Brit Awards 2021 winners will be announced on the night of 11 May at London’s O2 Arena, and will receive trophies by British designers Yinka Ilori and Es Devlin. This is the first double, collaborative trophy design in the awards’ history, a concept imagined to celebrate the act of giving during a difficult year.

The Brit trophy design by Devlin and Ilori follows a long tradition of UK creatives designing for the award, including artists Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor and architects Zaha Hadid and RIBA Gold Medal 2021 winner David Adjaye.

Designer Yinka Ilori sitting on colourful staircase
Portrait of British designer Es Devlin
Designers Yinka Ilori and Es Devlin, who have each created a trophy for the 2021 Brit Awards winners

The designers have created two distinct, visually striking statuettes for the Brit Awards: Ilori’s design features his signature graphic colour palette with bold compositions inspired by his Nigerian heritage, while Devlin’s smaller silver trophy is engraved with a maze pattern, the designer explains, ‘that celebrates the paths many of those working within the creative industries have had to tread in order to progress through this challenging year.’ Each winner is encouraged to give the smaller trophy to someone else: a family member, friend, neighbour, colleague, fellow artist, key worker, or another person important to them.

‘I would describe it as two artists from different disciplines, different inspirations, coming together to design a trophy based around the idea of giving something back – acts of kindness’ – Yinka Ilori

‘The idea came from the experience of lockdown, where your neighbour you’ve lived beside for six years and never say hello to, suddenly gave you flowers, foods, acts of kindness,’ explains Ilori. ‘I wanted to capture that...I would describe it as two artists from different disciplines, different inspirations, coming together to design a trophy based around the idea of giving something back – acts of kindness.’

Adds Devlin: ‘Yinka and I thought that the best award that one could receive would be agency to award another...Each recipient is invited to award the second trophy to someone they consider worthy - it might be recognition - or it might be someone that does something entirely unrelated to music.’ §