Enter the most prestigious competition for creativity in graphic design, the Communication Arts Design Competition. Any design project printed, published or aired for the first time from May 2013 through May 2014 is eligible. Selected by a jury of leading design professionals, the winning entries will be distributed worldwide in the Communication Arts Design Annual, in print and on the iPad, and on commarts.com, assuring important exposure to the creators of this outstanding work.
CAs Award of Excellence is one of the most-coveted awards in the industry. If chosen, winning places you in the highest ranks of your profession. Ask any creative director which competitions rank as the most influential and they'll place Communication Arts at the top of the list.
How to Enter
All competition entries are processed through our online entry system. Printed Call-for-Entry forms are no longer used.
Before you begin the process of entering a competition, please have the following information and materials ready. This will make the process go quickly:
-Your contact information for registration and notification
-Title of each project and brief description (100 characters or less)
-Any digital files you might want to submit saved as RGB (not CMYK) JPG format (maximum 1024 pixels wide X 768 pixels high @72dpi)
Entries can be submitted in the following formats:
Print Entries: Submit tearsheets or proofs, unmounted and trimmed as they appeared. Do not tape series together. Send annual reports, brochures, folders, books, catalogs, etc., in bound form. For posters over 18" x 24" and packaging, displays or signage over one cubic foot, submit JPG files with a resolution of 1024 wide x 768 high @72 dpi. Trademarks submitted as print must be centered on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet. Place the company name and nature of the business next to the mark.
Audio/Visual Entries: Submit motion graphics on DVD NTSC (viewable on a standard DVD player) or CD-ROM. Include 4 seconds of black, no slates or bars, at the start of the entry. Single entries must be on individual disks. Series should be edited together on one disk with 2 seconds of black between each entry. Computer-based formats such as QuickTime or Flash should have a maximum screen size of 1024 wide x 768 high. Tape an entry form to the outside of each disk case.
Preparation of Packages
Address packages to Communication Arts Design Competition. Non-United States contestants should mark each package "Materials for Contest Entry. No Commercial Value." No provision will be made by Communication Arts for U.S. Customs or airport pickup. International entries should be sent by post or international courier. All entries must be received by the deadline date.
Forms and Entry Fees
After choosing a form of payment you will have access to PDF reports summarizing what you entered. If you chose to pay by check, you will have an invoice available for printing. If you chose to deliver entries via mail/courier, you will also have entry forms in PDF format that you will need to print, trim and attach to your entries. Tape an entry form to the back of each entry. If the entry is a print-based campaign, you will tape an entry form to each part of the campaign. Tape an entry form to the outside of each disk case. Multiple digital files may be placed on a single disk. Please tape all applicable entry forms one on top of the other so we can flip through them to verify the contents of the disk.
Make checks payable to Communication Arts. Non-United States contestants must send an International Money Order or a check in U.S. funds drafted on a U.S. bank. Please include the check with your entries if you are delivering them via mail/courier. If your payment is being sent under a separate cover, please send your entries now, with a note saying that the check is coming under separate cover. If you submit all of your entries online please write the Communication Arts invoice number on the check. The invoice number can be found in the Entry Forms PDF file. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Charges for your entry fees will appear on your statement as ("Commarts"). Credit card charges can only be done online. We do accept wire transfers, however there is a fee of $25 (U.S.) to cover fees charged by the banks to process the transfer. Please contact our office at (650) 326-6040 (9-5 PST) for instructions.
All entry submissions are final and entry fees are nonrefundable.
Mail entries to:
Communication Arts Design Competition
110 Constitution Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025-1107 U.S.A.
(Via United States Mail, FedEx, UPS, etc. Entrants submitting from outside the U.S.
please use an international courier)
Notification of Acceptance
Only accepted entries will be notified three months after the deadline date. Complete
credits and any necessary material for the best possible reproduction in the Annuals
will be requested at that time.
If you have any other questions or want to request a call for entries, you can reach us by:
Phone: (650) 326-6040
Fax: (650) 326-1648
Design Competition FAQs
Can I get an extension on the deadline?
We will accept entries up to two weeks after the May 2, 2014 deadline date, but a late entry fee of $10 per submission is required. No entries will be accepted after May 16, 2014.
Do you offer a cash prize?
We do not offer a cash prize. Each winning entrant will receive a personalized Award of Excellence trophy, milled from solid aluminum and award certificates issued for firms, individuals and clients. The winners are also featured in one of our annuals distributed worldwide, in both print and iPad editions, and on commarts.com, assuring important exposure to the creators of this outstanding work.
Can I submit my work via e-mail and just include a credit card number with it?
No, we do not accept entries via e-mail. All entries must be registered using our online competition system.
