The Best Design Award Competitions to Enter in 2016/17

The Best Design Award Competitions to Enter in 2016/17

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This article has been contributed by Julie Martin.

Designers see design not only as a field of occupation, but as a lifestyle too. Why is this? Because designing is one of the jobs that require the person’s interest and passion and every part of designing takes great consideration and planning.

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Being a designer puts you in the position to choose how things will look and what better way to prove yourself than by entering a competition to get the accolades you so long deserve?

We have provided you with a list of contests & competitions. Have a look at the following points and mark the dates of the best design award contests in 2016 & 2017. Which one will you enter?

D&AD Awards

1.D&AD Awards

This contest is regarded as one of the most important events when it comes to both design and advertising. This year, the deadline was in February 2016 and the prizes offered are: the coveted Pencil awards, project bursaries, short courses, work placements and training grants. To enter this contest, every contestant pays a fee of £100-400. Their job is to work on a design project that is selected from the brief on the official website. If you missed this year’s election, you still have the shot of applying in the next one and winning one of the most prestigious awards in the design world.

International Visual Identity Awards


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Are you a branding agency, freelancer in logo design, graphic design student or corporate that is looking to showcase recent branding work? If so, then the International Visual Identity Awards design competition is for you. There is still time to enter this one this year as the final deadline is August 1st. Entries cost £40-60. With 20 diverse categories, there’s plenty of opportunity to share your branding project with the world. Jacob Cass is also a judge in this one.

Use code ‘JUST’ for 10% off entries.

Red Dot Design Awards

2. Red-Dot-Award-Communication-Design-2016

The deadline for this contest is also February 2016, but the prize is pretty high. And of course, for a prize as high as €10,000, the fee is a bit higher, depending on the project (€150-450 Euros). This contest features three categories for entrants to choose from: product design, communication design and design concept. Aside from being much richer with the hefty sum of €10,000, the winner of this competition gets to be a part of the yearbook of Red Dot Design and their designs are exhibited on many tours around the world.

Logo Wave Awards

Logo Wave Awards

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Logo Wave is a revolutionary logo design awards site that awards designers in “waves”. 25 designers submit a logo at $12 per logo (5 max per designer) and then 1 of those 25 designers win the $300 digital prize pack based on the judges final scores. Jacob Cass is also a judge in this one.

AIGA 50 Books

3.AIGA 50 Books

With a deadline in March, this contest is the oldest and the largest professional organization that puts an accent on the books. The winners of this competition are added to the archives of the AIGA Design, the Denver Art Museum and Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. Being recognized by AIGA is one of the best things that can happen to a designer. Additionally, when entering this contest, you get the chance to submit an entire book or only a cover.

The Penguin Random House Design Award

4.The Penguin Random House Design Award

The winners get two prizes: a money award of £1,000 and work placement within the design studio of Penguin Random House. There is no fee for entering this contest and the entrants get the experience to design real cover and page layouts. Entrants of this competition must be students and eligible to work in the UK

The RSA Student Design Awards

5.The RSA Student Design Awards

The RSA Student Design Awards is based in the UK and offers an opportunity to work on creative briefs on industry level. This competition has been held for 92 years now and this year’s prize is over £32,000 in cash and paid internships. There is a slight fee for application that goes from £25 to £35. The contest is spread into twelve categories with a unique prize each.

The Design Week Awards

6.The Design Week Awards

Prizes for this competition are awarded in Brand Campaigns, Print Communication, Identity Design, Poster and Furniture Design. The fee to enter this competition is £169 per submission and the deadline is in March. These awards are very hard to get into but can lead to a tremendous amount of publicity for those who do

Young Package International Design Competition

7.Young Package International Design Competition

With free entering, the Young Package International Design Competition has a different theme each year. This year’s competition awards €3,000 and has the theme ‘Package Unlimited!’ There are two competition categories: university students and designers that have less than 30 years and high school students. The deadline is March 2016.

Core77 Design Awards

8.Core77 Design Awards

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The fees for this competition vary according to two groups: students ($50-75 ) and professionals ($150-225 ). The winner of each category receives a trophy and the Honorees are published in the year’s gallery and across the online network of Core77.

Joseph Binder Graphic Design and Illustration Competition

9.Joseph Binder Graphic Design and Illustration Competition

This competition supports the independent, non-commercial activities in the graphic design field and awards the winners with both cash and trophies. The entrance fee varies according to the three categories being set: students, members and public (€55 (student), €90 (members), €115 (public)). The cash prize for this year ranges €1,500-2,500. The ceremony takes place in Vienna and the competition is set every 2 years. This year’s competition has a deadline in March 2016.

Communication Arts Design Competition

10.Communication Arts Design Competition

The Communication Arts Design Competition is a top tier prestigious award. This competition has a deadline in May 2016 and the prize is an Award of Excellence in the form of a trophy and a feature in the annual publication. The entrance fee depends on the projects ($45-$220).

RGD So Good Awards

11.RGD So Good Awards

With a deadline in July 2017, this contest provides an opportunity to prove your abilities to the world. The entrance fee is $40-$90 and the prizes offered are printed catalogues, exhibits, award ceremony and a workshop. This contest is based in Toronto and is open for international applicants


Being a part of competition is one of the most important paths into becoming recognized for your qualities. The contests above are the main competitions that can allow you to do this and give you the chance to become a worldwide famous designer. What do you have to lose? Choose the competition that appeals you the most and show the world how good designer you really are.

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Julie Martin is a student from California University. She is interested in self-development and inspiration. Julie studies mathematics and writes on this math homework help blogMyMathDone. You can follow her on Facebook for more tips.

4 thoughts on “The Best Design Award Competitions to Enter in 2016/17”

  1. Hello,
    Thank you so much for listing all design award program. I am professional logo designer and looking for the same. Thanks again to exploring more info about all of them.

    Thanks JustCreative.

  2. Actually a really helpful list for people looking to get some recognition and win awards for their work!

  3. Informative award details. The correct and quality of this award-winning images shows me the stage where I’m in. I need to improve my skills a lot. So this will be a very inspiration for all the web designers like me. A long way to work hard and achieve this. Thanks Julie for this inspirational article.

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