If you’re proud of a promotion you've designed this past year, it might pay to enter the piece into a design competition. Winning a design competition provides accolades that potential clients know and respect. In many of the competitions, winners are featured in renowned publications and highly trafficked websites and exhibitions, where clients look for graphic design services. Winning or receiving an honorable mention in one of these competitions is well worth the nominal entry fees.
Here’s a list of some leading graphic design competitions with upcoming 2010 deadlines and graphic design and marketing categories. Good Luck! AIGI Annual Design Competition The AIGI, or professional association for design, has an entry deadline of March 5. There are six broad categories that a variety of entries can fit into, including branding, entertaining, experimenting, informing, packaging and promoting. Winning entries become a permanent part of the AIGA Design Archives. HOW Promotion Design Awards HOW Magazine’s annual design competition accepts entries until March 5. Categories include client promotions, designer self-promotions, personal promotions, pro-bono promotions, illustrator promotions, photographer promotions, student promotions and miscellaneous promotions. Winners are published in HOW’s October Self-Promotion Design Annual. Communication Arts Design Competition This international publication accepts entries in categories such as letterhead, poster design, self-promotion, environmental graphics and miscellaneous design. The deadline is May 14, and winners are published in the Communication Arts Design Annual and on the Commarts.com website. American Design Awards This web-based competition offers a semi-annual competition with more than 20 categories including brochure, marketing kit, mailer/postcard and invitation/menu. The deadline for winter entries is February 15, and winners receive a listing on the company’s website. The D&AD Awards Graphic design categories for this competition include branding, leaflets, calendars, direct mail, logos, posters, CD, DVD and record sleeves, stationery, greeting cards and invitations. The deadline is January 27, and successful work is published in the D&AD Annual, on its website and in an awards ceremony and worldwide exhibitions.