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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, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
  • Students take ongoing portfolio courses that allow them to build and refine their design portfolio
  • Courses teach skills such as advertising, branding, visual messaging, and concept design
  • Curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement
  • Online Courses
Web Design & Development
ECPI University , North Charleston
  • Named a Best for Vets school by the Military Times in 2014.
  • Has specialized in student-centered technology, business, criminal justice, health science, and culinary education for over 45 years.
  • Makes it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years or an associate’s in 1.5 years by providing a year-round schedule.
  • Offers externships and clinical experience that help students prepare for life after they graduate.
  • Has 10 campuses across the mid-Atlantic, plus online degree programs.
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Design
ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
Good for Working Adults
  • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
  • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
  • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
  • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
  • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
  • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
  • Military friendly school.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
A.S. - Digital Design
Good for Working Adults

Southern Technical College provides education and training in a variety of medical and technical areas that enable graduates to obtain entry-level employment. As a student at Southern Technical College, you will have the opportunity learn in several different ways.

  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Graphic Design - Associate in Specialized Technology
  • Committed to excellence in post-secondary education since 1982, with a rich history of helping students find successful careers.
  • Located in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, the main campus spans 63,500 square feet.
  • Offers programs in business, design, criminal justice, and more.
  • Gives several benefits to alumni including national discounts and career services.
  • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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