To All Awards

If this is your first time entering this year, please review all sections below. Some rules have changed.


The EXTENDED deadline for Design is March 17, 2017.

We do grant short extensions, but we cannot guarantee one. You should therefore attempt to have your entry finalized by the deadline date.


The contest is international and open to all forms of professional work created between February 2016 and March 2017 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year’s competition). Maximum hard-copy entry size is 22 x 26 inches. See Preparing & Submitting Entry Material below for more information on acceptable formats.

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 or client approval? 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.

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


Most categories now have the option to send in hard copy entries OR upload them digitally. You will see your options beside each category name. We strongly recommend some categories to be submitted in hard copy based on judges’ feedback. You will encounter a pop-up when you submit your entry form if you are entering one of these categories.

HC- Hard copy
D- Digital

For the full list of Design categories, download our Design Category PDF, or for all Applied Arts Awards categories, download our Comprehensive Category PDF.

Categories FAQ

Can I enter a piece in multiple categories? Yes. In your account on the My Entries page, click “Submit in another category” on any entry you have created. A duplicate entry will be created with all the same information. Just 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, please contact our awards coordinator at 416-510-0909 x27 or
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. If an entry contains more than three images, the three that are to be judged must be identified.

Where are the complete categories you used to have? In some cases, we have combined Series and Complete into one category, and in others we have renamed Complete into Entire Program to avoid confusion.

What is the Young Blood category? Young Blood is a series of categories open only to entrants who have been out of school for 5 years or less. 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.


Once you pay for your entries, credits are FINAL. You have the opportunity to 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 will be 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.

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

Judges & Scoring

Judges & Scoring FAQ

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

Kelly Komp
Principal/Creative Director
Multiple, Inc.
Chicago, IL

Kelly Komp graduated from Ball State University with a BFA in Graphic Design. As Principal / Creative Director of strategic design firm, Multiple, Inc., he helps people imagine, name, visualize, establish, position, market, energize and grow their businesses, organizations, products and services. He's a member of the Advisory Board to the Chicago Chapter of AIGA, and former instructor of Design for the Web at Chicago Portfolio School.

Ellen Bruss
Owner, Creative Director
Ellen Bruss Design
Denver, CO

Ellen Bruss' firm EBD, specializes in design & marketing for real estate, consumer packed goods, and cultural institutions. EBD's creative efforts have resulted in national and international recognition in over 200 publications, including Graphis, Print Magazine, How Magazine, and Ellen was featured in GDUSA's 2014 People to Watch.

Anne-Marie Deblois
Art Director
Montreal, QC

Formerly a fashion designer, Anne-Marie's passion for Visual Communication led to a university degree in Graphic Design. Creativity and elegance are hallmarks of her award-winning branding, publishing and packaging projects. She finds A-to-Z projects as satisfying as working with a talented team and addressing her clients' needs efficiently. Regrettably, she does not yet have a dog named after a typeface.

Pia Nummi
Design Director
Grip Limited
Toronto, ON

Pia's passion for elegant design and timeless typography informs every project she works on. Since graduating from OCAD, Pia has accrued more than 18 years of design and art direction experience working on top luxury brands, consumer products, and not-for-profits. Her work has been recognized in various design and advertising annuals and competitions across North.

Dominic Ayre
Creative Director
Flywheel Strategic
Toronto, ON

After graduating from the UK, Dominic moved to Toronto where has worked as a graphic designer for more than 20 years. Dom's focus at Flywheel is on high-level strategic & creative initiatives with entrepreneurial-spirited companies. Currently on faculty at OCAD University, Dom is an enthusiastic mentor to new designers and is well known within the design community for his expertise in typography, digital platforms, design trends and popular culture.

Robert Smith
Founder/Creative Director
Greenmelon Inc.
Ottawa, ON

Robert is the owner and Creative Director of Ottawa based Greenmelon Inc. The recipient of over 200 local and international awards, he is also a founder of the R.G.D., author, professor and public speaker. He has worked with clients including DC Comics, Warner Brothers, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Post Corporation, Canadian Museum of History and the Royal Canadian Mint.

Stephane Monnet
President/Creative Director
Monnet Design
Toronto, ON

Prior to founding Monnet Design in 2009, Stéphane spent ten years working at Toronto's top design firms. His work has been widely published and has received recognition from many of the industry's top publications and organizations including the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), The Type Director's Club, The ADCC, Communication Arts, HOW Magazine, Applied Arts and Graphis. Stéphane is the Vice President of the Advertising and Design Club of Canada, has guest lectured at OCADU, and sits on Humber College's Graphic Design advisory committee. He has been named among the top designers in Canada by both Design Edge Magazine and The Canadian Design Resource.

