One of the best ways to set you apart from other designers is winning awards. Whether you are looking to increase your industry recognition so that you can land better clients, or you’re looking to get a visa or green card that only esteemed professionals with international awards qualify, you need to do research before submitting to awards to maximize your chances of winning. We have curated a list of awards worth submitting to.
Arguably one of the most prestigious international design awards, the Red Dot Award recognizes the best designs in product design, communication design and design concepts. It is based in Germany but receives large amount of submissions from around the world. It is best if you are submitting as an agency because most of the award-winning works are created by or for companies.
If you do any kind of creative work on the web, the Webby Award is a much saught-after recognition. Some of the world’s most famous companies have submitted to and won the Webby, including The Museum of Modern Art, National Geographics, Architectural Digest, The New Yorker, YouTube, The Economist, just to name a few. You definitely have a higher chance of winning if you are submitting as a company, but we have seen some small independent creative agencies on the winning lists as well.
Probably one of the largest design awards in the world, A’Design Award recognizes the world’s best designs in over 100 categories. Chances are if you do any kind of design, you will find your category here. Based in Italy, the award hosts an annual black tie gala every year in the summer welcoming award winners to the beautiful Lake Como area in Italy. Some of the most popular (and competitive) categories are industrial design, interior design, furniture design, but you will find yourself competing against the best talents in design in almost any categories.
Started in 1972, Creativity International Award honors the best design in media & interactive design as well as print & packaging design. It is a female-owned and operated company based in Louisville, Kentucky but attracts submissions from all around the world. It is open to both student and professionals. You will see more work from independent creatives and small agencies than the bigger awards like the Red Dot and the Webby.
The Communicator Awards is a leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications. Founded over 20 years ago, The Communicator Awards receives entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. It is produced and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation only professional organization with members from top tiers of the creative industry.
Awwwards is one of the most recognized distinctions in the web design industry. If your website scores an award ribbon from them, it is an indicator that you produced some of the best quality web design in the world. It is a web-only award, which allows simultaneous voting from judges and the general public. You will likely find many competing websites there extremely creatively designed and perfectly coded. It is a true privilege to win an award from Awwwards – after all, who can compete with 3 www’s, right?
A British award with large international participation, the D&AD Awards celebrates the best commercial creative work, including categories in digital design, graphic design, film design, product design, spatial design, experiential design etc. Its iconic pencil trophies represent different levels of award, and are highly coveted by top creative professionals.
Hosted by the Communication Arts magazine, a well-respected industry trade publication featuring the best visual communication designs from around the world. The award honors designs in multiple disciplines with different deadlines all year round – so if you miss one, you can still catch the other if your work crosses multiple disciplines. Some of the disciplines include illustration, photography, design, advertising and interactive.
Also known as the Favourite Website Awards, the FWA was founded in the early 2000s and since then has been grown into the largest online award program. The award attracts high quality web designs from all over world and it announces winners on a rotating schedule. Each submission is given a set amount of time to be “live judged” by 300+ judges from around the world. When the time ends, the submission with the highest scores will be selected as the winner of the day. Judges also selects the best work for the month and the year while the general public can vote for their favorite design of the year separately.
The International Visual Identity Awards distinguishes itself from other creative awards in that it judges submissions based on client industries as opposed to creative categories. For example, if the work is created for the healthcare industry, it will be judged against other submissions from the same industry. A winner, 2nd and 3rd place entries will be selected for each category. One overall winner will be honored as “Visual Identity of the Year”.
These are just a very small sampling of all the design awards you can submit to. Want to get the full list of every possible design awards you can submit to? Check out our downloadable toolkit where we break down awards based on design disciplines and provide you with expert recommendations on winning strategies.