Article 2 of the Constitution of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation reads as follows:
Within the context of the cultural traditions of Europe in general and the ideas of Erasmus in particular, the aim of the Foundation is to enhance the position of the humanities, social sciences and the arts. The emphasis is on tolerance, cultural pluralism and non-dogmatic, critical thinking. The Foundation endeavours to achieve this aim through the award of prizes and by other means. A money prize is awarded under the name of Erasmus Prize.

In accordance with this article, the Board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has decided to award the Erasmus Prize for the year 2006 to Pierre Bernard.
The Prize is awarded to Pierre Bernard on the following grounds:

  • As one of the leading figures in the design collective Grapus and later in the design studio Atelier de Création Graphique, Pierre Bernard has greatly promoted the innovation and professionalisation of graphic design in France.
  • His concentration on the public domain as field is a consistent theme of his work. Bernard has used graphic design as a powerful tool in conveying social commitment.
  • His designs do not approach users as passive consumers, rather stimulate them to participation and reflection.
  • Thoughtful analysis of function, contents and context of the assignment are the basis of Bernard’s choice of form solutions.
  • He attempts in institutional communication to create the possibility of social communication. Bernard has looked for the human dimension. To this end Bernard uses specific combinations of symbols, images and text, humour and surprise.
  • Bernard has achieved an authoritative position in the international professional field. Both his form inventions and his content-analysis-based design method have gathered a following, inside France and abroad.
  • The design oeuvre of Pierre Bernard is informed by tolerance, non-dogmatic, critical thinking, as well as by the diverse cultural traditions of Europe. These Erasmian values have taken form not only in the sciences and the arts, but also – partially due to Bernard – in such a modern discipline as visual communication.