Design Management Award certificate of merit: Ykra Design Kft.

10.1. Design Management Award, Article, Opening event

Design Management Awards were conferred on 1 October, where a certificate of merit was granted to Ykra Design Kft.

YKRA is an exciting, design-focused family business that creates unique, brightly coloured backpacks and accessories using high quality materials, Italian leather, Czech canvas and local accessories, all by hand.

The young founding couple, Balázs Lakatos and Judit Balogh, run the company together and are exemplary in their stewardship of the YKRA brand.

The products they distribute are characterised by sophistication, international standards and a unified design consciousness, combined with outstanding communication.

In the spirit of sustainability, YKRA has a standard offer, moving away from the seasonality characteristic of the fashion industry. Twice a year, emerging designers' patterns are featured on their products to help promote their work. In order to increase competitiveness and respond to market needs, the company has begun to expand its product range, debuting five new products in the past year and creating a sub-brand, YKRA KIDS, specifically for children.

In addition to its dominant role in the Hungarian market, YKRA has always sought to increase exports, and today has more than seventy resellers from New York to Seoul. Its main markets include Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Spain, and it is stocked in leading design and concept stores such as Conran Shop, Voo Store and Galeries Lafayette. International expansion is reinforced by participation in trade shows and collaboration with foreign brands (Henrik Vibskov, LF Markey, Bobo Choses).

The result of continuous product development and the success of the strategy is demonstrated by the sales records of new products.

The jury is convinced that their distinctive branding, coherent online and social media presence, the quality of their marketing materials, the design of their products and the design approach that permeates their entire business model all contribute significantly to the success and development of their company, and with this awareness YKRA sets an inspiring example for small businesses in Hungary.

Background information

A consciously, self-driven and organically growing business is a true brand of love that follows a firm set of values in its operation. YKRA is not just about designing and making bags, but also about conveying a feeling. The brand's products are inspired by the colours and shapes of the tour backpacks that one of the founders saw during his childhood in Yugoslavia, which may be familiar and nostalgic to many. But even those who encounter it for the first time can easily relate to its visual world. The products, with a distinctly Eastern European feel, were initially made from monochrome materials, and then expanded over the years to include limited editions with printed patterns, typically linked to the themes of hiking and excursions, developed in collaboration with young graphic artists, illustrators and designers. The brand's core values include sustainability, which does not end with the use of quality materials and careful craftsmanship. They are also committed to product repair, so that owners can continue to use the bags for longer, and even keep a favourite model for years, as the range does not change from season to season.

About the Design Management Award

In more than a decade of the Design Management Award's existence, the concept of design management has become widely recognised. The Award has made its existence visible and understandable, highlighted its importance and provided a tangible, easily adaptable guide through the presentation of good practices and examples to follow. Gaining increasing recognition in the business world, the award has been awarded to winners whose entries represent a range of effective tools, from a brand identity that essentially reveals the given brand through the quality of customer care and progressive ways of product development to new management strategies. The results achieved demonstrate that the use of design is an advantage for the economy as a whole, regardless of the field of activity. In a broader sense, it supports setting objectives, constructing medium and long-term strategies, organising corporate structures, work processes and even human resources. Operation focused on design also helps managers react more readily to unexpected situations and adapt more effectively to rapid changes, granting them a competitive advantage that is essential in a volatile and increasingly complex market environment.

The usefulness of the initiative is confirmed by the diversity of the winners: in recent years, small and medium-sized enterprises, businesses, commercial companies and non-profit initiatives specifically dedicated to design have all won the award. The award was established by the Hungarian Design Council in 2009 with the aim of promoting the integrated application of design and its most remarkable achievements to professionals, business actors and the general public. The business competition showcases the activities of companies, institutions and organisations that have integrated design into their business operations in an exemplary way, applying it at all levels in everyday life, as well as in larger-scale processes and strategic decisions.The call for entries is launched every year by the Council, and anyone can nominate or enter their organisation or business for the award.

The online exhibition showcasing this year’s recipients of the Hungarian Design Award and the Design Management award is available for viewing here.