The SAY Design Commission 2023

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award – Scotland’s national music prize – today opens expressions of interest for The SAY Design Commission 2023.

Each year, The SAY Design Commission sees an artist/designer/maker create bespoke prizes for the bands and artists recognised at The SAY Award Ceremony, highlighting the enduring links between music, art and design in Scotland. As part of SAY Award’s host city partnership with Stirling, the artist or designer selected for 2023’s commission will be based in Stirling Council area.

The SAY Design Commission offers a fee of £2,500 for the design and manufacture (including materials) of the awards. The artist/designer who secures the commission will also secure a month-long exhibition of the winning artist/maker’s work at The Tolbooth Gallery. .

The prizes will be showcased at this year’s SAY Award Ceremony, taking place on Thursday 26 October at The Albert Halls in Stirling . A short video package on the commission will be screened to all attendees before the prizes are presented to some of Scotland’s most outstanding musical talent.

Underpinning The SAY Design Commission is the theme of sustainability, so we’re particularly interested to hear from those developing innovative ideas and processes which focus on circular design, ethical considerations and a zero-waste approach. Last year we commissioned Stirling-based studio Art Futuro who created prizes made from slate-veneer. We’re excited to return to questions around what an "award" is in the context of the climate emergency, whilst recognising the importance of both music and design to our cultural lives.

If you'd like to be considered, please read the below brief and register your interest .


We are looking for a designer/artist/maker based in the Stirling Council area to create bespoke prizes for the bands and artists recognised as part of this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Award campaign. At this stage, we are not asking for ideas/sketches or concepts.

The person or studio we commission will be tasked with thinking about the concept of a prize/award with sustainability at the forefront of the design process. Past commissions include:

ART FUTURO (2022) who fused natural slate veneer with technology to create bespoke trophies that were both sculptural and useful. You can learn more by watching this short video:

Still Life (2021) who used 21kg of waste plastic to create 2021’s prizes, challenging and changing perceptions around what we consider as waste altogether. You can learn more by watching this short video:

For The SAY Design Commission 2023, we require the production of 14 awards in total:

  • The winner of The SAY Award 2023 will receive a bespoke prize/trophy
  • The 9 other SAY Award Shortlisted finalists will each receive runner-up awards.
  • The winners of two new prizes introduced in 2021 – the Modern Scottish Classic Award and The Sound of Young Scotland Award – will each receive a bespoke award/trophy
  • We also require two replicas of The SAY Award winner trophy for the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA)

Following receiving all expressions of interest, our Design Commission panel will select the artist/maker/designer we’d like to undertake the commission. We will work with you to discuss and confirm your ideas before you bring them to life.

Please see the project timeline below and ensure you would have the capacity to deliver what is required before submitting your expression of interest.

Project Timeline:

6 July 2023
The SAY Design Commission opens expressions of interest
Thursday 3 August 2023
Deadline for expressions of interest for The SAY Design Commission 2023 (midnight)
Friday 4 August – Monday 7 August 2023
The SAY Design Commission judging panel will meet to review expressions of interest and select the artist/maker/designer who will be chosen for 2023’s commission
Tuesday 8 August 2023
The successful artist/maker/designer will be notified
Thursday 12 October 2023
All 14 prizes/trophies created as part of the commission delivered in advance of The SAY Award Ceremony

Check out examples of other trophies/prizes created as part of The SAY Design Commission over the years: