26 Graphic Design Contests for 2015-2016

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Design contests are a great way to show off your work and put your name out into the design community. You can even compete in design contests for money and other goodies. (And hey, who doesn’t want to win prizes?)

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But finding the right contest can be a challenge. Some competitions are restricted to students, designers from a certain location, or only a handful of super-specific design disciplines. It can be maddening to sift through contest briefs only to find that you’re not eligible—or, even worse, that the deadline has expired.

If that sounds familiar, don’t panic. We’re here to help. With 26 upcoming contest briefs on our list, we’re sure you’ll find one that works for you.

Worth1000.com

worth1000Worth1000 is a website that lets its users compete in daily Photoshop manipulation contests. Wait for a topic that fits your interests, and then show off your design skills.

  • Deadline: Daily
  • Fee: None
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    Threadless Design Challenge

    threadlessThreadless is a clothing company looking for your creative designs to put on hoodies, T-shirts, and tanks.

  • Deadline: Weekly
  • Fee: None
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    Writers of the Future Illustrator Contest

    writers-of-the-futureThis contest is open to amateur Sci-Fi and fantasy artists who are looking to gain exposure for their illustrations.

  • Deadline: Quarterly (see site for dates)
  • Fee: None listed
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    Photoshop Top 25 Under 25

    photoshop-blogTo celebrate its 25th anniversary, Adobe Photoshop is hosting the Top 25 Under 25 Contest. Graphic designers age 25 and under can post their work to Behance.net under the tag “Ps25Under25” to enter. Photoshop reps say the contest will be open for most of the year.

  • Deadline: TBA
  • Fee: None
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    AIGA Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award

    sylvia-harrisFollow designer Sylvia Harris’s legacy of social impact design by submitting a design (in any discipline) associated with measurable goals to improve your community.

  • Deadline: August 3
  • Fee: None
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    Taipei International Design Award

    taipei-internationalThe city of Taipei is looking for designs with commercial potential to promote cultural development in the city.

  • Deadline: August 5
  • Fee: None
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    Creative Allies Jam Cruise T-Shirt Design Contest

    jam-cruiseDesign a T-shirt to be sold as merchandise on Jam Cruise 14, a music-themed cruise that includes stops in Florida, Belize, and Mexico.

  • Deadline: August 7
  • Fee: None
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    HOW International Design Awards

    how-internationalGraphic, print, and web designers from around the world can submit work in more than fifteen categories including posters, packaging, illustration, and student work.

  • Deadline: August 14 (early) or September 18 (late)
  • Fee: Varies
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    Grashan 2015 The 8th International Type Design Competition

    grashanSubmit a non-Latin typeface to one of the competition’s ten categories to compete for the grand prize.

  • Deadline: August 20
  • Fee: 20 Euro
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    Aesthetica Art Prize 2015

    aestheticaThis international art competition invites designers to submit in categories that include photography, 3D art, painting and drawing, and video.

  • Deadline: August 31
  • Fee: £20 + VAT
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    Communication Arts Typography Competition

    communication-arts-typographyEntrants can submit typography designs ranging from calligraphy to packaging to digital media.

  • Deadline: September 2
  • Fees: $40-$80 (students pay half price)
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    International Visual Identity Awards 2015

    international-visual-identityCreate a visual identity for a company in one of twenty industries.

  • Deadline: September 30
  • Fee: £54 (students pay £36)
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    Terras Gauda Poster Design Competition 2015

    terras-gaudaThis year’s entrants will be designing posters to honor Francesco Mantecon, a former Terras Gauda artist.

  • Deadline: September 30
  • Fee: None
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    Hiii Illustration 2015 International Competition

    hiii-illustrationSubmissions are divided into two categories: commercial and noncommercial. Designers may submit print or web designs.

  • Deadline: September 30
  • Fee: First round judging free, second round judging varies
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    Company Folders Folder Design Contest

    company-foldersSubmit a presentation folder design to the gallery for automatic entry into the contest. You could win a discount and have your work specially promoted on Company Folders’ site.

  • Deadline: October 1
  • Fee: None
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    Communication Arts Interactive Competition

    communication-arts-interactiveEntrants can submit any interactive online project, be it a website, mobile app, or other digital medium.

  • Deadline: October 2
  • Fee: $100-$125 (students pay $30-$45)
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    HOW Poster Design Awards

    how-poster-designDesign a unique poster showcasing a movie or band, letterpress, or typography.

  • Deadline: October 2
  • Fee: Varies
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    Typography Day 2016 Poster Design Competition

    typography-dayThis international poster design competition of experimental typography is hosted by Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India.

  • Deadline: October 31
  • Fee: None
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    Graphis New Talent Annual 2016

    graphis-new-talentOnly students are eligible for this contest aimed at helping future graphic designers get a foot in the door. You’ll need to create a Graphis account to view the requirements.

  • Deadline: November 3
  • Fee: Varies
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    Peterson’s 4th Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card $10,000 Scholarship Contest

    petersons-greeting-cardHigh school and college students submit greeting card designs for a chance to win $10,000 from Peterson’s, a company that helps students find information about colleges.

  • Deadline: December 31
  • Fee: None
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    Embracing Our Differences 2016 Exhibition Competition

    embracing-our-differencesThis international contest is seeking visual art submissions from around the world to celebrate diversity and individuality.

  • Deadline: January 5, 2016
  • Fee: None
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    Communications Arts Illustration Competition

    communication-arts-illustrationThis international contest has nine categories of illustration and is calling for designs created within the past year.

  • Deadline: January 8, 2016
  • Fee: Varies
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    Spectrum 22 Fantastic Art

    spectrum-23Submit designs to this international contest in categories that include book covers, advertising, editorial, and more.

  • Deadline: January 25, 2016
  • Fee: $20-$40
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    Silent Book Contest 2016

    silent-bookSilent books tell a story using only illustrations—no words allowed. Design your own silent book and submit it to this international contest.

  • Deadline: January 31, 2016 (registration opens July 2015)
  • Fee: 50 Euro per submission
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    Gallery Collection 9th Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest

    gallery-collectionHigh school and college students design a greeting card for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship.

  • Deadline: February 25, 2016
  • Fee: None
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    Monthly The Book Designer E-Book Cover Design Awards

    thebookdesignerYou’ve published an e-book, and now you’re designing your own book cover. That’s a lot of hard work, so don’t let it go unnoticed. Submit your cover design to The Book Designer for a chance at a prize.

  • Deadline: Monthly
  • Fee: None
  • Do you run a design contest? Need more entries? Let designers know about your upcoming competitions in the comments below!