To All Awards

If this is your first time entering this year, review below or download the Applied Arts Awards Entry Kit. Some rules have changed.


The deadline for Design is March 9, 2018.

We can grant short extensions, but we cannot guarantee one. Endeavour to have your entry finalized by the posted deadline date.


The contest is international and open to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished and personal work from professionals and enthusiasts created between January 2017 and March 2018 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year’s competition). Only digital entries are accepted for this competition.

Eligibility FAQ

Can students enter? No. Students may enter the Student competition, which contains a number of design categories.

Do I need to get the rights of the subjects in my work? Although you do not need to send us a copy of release forms, we do suggest that you get them. If your work is chosen you will need to grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images for both our online and print publications, so you would most likely need to have these rights in place to protect yourself. Entrants that come back to us requesting we don’t run their winning work because they don’t have the rights will not be refunded for their entry. It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure copyright is not infringed. Note that student work is often exempt from copyright rules.

Entry Fees

Design, Promotional Design, Editorial Design, Packaging Design, Broadcast Graphics, Typography Design, Typeface Design, Craft
Single: $75
Series (up to 3 pieces): $100
Entire Program (5 to 9 pieces): $150

Per Entry: $140

Young Blood
Single: $60
Series (up to 3 pieces): $75
Entire Program (5 to 9 pieces): $100
Young Blood Interactive Design: $75


For the full list of Design categories, download our Applied Arts Awards Entry Kit.

Categories FAQ

Can I enter a piece in multiple categories? Yes. In your account on the My Entries home page, click “Copy” on any entry you have created. Or, after you’ve finished an entry, click “Submit in another category.” A duplicate entry will be created with all the same information. Be sure to change the discipline and entry category to the new one you want to apply to.
Which category does my entry belong in? Often the best way to understand a category is to see previous work that won in that category. Check our Winners Gallery for examples. If you still have questions regarding our categories or require assistance in selecting the appropriate category, contact
Is my entry a single or a series? A single means one piece, and series means you are submitting more than one piece of the same project to a maximum of three. A campaign, unless specified otherwise in the Applied Arts Awards Entry Kit, is five to nine pieces. If an entry contains more than the specified images, we will either contact you to split the submission into multiple entries, or choose which ones will be judged, so it’s best to stick to the indicated numbers for single, series and campaign.

What is the Young Blood category? Young Blood is a series of categories open only to entrants who have been out of school for a certain number of years or less (three for Photography and Illustration, and five for Design and Advertising). As with all categories, they are judged on creative excellence, technical merit and suitability for end use, but the jury takes into account the level of professional experience. You will be required to specify the name of the Young Blood entrant to qualify.


Once you pay for your entries, credits are FINAL.You can work on your entries, save and log out if you are still collecting credit information. Only proceed with payment once your credits and descriptions are complete.

We will reproduce these credits in the magazine and in our online winners gallery alongside your winning image(s). Credits are reproduced in the order that you specify. Review your credits and their sort order carefully! Only the first 6 credits will appear in print, whereas all of your credits will appear online. A sample credit entry is in the entry form on the My Entries page.

After the time of payment, credits will not be changed so please carefully review titles, spellings and contact information.

Judges & Scoring

As of 2018, all Applied Arts Awards programs are judged online. We no longer accept hard copies for any competition.

Applied Arts contests are judged by panels of highly regarded industry professionals and experts in a rigorous process. Every entry is scored independently on creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use. Discussion is not permitted and judges must abstain from voting for their own work. Entries that meet our pre-determined cut-off score are published. Check back soon for our list of confirmed judges.

Vanessa Eckstein
Founder & Creative Director
Blok Design
Toronto, ON

Known for her passion for taking on initiatives that blend cultural awareness, humanity and a love of art to advance society and business alike, Vanessa’s experiences living and working in Buenos Aires, LA, New York, Mexico City and Toronto have given Blok a unique international perspective that has been recognized and awarded around the world. Her considerable experience includes top global brands such as Nike, Pepsi, Nestle and the Museum of Modern Art Miami, among many others. Vanessa’s work has been exhibited in countries from Japan to Germany, most recently at the Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño, Spain. Her work is represented in the permanent collection of the Royal Ontario Museum as well as the Library of Congress, Washington. Vanessa holds an MFA from the Art Centre of Pasadena.

