Are graphic design competitions really worth the hype? Your reputation as a designer can make or break your career. We are living in a fast-paced environment, so it is vital for you to build a reputation for yourself as you start the journey in professional graphic design. You need to have a big break in a fast-paced and competitive design industry. The best way to do this is to enter graphic design competitions and win an award.
One thing you can be sure of is the abundance of design competitions that you may be eligible to enter. You can either go for those with no entry fees or if you can manage to pay an entry fee targeting those focusing on higher categories. The sheer number of contests makes it hard for you to decide if indeed the competitions are worth the time and effort especially if you are a student.
Here are some reasons why you should be taking part and the skills needed for such contests.
Why You Should Actively Participate in Design Contests
The ‘Why’ question must have kept you wondering on the logic behind such competitions. Here are some few reasons why designers should get involved.
- Increase your ranking in the marketplace
You can boost your skills by winning a given category. Such a win raises your credibility and visibility levels on different platforms. Therefore, you have an opportunity of getting better jobs and well-paying projects.
- Winning the prize money
Every contest must have some form of reward for work well done. Since the contest is more or less a time job, the organizers are willing to pay more compared to a regular design job.
- Build a good portfolio
If you have been participating in previous contests, using previous work as samples helps in building a good portfolio. A portfolio is an asset that you can use very well if you are a freelance graphic designer.
- Boost creativity
Every time you think of getting into the next competition, you need to prepare a better design than the previous one. This cycle helps you in developing more skills that are creative by trying to overcome the presented challenges
- The possibility of being hired on future projects
Once you become the best in a particular category, the chances are that a potential employer will hire you. Most employers will use graphic design contests to spot the best out of the best. Submitting your proposals may secure a job for you.
How to Participate in Graphic Design Contests
The more effort you put into your design idea, the better the outcome tends to be. Here are some things to think about as you prepare.
- Settle on a business name
If you intend to start your professional career after the contents, it is always a good idea to decide to have a business name ready. The name can be used to distinguish your designs from others as well as show the audience how serious you are in branding.
- Create a design inspiration board to highlight your style
Using an idea or inspiration board helps you learn more about the message you want your design to communicate with the audience. The inspiration board comes in handy when briefing the judges on what you are about to present
- Prepare a brief before launching
A design brief is an information needed to guide you on what you will say during the presentation. Go through the entire process before the day and review different weaknesses that need fine-tuning.
- Identify designers you will work with
Working alone sometimes can be draining, if there is a person who helped through the early stages of design, let them join you on the day of the contest to give you a morale boost.
Skills Needed to Take Part in Graphic Design Competitions
Graphic designers have the skills to design and present images and texts across different platforms in print and digital design including animations. Skills are necessary for almost every job, and the levels of competence vary with the individual and the work environment. Here are some of the skills you need to participate in graphic design contests.
The designer should be able to use numbers and think in quantitative terms. It is an important skill when doing measurements.
- Oral communication
You should be able to use speech by exchanging ideas and thoughts. The essential aspects of oral communication are greeting people, taking messages, seek information and resolve conflicts.
- Be a team player
You may have completed the design on your own, but for you to have a successful contest, work with others and study how they relate with you while carrying their tasks.
- Be hungry to acquire new skills
Have an open mind by being observant of what others around you are doing; for a graphic designer, the best place to learn new skills is by observation.
- Acquire digital skills
Using digital tools for presentation means, you can process different sources of information using technical tools and applications. Knowing how to access, input, analyze, measure and communicate using technology then you are ready for the competition.
If you are already in the industry as a professional, you can use the existing competitions to broaden your experience. For the students, this is their opportunity to make it big in the already crowded and competitive market.