The whole purpose of this annual event was to develop the commercial design market in Montréal, so as to:
- improve the quality of urban life and make the metropolis more attractive,
- make businesses more competitive,
- boost local demand for professional commercial design services.
The initial idea was to create a "ripple effect" among neighbouring businesses, so as to convince other businesses of the benefits of design for their bottom line, and exert a strategic influence on the revitalization of commercial streets.
Public-sector and parapublic teams worked unflaggingly for ten years to make local merchants more conscious of good design. The impact study shows that Commerce Design Montréal led to real development in the commercial design market and produced the desired ripple effect. The program was a tremendous public success and was hailed in the media; the concept was exported and requests for expertise came flooding in. Finally, the commercial design quality promoted by the program proved a very powerful communication tool for positioning Montréal as a design city.
After 10 successful years, it became clear that the Commerce Design Montréal contest should be expanded or repositioned to target other areas of activity. There was a need to raise awareness among new players to improve design quality in the city.
In 2005, following a request for proposals to the main local design bodies, Créativité Montréal was entrusted with carrying on the work begun by the Ville de Montréal to promote commercial design with the Commerce Design Montréal contest.
Montréal continues to transfer its expertise and to grant licences to other cities wishing to adapt the original Commerce Design concept to which it holds the copyright, strengthening its network on the national and international scene.
Several cities have adapted the Montréal concept so far:
- Brussels (Belgium) | Commerce Design Brussels
- Eindhoven (Netherlands) | Design in Detail Award
- Lille (France) | Commerce Design Lille
- Luxembourg (Luxembourg) | Commerce Design Luxembourg
- Lyon (France) | Lyon Shop & Design
- Marseille (France) | Commerce Design Marseille
- Nantes (France) | Trophée Shop Design Nantes
- New York City - Times Square (United States) | Design Times Square
- Paris (France) | Paris Shop & Design
- Saint-Étienne (France) | Commerce Design Saint-Étienne
- Strasbourg (France) | Commerce Design Strasbourg
- Toulon (France) | Commerce Design Toulon
- Trois-Rivières (Québec, Canada) | Séduction Design
Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) | Commerce Design Winnipeg