Mooren Bofill
Executive Director, Design
john st.
Toronto, ON

Mo is the executive director of design at john st., and her work spans branding, print, editorial, retail, packaging and digital design. She has produced work for clients within the food, health, telecom, hospitality, cultural, financial, retail, transportation and government sectors. At john st., she has helped to launch and transform brands like Home Hardware, Shoppers Drug Mart, Alcon, Wellwise and Boston Pizza, to name a few. Previously, she was design director at Zulu Alpha Kilo. Mo’s work has been awarded and recognized internationally by Cannes Lions, D&AD, The One Show, Lürzer’s Archive, Communication Arts, The Advertising & Design Club of Canada, Applied Arts and Marketing magazine, among others. Her other obsessions outside of design are travelling and typography. You can find her obsession with typography on her daily blog:

James Wilson
Principal & Founder
Overdrive Design Limited
Toronto, ON

James is the founder and principal of Overdrive Design Limited, a brand design and interactive agency incorporated in 1986. By night, he dreams of world domination. By day, his duties include strategy, writing, design, illustration, creative direction, art direction, sales and account management. James studied theatre at York, design and communications at OCA and taught digital media at Sheridan College¬. He is now on the digital media program’s advisory committee at Conestoga College.

Karolina Łoboda
Creative Director & Co-Founder
The White Room Inc Branding & Art Direction
Toronto, ON

As co-founder and creative director at The White Room, a branding and art direction atelier she founded in 2008, Karolina helps uncover the true essence of a brand and merges it with her client’s ambition. In partnership with visionary entrepreneurs, mindful corporations, local artisans and cultural institutions, she delivers thoughtful solutions that have a meaningful impact on her client’s business and connect with hearts and minds. Karolina was born in Warsaw, Poland. Her award-winning strengths in branding, art direction and design are informed by a European sensitivity, timeless style and commitment to creative, non-linear thinking. Since graduating from Sheridan College in 2001, she has won accolades for her work both nationally and internationally.

Frank Viva
Founder & Managing Director
Viva & Co.
Toronto, ON

Frank is a cover artist for The New Yorker magazine and writer for The New York Times Book Review. His books are published by MoMA, Penguin Random House, and Little, Brown and Company. His first novel, Sea Change, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection. He is the managing director of Viva & Co., a design agency located in Toronto.

Jean-Sébastien Baillat
Founder & Creative Director
Baillat Studio
Montreal, QC

Jean-Sébastien is founder and creative director of Baillat and has been instrumental in the milieu of graphic design and digital art for upwards of 15 years. Studio Baillat, a multiplatform production and design studio based in Montreal, sets itself apart with numerous prestigious national and international awards, including a Cannes Lion. Baillat’s work covers print, digital, motion and artistic installation, and the studio specializes in creating striking identities that reach far beyond the limits of traditional advertising.

Olivier Chevillot
Creative Director
Pigeon Brands
Montreal, QC

Olivier started his career in Paris as a professional graphic designer for renowned branding and packaging agencies. He joined Pigeon in Montreal in 1998. As the creative director since 2006, Olivier has worked on major national and local brands. His strategic approach to design and his great passion for brands make him a major player in Canada.

Rita Sasges
Principal & Creative Director
Frank Design Strategy Inc.
Calgary, AB

Since completing her studies at the University of Alberta, Rita has mentored both clients and designers on the power of design thinking to transform businesses and motivate customers. Rita’s ability to identify business issues, understand the risks and build consensus amongst stakeholder groups has resulted in national and international awards including Communication Arts, Applied Arts, New York Art Directors Club, ADCC and Graphis. Over the years she’s led the design for a broad scope of projects including brand, editorial, B2B and marketing for both large and small clients, including Glenbow Museum, Enbridge Inc., YW Calgary, Alberta Ballet and the University of Calgary. A respected leader in her profession, Rita’s been around long enough to have judged the Potlatch Show, Big Crit, Applied Arts, Graphex and Communication Arts, to remember life without the Mac and to recall a time when designers spent days selecting paper stocks. Rita’s passionate about the direction of design and education and since 1998 has been a sessional instructor in typography and design at the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) in Calgary. She’s also lent her opinion to an RDG webcast about “Things I didn’t learn at school,” and has been a guest columnist for Applied Arts magazine.

David Coates
Partner & Strategist
Ion Brand Design
Vancouver, BC

After graduating from Emily Carr College of Art & Design in 1988, David formed Ion Brand Design with partner Rod Roodenburg. Ion is a place-branding firm that specializes in developing brands and brand activation for cities, communities and destinations. David has earned hundreds of citations and awards and has been published in Canadian and international print and online media. He has lectured to business people, students and professional designers throughout Canada and abroad. In 2000, ECU presented David with an Emily Award for career achievement. He served as National President of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) between 1998 and 2000. The GDC awarded David fellowship in 2000 for his contribution to Canadian and international design. In 2015, Ion merged with Herrainco Brand Strategy and Design, helping secure its position as one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading place-branding firms. Also in 2015, David and his wife Kaoru started Riding the Pine—a need to get back to creating art was the impetus to developing “handcrafted cottage chic Canadiana,” featuring textiles and artwork by the pair. The works are quirky, stylish and ironic, and appeal to the Canadian in all of us.

Michael Gericke
New York, NY

Michael is a partner in Pentagram’s New York office. His images and projects are known for their simplicity and clarity, and often portray the essential qualities of the object or topic he is representing. He has been responsible for brand identities, communication programs, digital media and environmental graphics. His identity and large-scale environmental graphics programs are widely seen and include 21st Century Fox; Rockefeller Center; New York’s “AirTrain” and Penn Station; Toronto and Mumbai’s international airports; Manhattan’s reimagined World Trade Center; and the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. Michael is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in communications design, a frequent lecturer, and he has received hundreds of accolades from design associations and museums.

Barbara Jacques
Creative Director, Branding & Design
Montreal, QC

With decades of experience in the industry, Barbara inspires the teams she leads to produce their very best work, bringing to life Cossette’s creative philosophy and vision. No matter the size, scope or complexity of the project, she understands how to get to the heart of what matters, delivering work that is beautiful in its simplicity and always engaging. Throughout her 30-year career, she has stood out for her creative thinking, working on the branding of major national and international clients, including Lolë, Bell Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, Ministère du Tourisme du Québec, the Canadian Red Cross and BDC. Most of all, Barbara enjoys working on cultural and humanitarian projects, including those for the McCord Museum, Espace pour la vie, Théâtre Espace Go, Enablis and HI: Handicap International. Barbara has been awarded internationally for her branding expertise, including at the Cannes Lions. She is also a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SDGQ).

Josh Fehr
Executive Creative Director
Camp Pacific
Vancouver, BC

Josh is the executive creative director at Camp Pacific, an integrated agency in Vancouver. He leads work across advertising, brand and digital projects. Originally from Montreal, Josh studied graphic design at Dawson College before moving to San Francisco, where he spent eight years living out the boom and bust of the dot-com bubble at pure-play digital shops before ending up at Goodby Silverstein & Partners. After the birth of his first daughter, he moved to Vancouver and worked at Blast Radius and Tribal DDB before he landed at Camp Pacific. Current and past clients include Destination BC, Canadian Tourism Commission, Cadillac, Saturn, Orbitz, Best Buy, McDonald’s, Netflix and Adobe. Josh has been awarded with Cannes Lions, Clios, Andys, Webbys, LIAs, The One Show and more.

