General terms and conditions of iF International Forum Design GmbH, iF DESIGN TALENTS GmbH and
iF Industrie Forum Design e.V.


These general terms and conditions are agreed with binding legal force to apply to all design competitions, events and exhibitions announced and organized by iF International Forum Design GmbH and iF Industrie Forum Design e.V. (hereinafter referred to as "iF"). Counter-confirmations from participants referring to their own terms of business are hereby expressly rejected. Deviations from these terms and conditions will only apply if they are confirmed by iF in writing. Participation in an award organised by iF is also subject to the fulfilment of all participation requirements applicable to the terms of entry concerned and published on our website.

1.    Conditions of entry

Participation in awards organized by iF is in general open to manufacturers, planners, designers, entrepreneurs, architects, agencies, developers, constructors, communication design providers and, if appropriate, students. iF reserves the right to define eligibility criteria and entry specifications in more detail. This information is included in the terms of entry for each iF award published on our website.

2.    Registration and contract

To take part in an iF award, a participant must be registered in my iF and his entry registered in an iF award category. This entry registration in an award category is only possible online via the iF website and must take place within the deadline specified for the award.
Participants are permitted to register more than one entry. If an entry is registered for a competition with more than one category, iF reserves the right to allocate an entry to a different category from the one stipulated by the competitor if this is to the latter's advantage.
Participants will receive an automatic confirmation of registration by e-mail, and a contract will then arise between the participant and iF. This confirmation will supply the participant with an entry number (entry-ID) to be used when his documentation is submitted and in all correspondence. If the contents of the confirmation of registration differ from those of the participant's submission, the contract will be based on the confirmation of registration unless the participant objects in writing within 2 weeks.

3.    Costs and terms of payment

As a general rule, a registration fee is charged for each entry submitted to a competition organized by iF. This obligation to pay a fee does not apply to participation in a student competition, which is free of charge for students. The registration fee covers the following: processing charges, costs of additional expenses with regard to logistics and commissioning as well as adequate presentation of the entry to the jury.
In the event that the submitted entry receives an award, inclusion in the yearbook presentation and iF ranking in the iF online exhibition as well as participation in the exhibitions is mandatory and subject to a fee.
The amount of the costs will be dealt with separately under "Fees for award winners" in the terms of entry on our website dealing with the award concerned.
All fees are subject to the addition of any statutory VAT payable at its current rate, insofar as they are prescribed by law. They must be paid without deduction by bank transfer into the account specified on the invoice or by cheque or by credit card within 14 days following the issue of the invoice. Payment will count as having been made when iF is able to access the amount paid in.

4.    Selection procedure/Jury

The entries submitted will be evaluated in a selection procedure which is not open to the public, the iF design awards Jury. This procedure will be conducted by the jury composed of independent members from this country or abroad. A jury member may not serve on a competition jury more than twice in succession. If a member is directly involved in an entry submitted, he will have no voting rights. The criteria to be applied in evaluating entries will be defined on the relevant page on our website dealing with the competition concerned. The jury will make awards to those entries which conform to the evaluation criteria. If considered appropriate by the jury, the best competition entries will be included in a special selection for the year concerned and given an iF gold award. The jury's decisions are legally binding and it is not required to justify them. There will be no censorship by iF. There will be no legal recourse against the jury's decisions.

5.    Rules applicable after awards are conferred, communication

The entries selected by the juries will be awarded the iF seal of approval for excellent design and apply specifically to these entries. The presentations in the iF online exhibition, in the yearbook are obligatory for all prize winning entries. All texts, images, audio-files and other information published here are subject to iF's copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without iF's written consent. The amount of these costs will be determined separately.
Please note: publication rights to all images and texts are the property of the prize winners concerned. Each prize winner grants iF the right, not subject to any temporal, geographical or content restrictions, to exercise all copyrights and ancillary copyrights relating to any entries made available (photos and texts), without placing iF under any obligation to mention the names of their creators. If the creators nevertheless put forward claims against iF, the prize winners concerned will indemnify iF against these claims.

a.    Entry in the iF yearbook / iF DESIGN App
The yearbook and App will contain presentations of the award-winning entries with photos and text in German and English as well as information about the manufacturer/client/university and designer. If publication of an entry in the iF yearbook / App for an iF competition is stipulated, then the winner for that entry is obligated. iF is free to design presentations of competition entries as it sees fit. It reserves the right to publish the iF yearbook in more than one volume.

b.    Online exhibition
All prize winners will be presented with their entries for an indefinite period of time in iF online exhibition on its website. In addition to photographs, prize winning entries will be described in German and English and those involved in producing the entry will be named.

c.     iF design awards night
Prizes will be awarded at a special awards ceremony, the iF design awards night. They will comprise the "iF product design award", the "iF communication design award", the "iF material design award", the "iF packaging design award" and the "iF concept design award", which is organized for students. The winning entries will be distinguished by the award of the iF seal of approval. A limited number of entries will be included in the iF gold selection for the year concerned, comprising all award winners of any iF gold award conferred. The winners of the iF gold award will be publicly announced at the iF design awards night, where they will be handed the iF sculpture. The award may be mentioned indefinitely in the competitor's own PR material. All prize winners are entitled to use the iF logo for award winners without restriction for their own purposes once the awards have been announced. They have the right to use the iF seal of approval in marketing with a reference to the entry honoured.