Will you confirm receipt of my package(s)?
The best way for you to track your package(s) is to contact your carrier. We are unable to acknowledge receipt of your package(s) until your submission(s) has/have been processed. At that time you will receive an e-mail confirming that your package(s) has/have been received, along with your assigned entry number(s). This process can take up to two weeks.
Will my entries be returned?
Because of the number of entries we receive, it is not possible for us to return any of them.
If we submit digital files, do we also need to mail a copy of our entries?
No, we only need one version of the work.
What is the best way to submit my entries, digital or print?
The method of entry you select will not impact the judges decision, however, we strongly recommend submitting printed examples of all multi-page projects. Any entries over one cubic foot or posters larger than 18" x 24" need to be submitted as digital files.
Can I enter one project into multiple categories?
Yes, just make sure to submit a duplicate entry for each of the categories you are entering and attach a separate entry form on each printed submission.
Can I enter my work as a series?
Yes, but all work in a series must be part of the same campaign. When works are submitted as a series they are judged together as a group. The overall strength of the series depends on each individual piece and its function within the campaign.
If my entry is accepted, what will you use for reproduction?
If your work is accepted we will request necessary reproduction materials at that time.
How do you want trademarks/logos presented?
If mailing your entry, please send an unmounted output with the trademark/logo (maximum of 4" square) centered on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet. Text with the client name and nature of the business should appear under the mark for the judges information. If uploading your entry, please include the client name and the nature of the business in the appropriate field.
Where do we put creative credits?
All we need is the contact information of the person submitting the work along with the name of the design firm or agency. Creative credits will be requested only if your work is selected for inclusion in the Annual.
I don't know which category to put my piece in?
Choose the category that you feel best fits your submission. If we feel another category is more appropriate, we will move it; your work will not be penalized or disqualified.
We're waiting on the check from our accounting department. Can we have an extension?
Please send your entries now, with a note saying that the check is coming under separate cover. If you submit all of your entries online please write the Communication Arts invoice number on the check. The invoice number can be found in the Entry Forms PDF file.
Do you accept work on disk?
Yes, entries can be submitted on disk. Please review the information under How to Enter for size and formatting requirements.
Can I submit multiple digital files on one CD?
Yes. Please name the files as instructed on the entry forms generated for you and attach all the entry forms (one for each entry) on the CD case. Please enclose each series in its own folder on the CD.
Can I put more than one radio or TV spot on each disk?
No, each single audio/video entry must be submitted on its own disk. All video-based entries must have 4 seconds of black, no slates or bars, at the start of the entry. For all audio/video series submissions, please include 2 seconds of silence/black between each spot.
How do I enter a website?
If you would like your project judged for its visual design, submit it as a series of captured screenshots and submit it in the 20F category of the Design Competition. If the website is part of an integrated branding program (7C), include captured screen shots and the URL along with all of the other components of the campaign. If it is only the website you want judged, enter it in our Interactive Competition.
Is there a category for student work?
Student work is accepted as long as it was created for an actual client, and not a school project. The Illustration, Photography and Typography Competitions all have Unpublished categories for student work, but the Design and Advertising Competitions do not.
Is there a category for Illustration, Photography, Typography and Interactive Media in the Design or Advertising Competitions?
No. Work in these categories should be submitted to the Illustration Competition, Photography Competition, Typography Competition and Interactive Competition, which are separate juried competitions.
How does the judging take place?
The jurors work in multiple screening teams. Judges are not permitted to vote on work they were directly involved in. Each category is divided between the screening teams so each group screens a portion of the entries. Print entries are spread out on tables by category. Most categories require several room setups. Each juror views the entries independently. Any juror can put an entry into the final voting by picking it up from the table. Digital and audio/video entries are selected by checking an "in" or "out" column on prepared scoring sheets. For finals, all jurors work as a single team. In one hall, print entries are again spread out on tables by category. Two paper cups, one white and one red, with slots cut in the bottom, are placed upside down to the right of each entry. White cups are for "in" votes, red cups for "out." Each juror votes with different colored ceramic tiles by putting his or her tile in the appropriate cup. After all the jurors finish voting on print, they move to another hall for digital files and audio/video entries. Again, voting is done by each juror checking the "in" or "out" column on scoring sheets. Meanwhile, in the print hall, a check of the tile colors tells the Communication Arts staff if a specific juror has missed a piece and he or she is called back to vote. After the judges make their selections, their votes are tallied. A simple majority is usually required for a finalist to be selected a winner.
When will we know if our entry was chosen?
If your entry is chosen we will notify you three months after the final deadline date. Because of the number of entries we receive, we can only notify people whose work is accepted.