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Winning those design awards

After winning my latest design award I would like to share a small guide that will help everybody getting an understanding on how to start winning design awards.

First of all, don’t think it’s impossible to win a design award. If you think this, you should seriously consider getting out of business, or just simply try to improve your self-confidence.

The truth is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of design awards to be won. From minor to industry related competitions. I can hear you thinking, but how can I win those competitions, where do I start?

Well, this article will give you an idea on how you get the biggest chance to win your desired design award, however, I can’t promise you anything. But the advice I’ll share with you will give you the best possible chance and an understanding at what it takes to win a design award.

Choose the right award.

Like said before, there are thousands of awards ready to be won. Picking the right contest for the right design is one of the most important things. Think what you would achieve, but be realistic. If you are a designer who took his first step in the designing world, the chance to win the biggest design awards, for example, the D&AD Yellow Pencil, might be a bridge to far.

Take your time to search down the web, and find design contests that are aimed for your experience, skill-set and talent.

Even smaller design awards are an incredible asset to put on your resume or portfolio.

What is the competition trying to achieve?

It is also crucial to know what the competition itself is trying to achieve. Why are they holding design contests? What are they trying to prove? And most important of all; what’s the history behind the competition?

Whatever competition you’ll face, it’s important to get a good background of them. It can help you prepare your entry and create a bespoke piece of artwork.

Who are the judges?

Research the judges, that way you have an idea on what they are aiming for.

It’s maybe one of the most important things you need to, look at who the judges are, look at what they’ve accomplished. If they are having a blog, read true it and look at their social media feeds for an idea of the kind of work they like.

Doing this background check won’t guaranty you anything, but at least it will give you an idea of their taste to help you design and create your entry accordingly.

Check out the previous winners.

Look into who won the competition previous years. Doing this will give you a good idea of what the awards are all about, and of course what kind of work has a better chance of winning.

Of course, trends change over the course of a year, but you can get an idea of the kind of work or techniques the judges are looking for.

Always enter again next year.

It doesn’t matter if you win or not be sure to enter again next year with a new project. Your name will ring a bell, naturally it will be the quality of your designs that will be the determining factor. When entering a second time, your reputation will go a long way to boosting your chances.

Save the date!

If you are looking for design contests you have to make sure to browse the internet. Don’t forget to save the date, note it down in your agenda and take your time to make the best out of it. Don’t lose the date out of sight. If you don’t have enough time to put together an outstanding project that has a chance of winning, don’t bother.

The bigger the award, the more time-consuming it will be. There are plenty of awards to choose from, so pick one where you have the time to enter a properly designed project.

My latest design award: Gambero Rossa Design Award 2015 - Andi Fosselle Freelance Graphic Designer Brussels