Design Awards

Final Deadline: March 20, 2019

The contest is open to all forms of commissioned published, unpublished and personal work from professionals and enthusiasts created between March 2018 and March 2019 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year’s competition).

Entries must be submitted in digital, hi-res format only.

Note: if you wish to show your entry as both the individual image(s) and in context, create one multi-page PDF and include both.

If you entered our Awards in the past, or new to the Applied Arts Awards, be sure to download the Applied Arts Entry Kit (as it provides more insight and helpful entry tips), or review the overview below.

Category kit

2019 Design Awards Jury


All work is entered digitally and judged digitally. There are no hard copies. Therefore, please read our Helpful Tips, in the 2019 Entry Kit to ensure you prepare your work to be viewed in the best possible way.

A separate jury of senior creatives is chosen for each competition and does not include anyone from Applied Arts staff. Judges must be invited.

The judges are divided into groups, each viewing a different and random group of entries. Each judge reviews and scores the entries separately. Judges do not confer or discuss the work and there is only one round of judging.

Entries are given one total score, based on three criteria only:

  1. Creative merit
  2. Technical excellence
  3. Suitability for end use in the category into which it is entered

NOTE: Young Blood entries are judged with the level of experience and available resources taken into consideration.

  • Each entry is judged independently on its own merit. Judges are asked not to rank or compare entries. And, judges do not discuss the work.
  • We have no pre-determined quota of winners If a category has no winners, it is eliminated. Similarly, a category may have multiple winners. All entries above the cut-off score are declared winners and are published.
  • We do not rank winners. Every entry above the cut-off score is given equal exposure in the Awards Annual.


The Entry Form consists of seven steps. You will have the option save your progress during each step of the process.

Visit and create an account.

Bookmark for easy access to your account later.

This is your Applied Arts Awards account for all Awards competitions. Once logged in you will be able to edit your personal information, and add, edit and pay for entries. You will also be able to populate or modify your credits to save time when entering.

Entry Discipline: Select from one of the Applied Arts Awards Competitions

NOTE: If you work on community-based projects, small business or projects with a shoe-string budget in Canada, you may be eligible to enter the under the Community categories. See the Category Kit for details.

Category: Select a category for your project

See the Category Kit for each Awards program for a complete list of categories.

Add an Entry Title:

Check titles closely as these will be published if your work is selected.

Entry format:

All entries are only to be submitted digitally. High-resolution, final files are to be submitted for judging. These files will also be used for publication. See ENTRY MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS on page 3 of the 2019 Entry Kit.

Maximum number of files:

Single – Upload 1 file

Series – Up to 3 files*

Complete single or Series – Up to 9 files*

Campaign – Up to 9 pieces or files*


*Multiple file formats accepted together in one entry.

Note: a URL is considered a ‘file’.

Everything entered in this section is for publication only and is not visible to the judges. Please review it carefully. There will only be a short window of time to edit this information after the Winners have been notified.

The ‘Winner’ field is the primary company or individual you want to be credited on the piece. In most cases it is a company name, but could be an individual or individuals in the case of a photographer, illustrator, young blood or student work.

Optional fields: Phone, email and web address. If these are entered, they will be published beside your winning work.

Creative Descriptions are for publication use only and do not get incorporated for judging. The intention of the creative description is to provide an overall summary of the project. The description is limited to a maximum of 500 characters.

It is recommended that credits be completed at the time of submission. If your entry is selected to be published in the Annual there will be a very limited time period to edit or add to your credits for publishing.

You only have to enter credits once. Credits automatically get saved to your account to be used for any competition. You can either select a saved credit for your entry or you can add a new credit.


  • Due to space limitations, only six credit roles will appear in print, but all credits will be published on our online Winner’s Gallery.
  • Credits can be designated with an individual’s name or an organization. A credit role is a job function (i.e. Creative Director). You may have multiple names with the same credit role. All names together count as one credit role.
  • The information completed on the Winners information will appear first and are part of your six credit roles. To ensure the photographer/illustrator, young blood.

You will receive a certificate for your winning entry. Additional certificates can be ordered once winners have been notified.

A submitted entry is not final and entered in the competition until you pay for it. You may edit an entry until you pay for it. Once payment is processed, it is final.


Can students enter? Students may only enter the Student Awards. They may not enter any of the professional awards.

I’m a high school student. Can I enter? Yes. There are a limited number of categories available for high school students in the Student Awards. The rest of the categories are open only to post-secondary students attending a college, university or other type of art school.

Can I enter something I entered last year? Not in the same competition, but if it meets the eligibility period for a different competition, then yes.

Can I enter something in multiple Awards competitions? Yes.

Can I enter a piece in multiple categories? Yes. In your account on the My Entries home page, click “Copy” on any entry you’ve created. Or, after you’ve finished an entry, click “Submit in another category” and a duplicate entry will be created with all the same information. Be sure to change the discipline and entry category to the new one you want to apply to.

Which category does my entry belong in? Often the best way to understand a category is to see previous work that won in that category. Check our Winner’s Gallery for examples. If you still have questions regarding our categories or require assistance in selecting the appropriate category, contact

Is my entry a single or a series? A single means one piece, and series means you are submitting more than one piece of the same campaign or project to a maximum of three (Design, Advertising and Student competitions) or of five (Photography and Illustration competitions). If an entry contains more than the specified images, we will either contact you to split the submission into multiple number of entries, or choose which ones will be judged, so it’s best to stick to the indicated numbers for single and series.

What is the Young Blood category? Young Blood is a series of categories open only to entrants who have been out of school up to a certain number of years (three for Photography and Illustration, and five for Design and Advertising). As with all categories, they are judged on creative excellence, technical merit and suitability for end use, but the jury takes into account the level of professional experience. You will be required to specify the name of the Young Blood entrant to qualify.

What is the Community category? Community was one of our newest Awards programs, launched in 2017 to help artists working on smaller local clients earn the recognition they deserve without competing directly with the big agencies/studios with large budgets. This year the Community Awards have bee rolled into each of the four programs (Photography, Illustration, Design and Advertising). Eligibility, you must work in a small market or the client must be a small business.

At what specs do I need to submit my entry? Refer to ENTRY MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS on for specifications. All programs require hi-res files on entry.

Can I submit a hard copy or disk? No. We only accept digitally-uploaded entries for all competitions.

The program crashed. Did I lose everything? No. In My Entries, you will have the opportunity to review your entries saved so far and submit additional entries. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

The file I uploaded won’t show me a preview. You may not see the image preview if you haven’t followed the specs outlined in ENTRY MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS. Check your file and re-upload. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact:

I uploaded the wrong file can I change it? Yes. You can resubmit images at any time until payment is made. Click the X beside the appropriate file and re-upload your image.

Why do I have to re-upload files if I have copied an entry? Each entry is assigned a unique entry number. Therefore, a new upload must be separately added to be attached to every entry submitted.

Do I need to get the rights of the subjects or material used from external sources in my entry? It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure copyright is not infringed. If your work is chosen you will need to grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images for both our online and print publications, so you would most likely need to have these rights in place to protect yourself. Although you do not need to send us a copy of release forms, we do suggest that you get them. Entrants that come back to us requesting we don’t run their winning work because they don’t have the rights will not be refunded for their entry. Note that student work is often exempt from copyright rules.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen? You retain all rights to your images. Upon entry, you will need to grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images for both our online and print publications.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I’ve won for. What do I do? We do not issue refunds in these cases, but please contact the awards coordinator if you need the entry removed from the winner’s pool.

Can I submit more entries after paying? In My Entries, you will have the opportunity to submit additional entries even if others already entered have been paid for. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

I want to change something after I’ve paid. What do I do? Once an entry is paid, you cannot change the category, entry format or credits. A paid entry is final, so make sure you submit your entry and come back to it if it’s not final before proceeding to the payment fields. If chosen as a winner, you will be given a small window of time to add or edit information.

Can I get a refund? Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules. 

I’m getting error messages when I try to pay. What do I do? If you entered your payment information incorrectly on your first attempt, any subsequent attempts will be declined, even if you change your payment type. Close your browser and log back in to My Entries. You should now be able to proceed with payment. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact

What do winners receive?

  • Your work published in print in the corresponding Awards Annual.
  • A complimentary copy of the Annual your work appears in.
  • Your work published online in our Winner’s Gallery.
  • A personalized Awards certificate for every winning entry, signed by Georges Haroutiun, the founder and art director of Applied Arts.
  • Your work displayed at related Applied Arts events.
  • There are also optional opportunities for winners. See the WHAT WINNERS RECEIVE section at the beginning of the Call for Entry Kit.

If I win, what image will you use for reproduction? We will use the image(s) you submitted on entry. In the case of series, complete, campaign or motion, we select a sampling at our discretion from the images submitted.


Questions? If you’ve checked all of the above sections and cannot find the answer to your question, or if you are having difficulty entering, contact


Applied Arts reserves the right to amend these rules throughout the competition, and to publish or exhibit entries in print or electronic formats, for use in the magazine or related promotions. Applied Arts assumes all entries are original and the property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules. All descriptions and credits are subject to be edited for length, clarity and grammar in accordance with the Applied Arts editorial style guide.