2017 Pinnacle Awards Submission Guide

2017 Pinnacle Awards™ Submission Guidelines

The awards are intended to celebrate designs that are produced in large numbers for sale to consumers. Submissions are open to all furniture designers and manufacturers. The recipient of the Pinnacle Award is the designer or designers who were directly involved in the “design craft” of the products(s). The award is meant to honor the designer; the person who puts the pen to paper bringing the idea to life.

Products entered must be in current production and must have been shown and sold at one of the major retail furniture markets (worldwide); or be available to U.S. Consumers through the following distribution channels: Internet Retailers or Catalog Retailers or Brick & Mortar Retail Stores. Completed entries must be received by July 15, 2017.

The cost is $85 per entry for members and $110 for non-members.  Entries will be accepted until July 15, 2017, 5pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Pinnacle Awards Entry Categories

If your entry doesn’t fit into a category, or the category you have selected, it will be re-categorized.


Includes functional and decorative accessories intended for home use. Entry may be by piece or by group

Casual Dining

Includes table and chairs of various sizes intended for casual use. Entry may be by piece or group.

Formal Dining

Includes table, chairs, buffets, china cabinets, etc. intended for formal dining room use. Entry must be by a group consisting of armchairs, side chairs, at least one size table, and at least one form of tableware storage.

Leather Upholstery

Includes furniture, either motion or stationary, where the predominant covering is leather. Judging will be based in part on how well the design accommodates the unique problems and opportunities created by leather upholstered furniture.

Major Collections

Entries include dining and bedroom collections of at least 30 pieces. Upholstery, Lighting or Accessories can be included as part of the collection. Items in a major collection may not be entered a second time in another category.

Occasional Storage

Includes occasional furniture whose primary function is storage. Included are wall units, étagères, curio cabinets, or movable storage intended for home use. Entry may be by piece or group, etc. It does not include entertainment or home theater furniture.


Includes tables, chairs and other furniture designed primarily for outdoor or leisure-time settings such as sunrooms, porches or atriums.


Includes furniture for infants and juvenile bedrooms including beds, children’s room accessories, and storage. Entry may be made by individual piece or group.


Includes headboards, mirrors, nightstands, chests, dressers and other storage units intended primarily for bedroom use. Entry may be by piece or by group.

Entertainment Centers

Entries in this category include individual or multiple units (groupings) that accommodate
audio/video components.

Home Office

Includes desks, seating, and storage intended for home office. The intent is to combine office functionality with style and sizing suitable for home use. Entry may be made by piece or by group.


Includes portable lighting intended for indoor home use, including pendants and chandeliers. Entry may be by piece or by group.

Motion Upholstery

Includes pieces whose motion changes the posture and comfort of the person seated. Entry may be made by piece or by group.

Occasional Tables

An open piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs or supports, providing a level surface on which objects may be placed.

Stationary Upholstery

Includes upholstered pieces with moving trays, shelves, etc., as long as the movement does not affect the posture of the person seated. Entry may be by individual pieces or by group.


Memberships are available at 14 different levels based on your relationship to furniture design. By joining us you can take advantage of the strong networking and educational events we offer. Additional benefits include but are not limited to:

Discounted Pinnacle entry fee
Discounts for Industry Publications
Discounts for design software and market research services
Discounts for all ISFD sponsored events
Intellectual Property and National Safety Standard support
Free webinars
Free inclusion in ISFD online directory
Industry private newsletters
Job referrals
Resource guidance
The use of ISFD appellation on your business signature

The Green Leaf Award Subcategory Guidelines

Products that meet the most discerning design standards while also meeting a legitimately eco-friendly profile.

CARB Compliance: Eligible entries must contain at least 20% CARB compliant materials, be it Wood, Finish, Cushioning, Textiles, Leather, Metal, Glass, or Plastic.
50% of entry’s source of manufacturing is local, or within a 250 mile radius of the manufacturing facility.
Entry addresses conservation or economy of materials, by construction or volume, versus industry standards.
Entry has a high percentage of recycled or reclaimed content.
Entry contains 25-50% FSC-certified wood.
The Green Leaf Award “subcategory” can be entered in any or all of the 15 Pinnacle categories. You must first enter your product in the traditional category. For the Green Leaf subcategory, you must provide supporting evidence on a separate, up loadable file (limit to one full page), in PDF or word format by referring to the Sustainable Design Criteria listed below. Please clearly state and be as thorough as possible when listing the criteria your product meets in regards to being eco-friendly.

Sustainable Design Criteria Benchmarks

All designs must be CARB compliant on formaldehyde emissions and each of the following standards must be met for designs using at least 20% of the following materials by volume:

Either sourced from a Low Risk zone as defined by Forest Stewardship Council’s Global Forest Risk Registry OR if from a High Risk zone, supported by chains of custody verified by credible third party OR a rapidly renewable species (e.g. bamboo, rattan, wicker) OR minimum 50% reclaimed.

Non-cotton natural fiber OR certified organic (incl. cotton).

Minimum 50% post-consumer recycled content.

Vegetable-tanned OR water-based dye.

Minimum 50% post-consumer recycled content.

Either latex OR bio-hybrid foam OR minimum 50% post-consumer recycled content.

Minimum 50% post-consumer recycled content.

Extra consideration will be given to those designs that also meet the following:

Solid wood construction using no composite board OR minimum 50% FSC-certified.
100% Reclaimed or recycled content.
All materials procured within 250 miles of manufacturing.
At least 50% less use of materials by volume vs. standard equivalent.
Student Pinnacle Submission Guidelines

DEADLINE: July 15, 2017 @ 5PM
The ISFD Pinnacle Awards Committee and the Board of Directors announce the ISFD Student Pinnacle Award, continuing the mission to support, motivate and inspire the designers of tomorrow.

The Pinnacle Awards were created in April 1995 by the ISFD Board of Directors to promote design quality and encourage the recognition of furniture designers within the retail home furnishings industry.

The Student Pinnacle Award winner will be announced at the 2017 Pinnacle Awards banquet on Monday, October 16, 2017 during the High Point Market in the IHFC Ballroom. The winner will receive the Pinnacle Trophy, Winner’s Certificate, free admission to the Pinnacle Awards banquet and a free student membership to ISFD.  The Entry Fee for Student Pinnacle submission is $0.00

Competition Category

The 2017 Student Pinnacle Category is a selected piece from the student’s body of work. Any piece selection from the bedroom, dining, occasional, home office, seating or entertainment category may be entered.

Competition Rules

The competition is open to students majoring in Furniture Design at an accredited college or university.
Seniors graduating in May, 2017 are eligible. Graduate students are eligible.
All entries must fully be the work of the entering student.
Any entry which does not meet ALL competition rules will not be judged.
Incomplete packages will not be considered.
All decisions of the judges are final.
Winning entries and contestant’s identity, including photographs, may be used for publicity by ISFD or the Competition sponsors.
ISFD will assume no responsibility for lost, damaged or stolen entries.
The judges reserve the right not to issue an award if they do not feel the quality of work meets the design standards.
Entry Requirements

Students must meet all General Competition Rules to enter.
Students are limited to a total of one (1) entry in the competition.
Students must completely fill out and sign the Competition Entry Form.
Descriptive Data/Product Information:
Include a typed description of the product, including noteworthy features and materials.
The project may be hand drawn, completed with computer aided design, or a harmonious combination of both. A final rendering must be submitted.
Entries must be received on or before Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 5PM.
Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged on the following criteria of design excellence:

Design Originality: How fresh and original is the design?
Form and Function: a harmonious combination of visual appeal (style, finishes, materials) with function which helps achieve the item’s designated objective(s).
Design Aesthetic: Is the design visually appealing? Are the materials selected appropriate for the design? Are scale and proportions correct?
Presentation: Is the presentation attractive, well presented, and interesting?

Free software for student furniture designers participating in the Student Pinnacle Competition:

Autodesk provides its software to students for educational use for free. Get a free 3-year license of Autodesk Fusion 360 Ultimate for your furniture design. Fusion 360 is a digital design and fabrication tool that is designed for your 64 bit Mac or PC. Start by bringing your design sketches right into Fusion 360, then create a model of your sketch using the sculpt tools and finally output photo-realistic concept renderings for your contest submittal.

Download Fusion 360 for students for free here and get stared today:


Get inspired! Check out furniture designs that others are making with Fusion 360:


Fusion 360 Online Learning

Get started using Fusion 360 today with free online training classes and webinars from Autodesk. Follow this link to the events calendar and sign up for free online training events (this calendar also shows in-person training classes that are available at select locations for a fee):


Memberships are available at Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior levels. By joining us you can take advantage of the strong networking and educational events we offer. Additional benefits include but are not limited to:

Discounts for Industry Publications
Intellectual Property and National Safety Standard support
Industry private newsletters
Job referral
Resource guidance