Top global design competitions

Tue 1 Dec 2020

Falmouth Flexible's MA Graphic Design Course Coordinator Susanna Edwards has selected her top 8 global design competitions, ranging from historical subject-related competitions, to those sitting on the boundaries of graphic design practice that offer the chance to give something back.

D&AD Awards

D&AD champions creative excellence in commercial creativity. The educational charity was set up in 1962 by designers and art directors including David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Alan Fletcher and Colin Forbes. Initially for Industry awards only, Sir John Hegarty set up the student awards in 1979. This is an interesting awards scheme that charts the evolution of commercial practice with changing categories that reflect evolving areas of creative commercial practice.

The New Blood (student) entries are £20 For the D&AD Awards the entry prices range from £50.00 to £675 depending on what category and whether you are entering a single piece of work or a campaign.

Deadline: March each year

Creative Conscience awards

Creative Conscience promotes human centred, socially valuable design. ‘Creating a community that gives a damn’ and ‘encouraging creatives to become the changemakers the world needs’. The Creative Conscience awards offer a range of exciting competition briefs with a focus on social impact. Past briefs cover themes such as mental health, equality, the refugee crisis and conscious consumption.

Entry fee: £15 per entrant admin fee

Deadline: April each year

Future of Money Award

Established in 2009, this award develops links between the financial industry and creatives around the world. This competition asks, What financial crimes could be committed within a completely electronic marketplace? Creative practitioners are asked to employ a speculative design approach and design a future financial crime, a crime which utilises a new loophole, a change in social convention or specific technology development. Through a creative imagining of what crimes might happen and a potential intervention to aid crime prevention, this competition selects 4 entrants to develop their idea into a short video. This is presented at Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam where one winner is selected.

Open to entrants based in Europe

Entry is free

Deadline: April each year

On Falmouth Flexible's MA Graphic Design, you examine how graphic design operates in global contexts. Through its very definition design is about responding to the ever-evolving needs and changes between industry, commerce and society.

Typomania video contest

Typomania typographic video competition is part of the annual Typomania Moscow International Festival dedicated to type, typography, calligraphy, lettering, motion design and interactive design. The competition accepts videos with type playing a key role in them, ranging from the presentation of a typeface, to movie captions, text visualization or animation of the word Typomania.

Entry is free and every year Typomania show the best 9 videos. Prizes include legendary light letters and diplomas.

Deadline: May each year

The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge

The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is an annual competition that asks teams of students and professionals to address critical global issues with nature-inspired solutions. The challenge is hosted by the Biomimicry Institute, in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge calls for design concepts addressing any aspect of climate change adaptation, mitigation, and reversal in any sector of the economy.

Entry fees for student-only teams: $50; professionals or mixed teams of students and professionals: $120.

Deadline: May each year

AIGA 50 books/ 50 covers competition 

Established in 1923, The Fifty Books of the Year Competition was a yearly event at the AIGA. Now partnered with the Design Observer the competition identifies the 50 best designed books and book covers each year. Works are published through both partners and housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University’s Butler Library.

Entry fee for AIGA members is $70 and $100 for non-members

Deadline: February each year

Secret 7”

Secret 7 takes the best 7 tracks from the best musicians each year and creates 100 x 7” vinyl. They then invite creatives around the globe to interpret the tracks into cover sleeves which are exhibited and sold for £50 each. Buyers do not know who created the sleeve or what the song is until they have paid for the sleeve. Last year Secret 7” raised over £37,000 for the charity Mind, previous charities supported were Teenage Cancer Trust, Art Against Knives, Nordoff Robbins and Amnesty International UK.

Free entry

Competition opens October

Deadline: TBC

International Poster and Graphic Design Competition of Chaumont

This international poster competition was launched in 1990 in order to value poster design on an international scale. Selected posters become part of a growing archive that now includes over 45,000 pieces housed in Chaumont. The competition is open to all professionals and the posters need to have been commissioned or used in a real context (e.g. a demonstration).

Cash prizes of up to 3,000 Euros, depending on the category

Entry is free and you donate your poster on entry.

Deadline: February each year 



Graphic Design, Blog

Get in touch today