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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Gorillaz artist wins design award
Jamie Hewlett's Gorillaz artwork
Gorillaz was created as a swipe at manufactured bands
The cartoonist behind animated band Gorillaz has won the prestigious Designer of the Year award.

Jamie Hewlett, who co-created the group with Blur frontman Damon Albarn, was given the 25,000 prize by London's Design Museum.

He beat competition including furniture designer Tom Dixon and the team behind the Guardian newspaper's redesign.

Hewlett was awarded for creating the Gorillaz website, animations, "live" performances and "personal mythology".

The jury said his work defined "the shape of things to come".

"It harnesses culture through design. It's fresh and original and captures the mood of the moment."

Success story

Gorillaz were conceived in 1999 as a reaction to manufactured pop bands.

Their latest album, Demon Days, was the UK's fifth best-selling album of 2005.

Earlier this year, they played a sell-out week of concerts in Manchester and New York, and duetted with Madonna at the Grammy Awards.

Gorillaz perform with Madonna at the Grammy Awards
Gorillaz performed with Madonna at this year's Grammy Awards
In concert, 3D animations of the cartoon characters are projected on stage while the real musicians remain in the shadows.

Hewlett creates the animations, graphics and website art for the virtual group from his West London design company Zombie Flesh Eaters.

The Designer of the Year award was established in 2003 to reward "the UK designer that made the biggest contribution to design in the past year".

The winner is chosen by a five-way vote. The four members of the jury each choose their favourite nominee, with the remaining vote decided by a public poll.

Previous winners include Apple's iMac designer Jonathan Ive and digital artist Daniel Brown.

This year's nominees, who also include Architecture for Humanity, have their work exhibited at the Design Museum until 18 June.

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