Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Competitions’ Category

10
Jan

Design Competitions Made Easy


INTRODUCTION

These days there seems to be competitions and awards for just about everything: CBS Interactive, where I work, even won an Emmy in 2009 for ‘Outstanding new approaches – CBS Mobile NCAA March Madness’ – not something that gets televised on the Emmy awards show. Originally I thought there would be only a few design competitions to write about for this post but once I did the research I realized there was an enormous amount of them which I listed below with links and deadlines. Further below that is an interview with Matt Cooke, Creative Director at Iron Creative, about starting AIGA’s Cause/Affect competition for design projects aimed at social good.

WHO ORGANIZES COMPETITIONS

About half of the competitions below are organized and promoted by design magazines such as Print, GD, How, Communication Arts, CMYK and Graphis. It connects them with their readers, keeps them on the pulse of the industry and provides content all at the same time. Most of the other half are organized by an industry e.g. the advertising industry for the Clios, the interactive industry for the Webbys or the various AIGA competitions for the design industry.

WHY ENTER

For agencies, winning awards helps establish credibility with clients or potential clients. Most agencies don’t pursue awards but others have a policy of rigorously pursuing them. I remember being in the lobby of Goodby Silverstein & Partners years ago and stopped counting the awards at around the 250 point. Winning awards definitely sets the standard for a company to work to and shapes the group dynamic of the winning agency. And of course winning them will certainly boost anyone’s confidence.

JUDGING

What the judges are looking for will vary from by category and from competition to competition so it’s worth reading the small print just in case you need further material e.g. Direct Mail or Interactive often also require the submission of qualifiable metrics which are provided by the submitting agency. In general great ideas and design are always the key, whether for a competition or not. As an example the American Design Awards gives differing weights as follows:
Creativity 40%
Effectiveness 40%
Practical 30%
Ethics Pass/Fail

JUDGES

Looking at the criteria, Gary Finn, Creative Director at Expert Communications Inc had this to say about judging his first competition: “I was a bit demoralized at first, when it became clear that the judges were not making decisions based on the show’s stated criteria, but rather on their own ‘favorites.’ Art Director types preferred visually interesting pieces. Account types gravitated toward big brands or elaborate strategies. I found myself drawn to ‘clever.'”

Another Creative Director, Kathleen Turaski of Resonance Marketing, judge of the Appleton’s U360 competition, had this to say about the process “All competitions are looking to elevate the best, the most innovative design. It can be challenging to match what competitions are looking for with many projects. Budget and the realities of what a client will approve or what aligns with an organization’s brand can affect the final design outcome.”

FEES

The really big competitions such as the Webbys ($295) or Clios ($400-$1,000) are expensive to submit work for. However the vast majority of the competitions listed below have fees under $100 keeping them in the realm of the individual designer. If you want to go to the award ceremony itself that can set you back more e.g. tickets to the Clios are $125 plus travel and board.

DEADLINES

The busiest season for these competitions is the start of the year with many of the deadlines in January. The rest are scattered throughout the year. Where known I’ve listed the deadlines for 2012 below. Keep checking the links for updates. Also some competitions have last year’s page up so you may have to substitute ‘2012’ where ‘2011’ currently appears in the URL.

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Core77 Design Awards
http://core77designawards.com
submissions from Jan 17th, 2012

AIGA: local design competitions
http://www.aiga.org/events/
various local competitions with different deadlines

AIGA: 365 | Design Effectiveness
http://www.aiga.org/about-365
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

AIGA: 50 Books/50 Covers
http://www.aiga.org/about-50-50
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

AIGA: Making the Case
http://www.aiga.org/making-the-case
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

AIGA: Justified
http://www.aiga.org/justified
deadline Mar 31st 2012

Art Directors Club Awards
http://www.adcawards.org
deadline Jan 27th, Feb 3rd & 10th 2012

CMYK: Top 100 New Creatives
http://www.cmykmag.com/contests
deadline Jan 9th 2012

COMMUNICATION ARTS: Design Competition
http://www.commarts.com/competitions/design
deadline May 25th 2012

PRINT: 2012 Regional Design Annual
http://www.printmag.com/article/regional-design-annual
deadline Feb 1st 2012

PRINT: Color in Design Awards
http://www.printmag.com/article/colorawards
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

HOW: Promotion Design Awards
http://www.howdesign.com/design-competitions/promotion-design-awards
deadline Mar 1st 2012

HOW’s Your Best Work Design Awards
http://www.howdesign.com/design-competitions/your-best-work-design-awards
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

PRINT: Creativity + Commerce Awards
http://www.printmag.com/article/creativity-and-commerce
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

PRINT: New Visual Artists
http://www.printmag.com/article/new-visual-artists
deadline late August 2012 – must be under the age of 30

PRINT: in Motion
http://www.printmag.com/article/print-in-motion
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

Quayside Publishing Competition
http://www.quaysidepub.com/entries.php
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

GRAPHIS: Design Annual
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/designannual2012

GRAPHIS: New Talent Annual
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/newtalentannual2012/

Visual Media Alliance Print Design Excellence Showcase
http://vma.bz/Default.aspx?pageid=203
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

GD: American Graphic Design Awards
http://www.gdusa.com/contests/agda11/index.php
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

GD: Cover Design
http://www.gdusa.com/issue_2011/september/winner.php
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

D&AD: Professional Awards
http://www.dandad.org/awards/professional/2012
deadline Feb 1st 2012

European Design Awards
http://www.europeandesign.org/
deadline Feb 29th 2012

________________________

INTERACTIVE

The Webby Awards
http://www.webbyawards.com
deadline Jan 27th 2012

HOW’s: Annual Interactive Design Awards
http://www.howdesign.com/design-competitions/interactive-design-awards
deadline July 2nd 2012

COMMUNICATION ARTS: Interactive Competition
http://www.commarts.com/competitions/interactive
submission dates in 2012 not released yet

American Design Awards
monthly competitions:
http://www.americandesignawards.com/monthly.html

semi annual competition:
http://www.americandesignawards.com/annual.html
deadline Feb 15th and Aug 15th

CLIO’s: Interactive Awards
http://www.clioawards.com/login/login.cfm?redirect=/entries/forms/interactive_form.cfm
deadline Jan 20th 2012

HOW: Creativity International Awards: Media & Interactive
http://www.creativityawards.com/Categories_Media_and_Interactive.php
submissions start Jan 2012

MEDIA MAGAZINE: Creative Media Awards
http://www.mediapost.com/creativemediaawards/
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

SXSW Interactive Awards
http://sxsw.com/interactive/awards
Entry for 2012 awards is closed
submission dates in 2013 not yet released

Interaction Design Awards
http://www.ixda.org/awards
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

W3 Awards
http://www.w3award.com/
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

Horizon Interactive Awards
https://www.horizoninteractiveawards.com/about
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

GD: American Web Design Awards
http://www.gdusa.com/contests/awda11/index.php
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

________________________

PRINT & PACKAGING

HOW: Dieline Package Design Awards
http://packagedesignawards.com
deadline Apr 2nd 2012

HOW: Creativity International Awards: Print & Packaging
http://www.creativityawards.com/Categories_Print_and_Packaging.php
submissions start Jan 2012

CLIO’s: Print
http://www.clioawards.com/login/login.cfm?redirect=/entries/forms/print_form.cfm
deadline Jan 20th 2012

GD: American Package Design Awards
http://www.gdusa.com/apda2011/index.php
deadline Jan 10th 2012

GD: American Printing Awards
http://www.gdusa.com/contests/apa11/index.php
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

Appleton paper: U360
http://appletoncoated.com/index.php?GroupID=45
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

Mowhawk paper: Mowhawk Show 12
http://news.mohawkpaper.com/2011/05/23/mohawk-re-frames-design-competitions
deadline May 31st 2012

