Who we are

Get to know us

We craft the extraordinary. We are a small team of crazed designers and artisan makers who have been crafting bespoke awards and sculptures for over 20 years.

Founded in 1994 by sculptor and designer Bruce Dodds, Design Awards quickly established itself as a new class in award making. Starting out as a small retail outlet in Albion Street, Surry Hills, Design Awards has evolved into a thriving operation with manufacturing facilities in Sydney and Melbourne, and still run by Bruce and his two sons James and Charles.

With all awards, trophies, medals, medallions, plaques and statuettes proudly designed and manufactured right here in Australia, our dedication to our artisan heritage has led Design Awards to an unrivalled position within Australia. Exquisite craftsmanship guided by an artisan history catering to clients of all budgets, Design Awards is Australia’s finest.

Our Values

Heritage

Our heritage is based on problem solving in a way that does not forsake quality; creating inspirational awards from your concepts.  Unlike mass-produced awards and trophies, our awards, trophies, plaques, medals and deal tombstones are hand-crafted by a talented team of artisans right here in Australia. The experience and artistry of our dedicated team is reflected in the a quality of the awards we produce. It’s no secret that we manufacture some of Australia’s most recognisable and coveted awards.

Innovation & Creativity

Custom, or bespoke, awards should be iconic and accurately reflect your values. We offer a level of customisation and design ingenuity that you won’t find anywhere else in the world of awards and trophies. You can adapt a design from our broad inventory of existing recognition awards, or commission a completely customised design suited to your precise requirements with the signature Design Awards premium finish.

Commitment & Quality

We are a specialist manufacturing business with multiple workshops operating right here in Australia. We are not a company that imports all of our awards and trophies from overseas and sell via an on-line store or a retail shop front. The craftsmen that we employ are true artisans keeping skills like metal work, wood turning and model making alive. We live for quality.

Meet the team

Bruce Dodds

Although Bruce is the owner of Design Awards, more often than not  you will find him roaming the factory in jeans, boat shoes and a paint stained sloppy joe.  Bruce is the creative genius behind most of DA’s inspirational awards, trophies and deal tombstones. He is at his best (and happiest)  sketching designs and wandering the workshop pondering how to turn two dimensional concepts  into  three dimensional awards of distinction. Bruce’s design philosophy is ‘no visible fixings’. To the lay person this  translates as never really knowing how our awards have been put together.

As the son of a master builder Bruce grew up with ‘hammer and nail’ and learnt how to build and problem solve from an early age. Inspired by his father, Bruce went on to train as an architect and a mechanical draughtsman. A long commute to his job at a sign manufacturing company was sufficient motivation for Bruce to realise his passion for design and Design Awards was born. The business started as a small awards and trophy retail outlet in Surry Hills – as Bruce puts it – making some “seriously weird stuff for an eclectic group of clients“. Today, Design Awards has manufacturing operations in Sydney and Melbourne and lays claim to some of Australia’s most recognisable awards and trophies.

In his spare time, Bruce enjoys all things boats, golf and classic automobiles. He is an avid collector of hand crafted watches and is reasonably partial to a Barossa Valley Shiraz or a beer of any description.

Favourite Book Tradeaboat. The complete book of boats
Favourite Movie The Long Good Friday (1980) Directed by John Mackenzie
Favourite Quote "Ya gotta love ya job 'I love what I do'
Favourite Music Van Morrison, Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Rodriguez, Jerry & the Pacemakers

James Penton-Dodds

James’ passion for awards started at a young age. In the early days  Bruce would bring James and Charlie into the  workshop where they spent their time designing billy carts and fashioning toy swords from scrap metal and timber.  As he got older and his manufacturing  skills  improved James started making awards for his mates -‘best jet skier in the world’ and ‘world’s best bowler’ were a few  early prototypes.  It was a perfect environment for a couple of young lads keen to get their hands on some power tools and develop their skills.

After leaving school Bruce encouraged James to broaden his horizons and so  he joined an  international bulk shipping company. After 4 years in operations James decided shipping  wasn’t the career  for him and he  moved to Sydney to join the  Design Awards team and refine his manufacturing skills .  James’ apprenticeship in Sydney  lasted 18 months before deciding to expand the business to Melbourne.

 

 

Favourite Book I don’t have time to read! I have two kids.. I like a good success story.
Favourite Movie Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000) Directed by Guy Ritchie
Favourite Quote Opportunity is missed by most people because its dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison
Favourite Music The Lumineers, Rodriguez, Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen,

Charles Penton-Dodds

After leaving school,  Charlie attempted to avoid the lure of family business by following his passion into horticulture and landscape design.  In true  entrepreneurial spirit Charlie opted to set up his own  business.  Working by day and studying by night, Charlie was fortunate enough to work with some of Melbourne’s best known landscape designers.

After 5 years in landscaping and horticulture Charlie was eventually consumed by a desire to travel the world.  And so began a  2.5 year world-wide travel odyssey.  Well that was the original plan.  After 6 months travelling Europe, Charlie arrived in Paris where  the lure of its cafes, markets and architecture saw him spending the next 2 years there.   It was in Paris, working with the well know glass-blower Jeremy Maxwell-Wintrebert that Charlies passion for all things design was re-kindled.

On returning to Australia,  inspired by his Parisian sojourn and with some gentle encouragement from his father, Charles joined DA’s Melbourne operation to work alongside James.   In October 2014, Charles moved to  Sydney where is now the Production Manager.

Favourite Book Christopher and His Kind by Christopher Isherwood
Favourite Movie A Single Man (2009) Directed by Tom Ford
Favourite Quote Never Wait or Hesitate
Favourite Music Bossa Nova, Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan,