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Design and Media Contests. Should You Enter?

number-11Contests: The Good
There are benefits in entering design, art, and media contests. The mere act of entering puts you on a deadline to meet certain requirements and rules.

This is a good way of simulating the pressures you will encounter in meeting a client's request for a photograph, graphic design, or illustration.

True, you encounter these sorts of deadlines while attending a graphic design school, but a competition adds just a bit more pressure because you are vying for prizes and recognition.
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guy-thinkingContests: Should You Enter?
That really depends on the make up of your personality. If you enjoy a good contest and find it exhilarating, you should enter for experience sake.

But even if you aren't competitive by nature, entering a competition may give you insight on how good your work really is when compared to others. Winning a contest can do wonders for your self esteem as a creative person.

Contests: Entry Fees and Websites
As you can see by looking here and on the Internet, there is an abundance of contests and competitions to enter. This is a mixed bag of good news and bad news.

There are some contests that merely exist to generate income for its sponsors. These can usually be spotted by unreasonably high entry fees but offer little in prizes or awards.

hand-and-moneyFor the more prestigious contests, there is nothing wrong with a higher entry fee rate because larger organizations usually have bigger overheads to run these contests. They have to pay staff, editors, and others to run the competitions or pay for printing costs.

Visit the sites that are running the competitions to get a feel for how professional the contest is run. If it looks like a homemade website, most likely, the "sponsor" is just after your entry fee money. You may even win, but the satisfaction may not be very great because the contest doesn't carry much status.

hand-and-documentLook at the Contest Rules
Another tip is to view the submission guidelines of the contest. The better ones usually have a detailed document regarding the legal aspects of entering, who may enter, what format the entries should be in, and a clear explanation of who owns the submitted entries.

If there is a clause that says the contest sponsors own all the rights to your artwork, you may want to think twice before entering the contest.

hollywood2Fame, Fortune, and Bragging Rights
All three of these elements do not necessarily accompany a win. In some cases, you will receive non-cash prizes.

In other instances you will have your entry published in a magazine or website. In very rare instances, you may receive prize money.

Whatever your reasons for entering a contest are, a win is a win and that can give you confidence in your specific area of study at your graphic design college or workplace.


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Graphic Design (BS)
  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
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Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
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Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
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Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts with concentration in 3-D
Give your career a boost with an education from Southern New Hampshire University. We offer certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in over 100 programs in a wide variety of subjects.
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Web Application Design and Development
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