The New Year Starts Off the Competition Season

January is the month when award show competitions begin. Things this year may be a bit different. Submissions and judging may be handled remotely. Award shows might be virtual. You'll need to expect some glitches and rule changes. But, wouldn't it be wonderful to welcome 2021 with a win?

Industry Awards Will Make Your Portfolio Stand Out

As a designer, copywriter or art director, winning a creative competition can elevate your portfolio to a new level - and can open doors at ad agencies and design studios. Listing awards on your resume may grab the attention of a creative director and persuade them to take a look at your online portfolio.

The Smarter Way To Enter Competitions:

Before you decide to drop $100 on an entry for your latest ad campaign, website, or logo design, here is what I recommend:

1. Research the different competitions and find your niche. Your work is not suitable for every competition and entering the wrong one is a waste of time and money.

2. Review previous winners. Nearly every competition site shows their past winners. Archives on competition sites can give you a much better idea of what work fits the competition and what the judges have selected in the past. There is a good chance that they will select similar work this year.

3. Make sure the graphic design, advertising, web, or interactive work you submit is beautifully produced and presented. This should be a no-brainer but judges throw out work for very minor reasons. Don't give them a reason to dismiss a great idea because your entry isn't perfected.

4. Check the specifications. Work with incorrect specs is eliminated. Enough said.

5. Carefully check the category. Most award shows don't have the time or the manpower to make sure your work is in the right place before the judging starts. This is one of the main reasons that work is eliminated. Phone the competition headquarters if you have questions.

6. After entering, follow up with a phone call to make sure that your entry arrived and that your payment showed up as well.

7. Be confident and enter. If you do some background checking, you'll find a competition where your work can stand out. If you don't win, don't worry. Great work gets passed over sometimes. Find another advertising, graphic design, copywriting, or web design competition and try again. Great work plus determination is what wins awards. Take a leap.

Competitions for You to Consider:

The One Club

Webby Awards

American Advertising Awards - Addys

The Young Shits

Communication Arts

Good Luck!