{opportunity} Design Competitions—Not Spec Work.

This shit was designed by Michael Bagnardi.
Designed by Michael Bagnardi.

I’m always pushing students into getting their work out there—it’s all about doing shit that matters.

I love to promote great opportunities—NOT spec work.  The difference being that spec or speculative work is a method used by for-profit businesses use to get free or cheap work, essentially robbing a paid project from a creative professional. There is a long history of corporations taking advantage of students and competitors by luring them with the hopes of a being published and winning a grand prize or cash reward. Companies such as the Gap, J.C. Penny, even the United States Government have been guilty of utilizing crowdsourcing techniques. The AIGA—professional association for design has posted their position on spec work and crowdsourcing here along with an article about the varying viewpoints.

Video made by Topic Simple. Just say no to spec work…. join the movement.

How to respond if you are invited to do spec work.

The AIGA has crafted a professional response in the form of a letter that you may customize to your situation. {link}

IF you are looking for a place to enter your designs and practice your craft there are plenty of nonprofit organizations and good causes to keep you busy.

9-ispc-identity-in-crisis-poster-1International Student Poster Competition, Skopje 2016

Deadline: 30 October, 2016 (CET 00:00h)
Exhibition opening: 20 November, 2016
Museum of City of Skopje

This year the Council of International Student Poster Competition decided to put accent on the issue of the crisis of the “Identity”. We invite students to do their creative work, make buzz and create messages that will inspire many, to engage maybe few but to contribute to raising the awareness.

posters logoPosters for Tomorrow—Free to enter!

Posters for tomorrow is  one of the best poster competitions to submit to. It is heavily sponsored by legitimate world organizations such as Unesco, Amnesty International, icongrada and many many more. The topics are always human rights based and have included Gender Equality, Right to Education, and Freedom of Expression.


The British Journal of Aesthetics (BJA) holds a competition each year open to students on full-time undergraduate or graduate courses at art and design schools or in fine art/design departments in any country to design a cover for the journal, which is published by Oxford University Press (OUP), both in print and online. The overall cover design includes an image, generally a black & white photograph of a sculpture or a detail from a print. It is normally but not necessarily a monochrome image. But winning entries in the competition have varied considerably from this norm.

The specific brief for this year’s competition is to design a cover on the theme ‘Art and War‘.

PrintThe 5th International Reggae Poster Contest, 2016

Theme: Toward a Reggae Hall of Fame: Celebrating Great Jamaican Music.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: The 5th edition of the International Reggae Poster Contest 2016 will open for entries on November 1st (12am EST time), and will run until January, 31st, 2017(12am EST time). The 100 best posters will be selected by a jury panel comprising of design professionals and will be exhibited in our Art of Reggae exhibitions around the world. The Art of Reggae Exhibitions are curated and presented as a platform to share the vision for a Reggae Hall of Fame Museum for Kingston, Jamaica.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the International Reggae Poster Contest is to build awareness for positive Reggae music and to celebrate the global achievements of Reggae and its impact on the world. The term Reggae used by the contest encompasses all the popular Jamaican musical genres; Ska, Rocksteady, Roots Reggae, Dub, Dancehall and the unique Jamaican Sound system. We are looking for your talent and creative visual expressions and we are very excited to see what designers can come up with in their original poster designs that will capture the energy and the vibe of Reggae Music. The goal is simple: Create a poster about Reggae Music – the rest is up to your imagination. Feel free to explore themes of Reggae covering any one of the genres; Ska, Rocksteady, Roots Reggae, Dub, Dancehall and the unique Jamaican Sound system. Also explores do capture the many musical pioneers, singers, producers, institutions that help establish the music globally. Good luck!

Ahhhh... who wouldn't love to earn the golden pencil.
Ahhhh… who wouldn’t love to earn the golden pencil.

The ONE Show Competition – Free to enter.

The Young Ones Festival is celebrated annually within Creative Week in New York City to inspire and nurture the next generation of advertising professionals. The different events during the festival present an invaluable opportunity for current students and graduating seniors to network with top agency professionals, receive feedback on their portfolios, experience the industry’s current best work, and much more. At the center of the festival, the Young Ones Awards Ceremony challenges students to create original work, build their portfolios, and walk away with a prized One Show Pencil.

  • May 8–12, 2017

2017 submissions are not yet currently being accepted. Check back in January.

Contact education@oneclub.org with any questions.

Email education@oneclub.org if you have any questions.

One of the most acclaimed advertising, interactive and design student competitions is the annual One Club Young Ones Competition, a tradition dating back to 2005.

Cash prizes are awarded to the Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencil winning teams, respectively. The Pencil winners are awarded at the annual One Show Young Ones Education Festival awards ceremony and finalists are published in the One Show Annual as well as online in the Awards Archive.

NOW_logo_transN.O.W. Love Your Body Poster Competition – Free to enter.

Past Love Your Body Poster Contest Winners

The National Organization for Women Foundation hosts an annual poster contest to celebrate the Love Your Body Campaign. The winning posters are featured on the website and used to promote Love Your Body events through out the nation.

More opportunities can be found on the Pratt Comd blog. {here}

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