20 Tips to Win Design Awards

Design Awards and Competitions Are Great For Promotion, But They Require More Than Just Creativity to Win Them. Here Are 20 Strategies to Become a Design Award Winner, and Have Your Designs Labeled as Award Winning Design

1. Your Target: Perhaps the most important thing is to join the right design award by submitting your designs to the right competition category. It could be possible that you have a great design, but it might just does not fit the design award or the category. You should check the design awards and their categories carefully. 2. Don’t Get Eliminated: Most people fail due to ineligibility based on submitted design type; such as submitting concept designs to a competition which do not actually accept such entries, or young designers joining professional design competitions which actually do not accept entries from students. Make sure you comply with the eligibility and submissions criteria.3. Scoring Criteria: Many good design awards publish scoring criteria, it is important to know that how your design will be scored, check these criteria in detail before making submissions, and try to prepare your presentations in a way to reflect and explain the requirements. These scoring criteria could be vague or wide, in this case just do your best, however sometimes, they will have a very niche criteria or requirement, make sure you do not miss it.4. Previous Winners: Check the previous winners of the award and competition categories to see which kind of designs you are expected to submit. In addition, by checking the previous winners, you can also avoid submitting designs that are similar to those which have been already awarded; because originality of the work or innovation content of a design is usually an evaluation criterion in a design competition. Furthermore, you can also see the presentations made by the previous award winners.5. Presentations: Although, there is usually a small percentage dedicated to presentation of the design in scoring criteria, researches indicate that the real observed percentages are much higher; this was explained due to the fact that the jury finds designs with better presentation more developed, more functional, more realistic and more aesthetic, and they also spend more time in the details as a good presentation communicates your design better and decreases the time to understand the design, all in all, resulting in a more positive evaluation of your design. So, let your pride aside for a moment, and show the same attention to your presentation as you did in developing your design; do not expect the jury to judge your design purely by your design.6. Plan Your Budget: Some industry awards such as RedDot Design Award and IF Design Award require you to make a payment if you are a winner. This is of course communicated early, but the payments range from several hundred euros to thousands of euros and you might have to forfeit your award if you could not pay these fees. So check the terms and agreements carefully in order not to fall into a situation where you as a winner, have to pay amounts that are above your budged. Alternatively, you could join competitions like A’ Design Award, which do not require winners to make obligatory payments.7. Describe It: Do not just submit a design as an image, make sure that you include a clear presentation of your design. Explain how your design works, the function, inspiration, materials, and if possible attach technical drawings, explosion views, close-up views and views from different angles. Remember that the more jury members understand your design, the better it will be evaluated. If there are text-forms make sure you fill them correctly, if you could submit a video, do so.8. Correct Files: Especially competitions accepting online submissions have web based platforms that you could use to submit your designs. They almost always indicate the best-resolution, file-size requirements and pixel dimensions. Make sure that you submit your designs using the required resolution and pixel dimensions, and try to submit your images at the highest quality possible. Remember that some of these competitions will later print your submissions or scale them to fit the required dimensions, so it is very important to submit the designs in the correct dimensions for the best evaluation.8. Correct Files: Especially competitions accepting online submissions have web based platforms that you could use to submit your designs. They almost always indicate the best-resolution, file-size requirements and pixel dimensions. Make sure that you submit your designs using the required resolution and pixel dimensions, and try to submit your images at the highest quality possible. Remember that some of these competitions will later print your submissions or scale them to fit the required dimensions, so it is very important to submit the designs in the correct dimensions for the best evaluation.10. Focused or Niche: Some awards are more focused than others, and some let you submit any type of design. For instance, you could join A’ Design Award, as they offer many different categories that you could submit your designs to and they accept both concept stage works and realized projects. In addition, they will suggest you the correct category if your design do not fit the submitted category. Some other awards only accept a specific type of design. Researches indicate that design awards with wider categories get more attention due to a wider reach.11. Photographs, Illustrations or Renders: In most cases, a photo of your realized design is much more effective than an illustration, drawing or rendering. So, if you have a photo of the finished work, you should submit it, but make sure that your photography is not dark or blurred, it must look very clean, and if you could, you should have your designs photos taken in a professional photography studio. On the other hand, if your rendering looks much better than the prototype or the realized work, just send the rendering or illustration instead. In any case, make sure that you are fitting the submission requirements, as some competitions will require you to submit photos, and renderings would not be accepted.12. Ask Questions: If you have questions about the organization or competition, contact the organizers and ask your questions, it is important to understand clearly what you are expected to do, in addition you could check FAQ pages too. Remember; the more you understand an award, the higher your chances of winning.12. Ask Questions: If you have questions about the organization or competition, contact the organizers and ask your questions, it is important to understand clearly what you are expected to do, in addition you could check FAQ pages too. Remember; the more you understand an award, the higher your chances of winning.14. Catch the Deadline: Remember to catch the competition deadline, as many designers usually submit their designs last minute, actually many of them miss the opportunity. Although many competitions could extend the deadline, some will not and thus you will have to either wait a whole year or lose your chances totally if it is a one-time event.15. Check for Fitness: Check the previous winners to see also if your design has also the same quality, join if you think your design is as good as them or better, as otherwise you would be losing time and perhaps money in terms of application fees. Some competitions such as A’ Design Award offer free preliminary judging; i.e. you are communicated in advance for your submission if it is suitable or not, thus if it is not suitable you do not need to nominate it.16. Multiple & Varied Submissions: You might not know the preferences of the jury, therefore it is a good idea to make varied submissions for the first time, for example if you have several good designs, submit all of them.17. No Pitching: Do not try to contact the jury members or the award organizer in order to pitch your designs, this is really a bad practice and will result in your exclusion and disqualification in most competitions.18. Submit Original Work: Only submit works that are your original creations. Do not submit works that are similar to designs that have been awarded anywhere else. Be bold, submit innovative designs and ideas.19. Make Sure You Are In: Get confirmation that your design was successfully received and nominated. Send packages with receipt of delivery for physical submissions, and check your control panel pages to see the nominated designs for online platforms.20. Follow the Rules: Make sure that you read the submission guidelines and follow the rules, for instance some design competitions might require you not to publish your designs in advance while others will let you. Make sure your entry will be judged as smoothly as possible.Exerpt:1. Your Target: Perhaps the most important thing is to join the right design award by submitting your designs to the right competition category. It could be possible that you have a great design, but it might just does not fit the design award or the category. You should check the design awards and their categories carefully. 2. Don’t Get Eliminated: Most people fail due to ineligibility based on submitted design type; such as submitting concept designs to a competition which do not actually..

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