Pum Lefebure
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer
Design Army
Washington, DC

Pum Lefebure is the co-founder and chief creative officer of Design Army in Washington, DC. With an entrepreneurial edge, the Thailand native brings global sensibility to American design. Through distinctive creative direction, she dreams up high-profile campaigns for clients such as the Academy Awards, Bloomingdale’s, The Ritz-Carlton and Pepsi. Her creative brilliance sets the agency apart, driving her team’s reputation as leading industry trendsetters. From Copenhagen to Beijing, Pum speaks and judges design competitions internationally. She uses her entrepreneurial voice to represent women in global campaigns, such as H&M’s “She’s A Lady.” She’s also been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, The New York Times and Elle, and was recently named to Adweek’s Creative100.

Sarah Munt
HivelyDesigns, a company of Artisanal Media LLC
Brooklyn, NY

Sarah graduated from Connecticut College with a degree in art history and also has a graphic design degree from Parsons The New School of Design. Over the course of her 18-year career, Sarah has worked for museums, design firms and publications in New York City. She has been invited to review illustration portfolios at schools including Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has spoken at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom and at the Nuts & Bolts Conference for Young Illustrators. And in her spare time while at home in Brooklyn, Sarah enjoys crocheting, baking, bookbinding and photography, and she is currently learning to spin yarn.

Elise Eskanazi
Art Director

Elise is an art director specializing in editorial design and branding. She has been awarded numerous design prizes for her participation in projects such as The Alpine Review magazine, as well as 365/12 Valerie by Eskanazi, a conceptual collection of thematic albums, of which she is co-creator. Before becoming freelance, Elise worked at Ardoise Design and Atelier Chinotto in Montreal. After a watershed year in Holland in 2009, the Quebec native made roots in a small village in the south of France, where she works from her attic to the chirping sound of birds.

Preparing & Submitting Entry Material



Broadcast (TV, Radio, Digital Video, etc.)

Upload your piece to a video-hosting site such as YouTube or Vimeo, or a non-branded website, and provide the URL. Link must remain active throughout the judging period.

Interactive Web-Based Entries or Apps

Provide the URL in the File Upload section on your entry form. Link must remain active throughout the judging period.

NOTE: Entry material requirements specific to each category can be found in the Applied Arts Awards Entry Kit.

Entering is easy with the following four steps.

Step 1: Create an Account

Visit the My Entries page. Your account with My Entries will be used to manage, create, edit and pay for entries. Ensure you provide a telephone number and e-mail address that you access regularly should there be a question about your entry.

Step 2: The Entry Form

ALL entrants must complete an online entry form in My Entries, regardless of payment method, to be eligible for entry.

In My Entries, click “Submit a new entry in one of the awards.” Select the award program you want to enter, which will then allow you to review the information included in this entry kit. Then click "Enter Now." Move through the form and include all required fields. Use this entry kit to review categories and their individual material requirements before you choose from the category drop-down menu.

For series entries, only ONE form needs to be submitted per series. Write all the titles in the “Title” field, separated by a slash between each (ex. Title 1/Title 2/Title 3). If you are entering an image as both a Single and as part of a Series, a separate entry form must be created for the single and then for the series, with each entry each containing only the image(s) you want judged.

If your entry is hosted on a site and you choose "URL" as your Entry Format, a separate URL field will appear where you can add your entry website, YouTube or Vimeo video, etc. You may also specify technical requirements, such as recommended browsers, usernames or passwords, although this is not mandatory.

Step 3: File Upload

Once you have saved your entry, you will arrive at a "Thank You" page where you can upload files if you have chosen Digital Upload as your entry format—although you can return to do this later so long as the entry is not paid.

Review the material requirements in the Applied Arts Awards Entry Kit before you upload your files (.jpg, .gif or .pdf only). Any additional material requirements pertinent to the category you’re entering can be found in the category descriptions in the entry kit.

If you arrive at the "Thank You" page and have chosen URL as your entry format, or if you don’t want to upload files right away, you have the option to submit another entry into the same award or another award, or proceed to payment.

You also have the option to re-submit your previous entry to another category within the same award. This option will retain the information that you submitted, including credits and description, but you may still change any fields. You will be required to re-select the Entry Category. You will also be required to re-upload any files.