Neenah paper:
http://www.neenahpaper.com/InspiredDesign/PaperworksContest
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

HOW: Neenah Un Show Competition
http://www.howdesign.com/design-competitions/neenah-unshow-competition
deadline Mar 12th 2012

________________________

POSTERS

GRAPHIS: Poster Annual
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/posterannual2012
deadline March 31st 2012

GRAPHIS: Social & Political Posters
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/socialandpolitical
deadline Jan 31st 2012

Poster Heroes
http://www.posterheroes.org/?lang=en
deadline Feb 15th 2012

Reggae Poster Contest 2012
http://www.reggaepostercontest.com
deadline March 30th 2012

Poster For Tomorrow
http://www.posterfortomorrow.org/pages/view/rte_call_for_entries
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

________________________

TYPOGRAPHY

The Conqueror Typographic Games
http://www.conqueror.com/typographicgames/
deadline Apr 30th 2012

COMMUNICATION ARTS: Typography Competition
http://www.commarts.com/competitions/typography
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

All About Type Call For Entries
http://www.allabouttype.com/
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

________________________

ILLUSTRATION

COMMUNICATION ARTS: Illustration Competition
http://www.commarts.com/competitions/illustration
deadline Jan 6th 2012

PRINT: Hand Drawn
http://www.printmag.com/Article/Hand-Drawn
submission dates in 2012 not released yet

________________________

PHOTOGRAPHY

COMMUNICATION ARTS: Photography Competition
http://www.commarts.com/competitions/photography
deadline Mar 16th 2012

GRAPHIS: Photography Annual
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/photographyannual2012

Pano Awards
http://www.thepanoawards.com
deadline Apr 20th 2012

________________________

ADVERTISING

CLIO AWARDS
http://www.clioawards.com
deadline Jan 20th 2012

Cannes Lions
http://www.canneslions.com
submissions open Jan 26th 2012

The One Show
http://enter.oneclub.org
deadline Jan 31st 2012

COMMUNICATION ARTS: Advertising Competition
http://www.commarts.com/competitions/advertising
deadline May 11th 2012

The Addy Awards
http://www.aaf.org/default.asp?id=27
deadline varies per region

________________________

LOGOS

HOW: Logo Design Awards
http://www.howdesign.com/design-competitions/logo-design-awards
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

GRAPHIS: Logo Design
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/logodesign8/

________________________

T-SHIRTS

Graniph Design Award
http://www.graniph.com/award
submission dates Feb 1st-Mar 31st 2012
________________________

BRANDING

GRAPHIS: Branding 6 Call for Entries
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/branding6
deadline Jan 16th 2012

________________________

SOCIAL CHANGE

Sappi: Ideas that Matter
http://www.na.sappi.com/ideasthatmatter/callforentry
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

AIGA: Cause Effect
http://www.cause-affect.org
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

Poster Heroes
http://www.posterheroes.org/?lang=en
deadline Feb15th 2012

Society for Environmental Graphic Design Awards
http://www.segd.org/design-awards/index.html
deadline Feb 14th 2012

Posters For Tomorrow
http://www.posterfortomorrow.org/pages/view/rte_call_for_entries
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

Graphis Call For Entries
http://www.graphis.com/cfe/online/socialandpolitical/
deadline Jan 31st 2012

D&AD White Pencil Award
http://www.dandad.org/dandad/white-pencil/the-2012-brief
deadline October 24th 2012

________________________

IN HOUSE

HOW: In-House Design Awards
http://www.howdesign.com/design-competitions/in-howse-design-awards
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

GD: American Inhouse Design Awards
http://www.gdusa.com/contests/aida11/
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

________________________

DIRECT MAIL

US Post Office’s M.A.I.L. Awards
http://www.delivermagazine.com/awards
deadline Jan 27th 2012

CLIO’s: Direct Mail
http://www.clioawards.com/login/login.cfm?redirect=/entries/forms/direct_form.cfm
deadline Jan 20th 2012

DMA Echo Awards
http://www.newdma.org/conferences-events/awards
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

John Caples International Awards
http://www.caples.org
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

________________________

STUDENT

ARCHIVE: Student Contest
http://www.luerzersarchive.net/studentscontest2011.asp
submission dates in 2012 not yet released

CLIO’s: Student Awards
http://www.clioawards.com/login/login.cfm?redirect=/entries/forms/student.cfm
deadline Jan 20th 2012

D&AD: Student Awards
http://www.dandad.org/awards/student/2012/about
deadline Mar 9th 2012

Adobe Design Achievement Awards
http://www.adobeawards.com/us/
deadline June 22nd 2012

________________________

MISC.

CLIO’s: Facebook Integration
http://www.clioawards.com/login/login.cfm?redirect=/entries/forms/facebook_form.cfm
deadline Jan 20th 2012

CLIO’s: Innovative Media
http://www.clioawards.com/login/login.cfm?redirect=/entries/forms/innovative_media_form.cfm
deadline Jan 20th 2012

________________________

STARTING A COMPETITION

Matt Cooke, co-owner of Iron Creative helped devise AIGA’s Cause/Affect competition focusing on design for social good. First launched in 2007 it has run successfully every 2 years since then. The Call For Entries poster itself (pictured above) won design awards so who better to talk to about the process:

Why did you devise Cause/Affect?
Alice Bybee and I met at an open board meeting for the San Francisco Chapter of the AIGA. We asked a simple question: what was the organization doing in the field of social good? The board members looked around the table and in unison said “Nothing. Why don’t you do something?”. So we established the social impact committee and launched the Cause/Affect competition. We wanted to the competition to act as a barometer and a catalyst. We wanted to know if the design community was committed to design for social good. And if it was, we wanted to get as many talented do-gooders together as we could. And so the competition was born, with a scheduled awards ceremony, that would act as much as a venue for recognition as for networking and collaboration.

How many submissions did that first year get?
Over 300 entries from all around the world.

How many submissions did last year’s competition get?
Roughly the same, but there was a surprising increase in the quality of the work.

What are the criteria for judging the submissions to Cause/Affect?
This is a question that vexes judges. They are tasked with assessing the work both from a traditional graphic design perspective, as well as from the more subjective standpoint of efficacy. What good is a beautifully designed piece of work if it fails to convey the message of the organization it represents, and fails to move the recipients of the communication to action?

Who put up the prize money for Cause/Affect?
For the first two iterations of the competition, the prize money was generated from the entrance fees to the competition itself – which was entirely financially self-sufficient. Last year Sappi donated $5,000 in prize money. It should be noted that the prize money goes to a non-profit organization of the winners choosing, not to the designers themselves.

Had there been anything like it before and has it’s success been repeated in other chapters?
I don’t think there had ever been a dedicated design competition for social good in general. And yes, the competition has been replicated, to varying degrees, by some other chapters.

Did winning awards for the Cause/Affect promotional material lead to more projects?
Not directly. But none of the competitions we have won has to my knowledge ever led directly to a new client. We typically enter competitions to boost the morale of the team, and to establish the company in the eyes of our peers.

Had you entered a design competition before becoming a judge yourself?
I actually didn’t judge the competition. We felt that might be a  conflict of interest. But yes, I had entered competitions before co-founding the competition.

Did being a judge in a design competition provide any insights into your own work?
Being associated with the competition, and being present for the judging process, was certainly illuminating. More than anything, it drove home the notion Alice and I had formed prior to establishing the competition: and that is that there are a great many talented, hard working designers committing a colossal number of hours to projects that have limited budgets but that provide valuable, intangible rewards of their own.

How did you find the experience overall and would you do it again?
The experience was incredibly valuable and is something that I remain very proud of. But I have put on the competition twice, and felt it was time to hand over the reigns.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 169 other followers

%d bloggers like this: