October 16, 1987

Memorandum for the Heads of Departments and Agencies

Excellence in design is integral to the Federal Government's responsible stewardship of public resources. Good design unites art with purpose. It is part of our taking pride in America. It should not be viewed as a luxury added on at extra cost but as a process for increasing the efficiency and quality of our lives. Our ability to compete effectively in international markets depends largely on an often overlooked, but integral element -- design quality.

It was for these reasons that I established in 1983 a Presidential Design Awards Program to recognize successful achievement in federal design and inspire standards of excellence throughout the government. This initiative was designed to build on the achievements of the Federal Design Improvement Project of the National Endowment for the Arts. The awards, which I conferred on Federal agencies in January 1985, generated national attention to the best of our Federal efforts.

Therefore, I am pleased to announce Round Two of the Presidential Design Awards. It is my hope that the Awards competition and public recognition of our federal ``best'' will encourage greater federal leadership in, and attention to, good design.

As in 1983, I have asked Frank Hodsoll, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, to implement the Presidential Design Awards Program. I know he will enjoy your full support.

Please designate an individual with an appropriate background and position to be your liaison with the Endowment to help ensure the success of this program.

Ronald Reagan