THE 2008 RED DOT DESIGN AWARDS have been announced, naming 50 products Best of the Best and awarding 676 products the Red Dot quality seal. Winners will receive their awards at a presentation on June 23. For this year's competition, Red Dot received more than 3,200 products from 1,253 companies in 51 countries.

The 24-member jury took several days to review all of the entries, testing them and evaluating each on innovation, functionality, quality, and ecological soundness. The jury comprised a group of international experts who are not connected with Red Dot, which operates a design museum in Essen, Germany. Winners are required to pay up to 33,870 in order to be featured in the product yearbook, plus anywhere from †530 to more than †2,530 to be exhibited in the museum.

This year's winners include consumer companies such as Apple, IBM, and Olympus, and industry firms such as Carpet Concept, Dorma, and Velux.

Launched in 1955, the Red Dot Design Awards program covers products in 12 categories: architecture and interior design; industry and crafts; bathrooms, heating, sanitary installations, and air conditioning; offices and administration; and lighting and lamps. A complete list of current and past winners can be found at

Although not all of the winning products are available in the United States, the program offers an overview of international design trends and shows solutions to the more workaday problems of the design world, from furniture and fixtures to clothing and computers.