only one accepted way to submit your design: as a detailed concept with images or visualized sketches on a maximum of six panels (A3 format, which is 11.7 x 16.5 inches or 27.7 x 41.9 cm), including the description and reasoning behind the design. The presentation must also be provided on CD in the form of digital documents suitable for reproduction, including high-resolution files of all the images or sketches used in the presentation.

The first prize of the Marksman Design Award is US$ 10,000. As an extra incentive, the winning entry may be put into production if it meets certain requirements. Its designer may also be invited to visit the Far East, where most of the products are manufactured, and be given the chance to follow the process from concept to end-product. There is also a second prize of US$ 2,500, and the third prize-winner will receive US$ 1,000. The jury is also authorized to make up to five honorable mentions, and the senders of these will each receive US$ 500.

Terms and conditions

1. Participation
Participation is open only to students of recognized higher vocational and academic studies. Professional designers cannot take part. Participation in a short design course does not quality for entry. Individuals directly or indirectly concerned with the competition and members of their families are also excluded from participating. The enrolment procedure runs from September 2005 through December 30th, 2005. All enrolment forms must be submitted on our website ( or must be sent to:
Marksman Design Award Office
PO Box 15
4854 ZG Bavel (Breda)
The Netherlands

and be received by December 30th, 2005.

The enrolment form should preferably be typed. Handwritten enrolment forms should be filled in using capital letters only. Together with the enrolment form, participants must send a readable photocopy or scan of their university or college ID. This enrolment form and a photocopy or scan of the ID card are requirements for entry. All entries for which these two documents are not received will be disqualified. By enrolling, all participants automatically agree to accept and abide by these terms and conditions. After enrolment, all participants will receive the entry form with the statement of participation.

2. Design
The choice of the kind of business gift is free, provided that the design fits within the Marksman collection. The production costs must not be higher than US$ 15 each, and the product must have a life cycle of more than three years. The design must be related to the theme ¡®mobile electronic business accessory¡¯, and it must be accompanied by a written account of your reasoning. In addition, a clear description of the production process must be submitted. It must be possible to produce the design using mass production techniques without the use of fragile materials.

3. Jury
A panel of five judges will select the winners. The jury for the contest consists of the following persons: Eero Miettinen, Michelle Berryman, Darlie O Koshy, Albert van der Veen and Tjeerd Dijkstra. The jury will be chaired by Eero Miettinen. A short CV of each jury member is provided under ¡®Jury¡¯ in the main menu.

4. Judging criteria
First, the jury will determine if the entry meets the formal criteria as specified in paragraph 8 of these Terms and Conditions. If the design does not meet the requirements, it will be disqualified. If the jury finds that there are enough designs that meet the formal criteria and are of sufficient quality, the jury will then determine which entries will be awarded a prize. To reach a final decision, all jury members must be present. The jury will judge the submissions against the following criteria:
Commercial viability
Compatibility with the positioning of the Marksman collection
Feasibility of mass production
Reasoning behind the design

5. Announcement of the winners
The announcement of the winners will take place in April 2006, when the report of the jury will be made public. In this report, the jury will announce the prize-winning designs, together with a selection of entries receiving honorable mentions. All participants will receive a copy of the jury report.

6. Prizes and costs
PF Concept International will provide prize money of US$ 16,000. The winner of the Marksman Design Award will receive a prize of US$ 10,000. The second prize is US$ 2,500 and the third prize is US$ 1,000. The jury has the right to award up to five honorable mentions, the senders of which will each receive US$ 500. The prizes will be paid to the winners before June 2006. If the entries do not meet the required standard, the jury has the right to divide the prize money in a different manner, e.g. not to award the first prize but instead to award two second prizes. In this case the total prize money will remain the same. Participants must bear all costs they incur in designing and preparing their entries, as well as the costs of enrolment and submission of their designs.

7. Intellectual property
Intellectual property rights and all rights arising out of them will remain the property of the participant.
By enrolling, the participant grants PF Concept International exclusive worldwide priority rights to buy the exclusive license to produce his/her design under conditions to be negotiated by PF Concept International and the participant at a later time. The priority rights of PF Concept International to decide whether it wishes to put a design into production will last for one year after publication of the jury report as stated in paragraph 5 of these Terms and Conditions. PF Concept International will decide which designs if any that it wishes to put into production. There is no absolute guarantee that any design including the design winning the first prize will be produced.
The following terms shall apply in negotiations between PF Concept International and the participant: during the first year that a design is produced, PF Concept International will pay a royalty fee of 4% of the production price for as long as the design is in production, with a minimum of US$ 1,000 for those participants who did not win the first, second or third prize for the design. In subsequent years during which the design is produced, PF Concept International will pay the participant a royalty fee of 4% of the production price.
As soon as PF Concept International has notified a participant that it intends to exercise its priority rights, PF Concept International and the participant will start the negotiations about the purchase price and other conditions. Negotiations that have led to an agreement about price and other conditions will automatically lead to a contract for the sale of the entry.
By entering into the competition, the participant irrevocably grants PF Concept International the right to publish freely about the entry, in the broadest sense of the word and without consulting the participant prior to publication.
Should a participant not wish his/her entry to be included in a competition exhibition, the competition publication, or in related advertising, this should be made known to the organizers at the time the design is submitted.