If you are selected as a winner, you will be notified by e-mail. Only then will we require high-resolution files of print work, stills, radio or video. We only accept low-res files on entry to the Applied Arts Awards.

Step 4: Review Your Credits & Entries

Review your credits before making final payment to be sure all information is accurate, or save and come back at a later date to add more entries, or to edit any existing unpaid entries.

All entries must be submitted with final credits andpaid before the posted deadline, or your entries may not be judged in the competition.

NOTE: We now require complete credits at the entry stage. This information will be used in both the magazine and in our Winners’ Gallery online if your entry is chosen as a winner. Credits will be reproduced in the order that you specify, so please be sure to review this information carefully. Only the first 6 credits will appear in print, with all credits appearing online, so the order matters. See the “Credits” section above for more information.

Entry Material FAQ

Can I submit a hard copy or disk? No. We accept digital entries only for all competitions. Entering is quick and easy, with entry, file upload and payment completed in a few simple steps.

The program crashed. Did I lose everything? No. In My Entries, you will have the opportunity to review your entries saved so far and submit additional entries. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

The file I uploaded won’t show me a preview. You may not see the image preview if you haven’t followed the specs outlined above. Check your file and re-upload. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact

I uploaded the wrong file. You can resubmit images at any time. Click REMOVE beside the appropriate file and re-upload your image.

Why do I have to re-upload files if I have copied an entry? Each entry is assigned a unique entry number. In order to get the work judged, it must be separately attached to every entry submitted.

Can I direct the judges through my entry? If you have selected URL as your entry format, you may outline a path for the judges to follow that highlights the best elements of your entry. You may also include any necessary usernames and passwords.

Payment & Refunds

Entry fees vary. Check each awards program in this entry kit for entry fees. Pay for all or only some of your entries at any given time—just select which entries you want to pay for.

The payment option is on the My Entries home page. Payments can be made by Interac, Visa, MasterCard or American Express (Amex on Canadian payments only at this time). For U.S. and foreign entries, submit fees in US funds.

We only accept cheque, money order or direct deposit in special circumstances. These cases must be pre-approved. Contact with your request.

If you are entering a piece as both a Single and as part of a Series, ensure there are two separate entries on My Entries—one for the Series and one for the Single. Keep a record of your submissions.

Payment FAQ

Can I submit more entries after paying? In My Entries, you will have the opportunity to submit additional entries even if yours have been paid. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

Can I get a refund? Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I’ve already paid for. We do not issue refunds, but contact if you need the entry removed from the judging or winners’ pool.

I’m getting error messages when I try to pay. If you entered your payment information incorrectly on your first attempt, any subsequent attempts will be declined, even if you change your payment type. Close your browser and log back in to My Entries. You should now be able to proceed with payment. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact

I want to change something after I’ve paid. Once an entry is paid, you cannot change the category, entry format or credits. A paid entry is final, so make sure you submit your entry and come back to it if it’s not final before proceeding to the payment fields.


All entrants will be notified in April 2018 via email. At that time, those selected as winning entrants will be required to submit high-res digital files for reproduction in the Design annual. Winners’ certificates will be mailed separately, after the Design annual is published.

Winners FAQ

What do winners receive?

If I win, what image will you use for reproduction? When you are notified that you are a winner, full details will be provided on how to submit images for reproduction.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen? You retain all rights of your images. If selected, you will need to grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images for both our online and print publications.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I’ve won for. We do not issue refunds in these cases, but please contact the awards coordinator if you need the entry removed from the winners’ pool.


Questions? If you’ve checked all of the above sections and cannot find the answer to your question, or if you are having difficulty entering, contact


Applied Arts reserves the right to amend these rules throughout the competition, and to publish or exhibit entries in print or electronic formats, for use in the magazine or related promotions. Applied Arts assumes all entries are original and the property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. Applied Arts requires entrants to provide full and final credits at the point of entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules. All descriptions and credits are subject to be edited for length, clarity and grammar in accordance with the Applied Arts editorial style guide.