d.    Ranking
The iF ranking will be updated following each iF design awards night. Creative categories are subject to subsequent alteration. By submitting his registration for an iF competition, the participant obligates himself to be included in the iF ranking if the competition entry is successful. The participant´s position in the iF ranking will also be posted in the iF online exhibition. The iF ranking is based on awards received during the last three installments of the following competitions: iF product design award, iF communication design award, iF material design award, iF packaging design award and iF concept design award (in the iF ranking university). The iF ranking is broken down into the categories of company (manufacturer, client), creative (in-house designers, external design studios, communication agencies, architects/interior designers) and university (universities participating in the iF concept awards). If more than two addresses are involved in a product or project, the ranking points will be awarded to the first company and first creative address listed on the registration form. Company divisions and networked agencies in a country will be consolidated into a single company or agency brand.

e.    Press work
If this is planned for the competition concerned, award-winning entries will be mentioned in iF press publications. The awards conferred will be made public by iF immediately after the iF design awards Jury has met. iF will also issue a detailed statement at the iF design awards night, accompanied by a press CD.

f.    iF design exhibition
If this is planned for the competition concerned, the award-winning products will be displayed in exhibitions, the iF design exhibitions. This is obligatory for all award-winning entries.

g.    Advertising materials
If an entry wins one of the awards and receives the highly-prized iF seal of approval, the prize winner will be offered effective advertising materials. The materials supplied will vary from competition to competition, and details can be found on the relevant website. iF does not assume any liability for printable PDFs of advertising material made available for download.

6.    Logistics and insurance

Transport and insurance for entries are the responsibility of competitors themselves. iF will not provide any transport or return any entries. Entrants must deliver their entries for assessment by the jury free of charge to iF. If a competitor asks for his entry to be returned, he must use reusable transport packing materials. In addition, participants are responsible for any charges payable for return transport and for Customs duties payable on import and export. All participants are recommended to take out transport insurance to cover any damage suffered whilst an entry is in transit. iF can also supply suitable insurance. Entries registered must be delivered to our logistics partners by a specified date. The forwarding agent's address and any further requirements applicable to the delivery of entries and to deadlines can be found in the terms of entry relating to the individual award concerned.

7.    Reservations

iF is entitled to cancel an event if it does not appear certain to prove financially viable. On cancellation, the reciprocal obligations of the contract partners will cease to apply. No claims to reimbursements of costs or to damages can be made as a result of cancellation. iF is entitled for good cause (e.g. force majeure) to postpone or bring forward an event, to shorten it, to close it temporarily in whole or in part or to cancel it. If an event is postponed or brought forward in its entirety or shortened, the contract will be regarded as concluded for the new dates, unless a competitor objects in writing within 2 weeks following notification of the change. There will be no reduction in the agreed fees.

8.    Revocation/Withdrawal by a competitor

The participant has the possibility of revoking his or her registration in text form (e.g. letter, email) without giving reasons within 14 days.
If complete or partial withdrawal from a competition is permitted following binding registration at the instigation of the participant or, in an exceptional case, of iF, the participant must pay iF a fixed amount by way of compensation (lump-sum damages). If the participant proves that, as a result of his withdrawal, iF has suffered no loss or only a loss which is substantially less than these lump-sum damages, the compensation payable by him will be reduced accordingly.
The amount of the lump-sum damages will depend on

  • when iF receives the participant's notice that he wishes to cancel his registration for the competition
  • and on the amount which would have been payable for the entry to which the cancellation relates.

After the entry has been evaluated in the selection procedure by the iF design awards Jury, withdrawal by the participant is not longer possible.

Cancellation costs/Withdrawal from the contract

Time of receipt
of cancellation1
Cancellation costs per entry
for the relevant award2

Registration fee
Registration closing date
Deadline 1
Registration fee
Registration closing date
Deadline 2
After registration confirmation, within 14 days
No costs
No costs
After receipt of registration confirmation and expiry of 14 days

9.    Exclusion of liability

iF accepts no responsibility for taking care of the entries submitted and recommends competitors to take out transport and exhibition insurance to cover themselves against any losses (damage, destruction or theft of entries) which may be suffered in the course of transport and exhibition.
iF's other liabilities will be as provided by law if a competitor claims damages based on deliberately caused loss or gross negligence, including deliberately caused loss or gross negligence by his representatives or vicarious agents. If iF is not guilty of any deliberate breach of contract or if iF is guilty of a culpable breach of a substantial contractual obligation, its liability to pay damages will be limited to typical, foreseeable losses. This is without prejudice to liability for damage to life, limb or health.
iF is not liable for breaches of third-party rights by entries submitted or already awarded a prize and does not guarantee that entries submitted do not contravene any third-party rights. Should it prove in retrospect that an entry submitted or even awarded a prize breaches third-party rights, iF reserves the right to revoke the relevant awards. The above liability provisions apply accordingly to all items supplied by iF in connection with a competitor's participation in an event.

10.    Claims by competitors, written form, place of performance, legal venue

Competitors must make any claims against iF in writing. Claims will expire by limitation 12 months after the end of the year in which they arise. The legal venue is Hanover. iF nevertheless reserves the right to enforce its claims before the courts responsible for the place at which the competitor resides or is domiciled. German law and the German text apply exclusively, with UN law relating to the international sale of goods being excluded. This applies even if the competitor is domiciled abroad.

On the presentation of a legally final and binding judgement or a court order, iF will be entitled to exclude entries which breach protected rights of others (e.g. plagiary, unauthorised copies, forgery) from the competition concerned at any stage. Awards already made for such entries may be revoked retrospectively.

11.    Concluding terms

Terms which deviate from the above must be agreed in writing. Should individual terms of the above agreement be or become invalid, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining terms.

Last updated: January 2012