8. Requirements for the entries
A detailed concept of the design with images or visualized sketches on a maximum of six panels (A3 format, which is 11.7 x 16.5 inches or 27.7 x 41.9 cm), including the description and reasoning behind the design (see below), must be submitted, with the motto (name) of the entry attached to each panel.
A description of the reasoning behind the design, in a maximum of 1,000 words, written in English.
A detailed description of the production process, colors and materials used, must be enclosed.
A CD containing the complete presentation in the form of digital documents, suitable for reproduction, including high-resolution files of all the images or sketches used in the presentation.
A statement of participation form, signed by the participant with the motto or name used for his/her entry, stating that he/she is participating in the Marksman Design Award, that the rules apply and that the submitted design is his/her intellectual property and has not been published, produced or exhibited prior to this competition. This statement must be submitted in a sealed envelope marked with the text ¡®NAME LETTER¡¯ and the motto or name used for the entry.

9. Entry procedure and deadline
All entries must be received before 17.00 hrs CET on February 17th, 2006. PF Concept International will not be responsible for entries that are lost or delayed for any reason. The entries must be sent to the notary associated with the Marksman Design Award:

Notariaat Thielen
Deken Dr. Dirckxweg 3a
4854 AA Bavel (Breda)
The Netherlands

The notary will provide the jury with the complete entries, with the exception of the ¡®NAME LETTER¡¯. Without exception, each part of an entry must carry the motto (the name of the entry). Furthermore, nothing may indicate the origin of the entry (this applies to all items stated in paragraphs 8 and 9). It must be possible to reproduce the motto using a PC and word processing software. The NAME LETTER must be fixed to the outside of the box and will be kept by the notary. The NAME LETTER will be handed over to the jury only after the jury has announced the mottos that will receive a prize.

10. Exhibition(s)
It is possible that all entries ¨C or those that are deemed to qualify by the experts at the location where the exhibition takes place ¨C will be exhibited at a location to be determined by PF Concept International.

11. Returning of the entries
After the contest PF Concept International will keep the presentations and other parts of the judged designs in its possession. Entries will therefore not be returned to the participants.

12. Questions
Questions from participants or from teachers about the briefing may be submitted in writing to the Marksman Design Award Office, PO Box 15, 4854 ZG Bavel (Breda), The Netherlands until February 17th, 2006. Questions can also be sent to

13. Liability
PF Concept International will not be liable for the loss, theft or misuse of any property, or for any damage, personal injury or other loss in any way attributable to this contest. PF Concept International will not be liable for any infringement of intellectual property rights of third parties by participants. Furthermore, PF Concept International will not be liable for any damage to the entries during the period that PF Concept International does not have them in its possession. PF Concept International will ensure that each entry is insured during the time that it has the entry in its possession. The sum for which the entry will be insured is limited to a maximum of US$ 150. The insurance will be arranged in the host organizing country.

14. Binding decision
The decision of the jury will be binding. No individual correspondence will be entered into about the jury¡¯s decision. PF Concept International will unconditionally comply with the jury¡¯s decision.


Design entries will be judged by an international jury. They will judge the designs on originality, functionality, commercial viability and compatibility with the Marksman collection. Production feasibility and motivation will be taken into consideration. The judging takes place anonymously under strict ICSID guidelines, and jury members have no knowledge of the identity or country of origin of the entrants. The jury of the fifth edition of the Marksman Design Award comprises:

Eero Miettinen (chairman)
Eero Miettinen is Group Design Director of Nokia Design, which means he heads a large team of designers. After graduating at the Helsinki University of Art and Design, he worked as a designer for Finnish automobile and truck industries, including Saab. He also taught for over twenty years at the Helsinki University of Art and Design and the Helsinki University of Technology.

Michelle Berryman
Michelle Berryman is an upcoming industrial designer who has quickly gained a reputation in the business. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design and a Master of Science degree focused on interaction design from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a founding principal in Echo Visualization and is also active with the Industrial Designers Society of America, where she currently serves as Executive Vice President.

Darlie O Koshy
Darlie O Koshy is Executive Director of the National Institute of Design in India. After graduating in marketing research and gaining an international trade doctorate in Management from the Indian Institute of Technology, he studied fashion and design marketing and merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He is on the boards of various design organizations and he was head of Fashion Management Studies of NIFT for over a decade. From 2001 until 2003 he was an Executive Board Member of ICSID.

Albert van der Veen
Albert van der Veen is Product Director at PF Concept International. In this position he is responsible for all the company¡¯s collections, including creation, buying and marketing. He studied at the International Business School in Haarlem, the Netherlands. After graduating he joined PF Concept International, where he has now worked for ten years.

Tjeerd Dijkstra
Tjeerd Dijkstra is R&D director of PF Concept International, a position in which he combines both business and creative management. He is involved in all aspects of the design process and is also himself an active designer. He completed Graphic Design at the Grafische School in Amsterdam, after which he worked at a number of graphic studios.

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