Lisa Nakamura
Creative Director of Design
Vancouver, BC

Lisa provides insightful creative direction to her team in Vancouver. She leads a wide range of branding projects by facilitating smart systems, unique concepts and brand-appropriate solutions. With almost 15 years in the design and advertising business, her work has been recognized in numerous national and international shows.

Edmund Li
Associate/Senior Designer
Toronto, ON

Edmund is an associate and a senior designer at Reich+Petch Design International. He has over 20 years of experience designing exhibitions, museums, interpretive and way finding signage, donor recognition walls, and interactive media, around the world. Edmund's work often transforms linear messages into environmental statements — engaging the public in meaningful ways.

Katina Constantinou
Director of Visual Content + Design
Toronto, ON

Katina's experience in producing highly-integrated campaigns include brand identity, editorial, interactive and retail design, spanning both Canada and the UK. She leads creative teams for a broad range of projects in both print and digital media, including her role as Director of Visual Content & Design at BONSAI, a content and retail app. Katina is also a sessional instructor at OCADU, where she shares her philosophies and experiences with emerging design talent.

Kim Hall
Senior Designer
Nesnadny + Schwartz
Cleveland, OH

As a senior graphic designer, Kim is involved in a broad range of projects from raising awareness around the importance of public schools through a series of traveling photography exhibits, to branding and promotion for an international contemporary art triennial. Her collaborations have earned several design and communication awards including ADDY, Graphis and HOW International.

Howard Poon
Design Director
DDB Edmonton
Edmonton, AB

Howard's focus is always on communication through insight and effective design. What he loves most is that his role as Design Director at DDB goes way beyond design. He applies his strategic communications and marketing knowledge, and contributes to marketing projects on all levels.

Lisa McCoy
Design Director
J. Walter Thompson
Toronto, ON

Lisa McCoy is currently a Design Director with JWT Toronto, where she creates work that is beautiful and strategically on point for a broad range of clients including Walmart, Air Canada, and Tim Hortons. Her innate curiosity about how design informs pop culture and everyday lives keeps her on the cusp of industry trends. Her ability to collaborate with clients and co-workers ensures a solid understanding of project needs. And her breadth of experience across design, art direction, and digital allows for eloquent integration on all campaign fronts. Prior to JWT, Lisa was Co-Creative Director at Transcend3, Design Director at Watt International, and Senior Art Director/Designer with GJP, which collectively allowed her to work on McDonald's, Häagen-Dazs, Canadian Tire, and the LCBO.

Cory Ripley
Principal/Creative Director
Exhibit A: Design Group
Vancouver, BC

Cory Ripley is Principal and Creative Director of Exhibit A: Design Group, a Vancouver-based brand building agency noted for strategy, branding and packaging design. From strategy and creative through to production, he has a diverse range of experience that results in engaging outcomes. Cory's work has been recognized in national and international design shows and publications.

Mark Dusk
Arms & Anchors
Portland, OR

Mark is a founding partner of Arms & Anchors, a full-service independent design studio in Portland, Oregon. With an award-winning body of work for art direction, design, motion graphics, UI, branding, websites, editorial, print campaigns, type design, and illustration. He enjoys heavy metal, Dungeons and Dragons, and has a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He works with clients internationally and has created for author Ernest Cline, Havok, Intel, and currently Nightdive Studios on the 2018 video game remake of System Shock.

Preparing & Submitting Entry Material

Entering is easy with the following five steps.

Step 1: Create an Account

When you click Enter Now at the top of this page, you’ll be asked to Create an Account with an email and password. This account will be used to manage all of your entries. Once you’ve created that account, you can create, edit and pay for entries on the My Entries page.

Step 2: The Entry Form

ALL entrants must complete an online entry form, regardless of payment or material submission method, to be eligible for entry.

On the main My Entries page, click on “Submit a new entry in one of the awards.” You can then select which award program you’ll be entering, and have the chance to review this FAQ information. When you’re ready, click the Enter Now button below or at the top of the page.

For series entries, only ONE form needs to be submitted per series. Please put all the titles in the “Title” field, separated by a slash between each. If you are entering an image as both a Single and as part of a Series, a new entry must be created with only the image you want judged.

Step 3: Review Your Credits and 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.

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.

Step 4: Acceptable Formats & File Submission

Plan how you are going to submit your entries. Most categories have the option to send in hard copy entries OR upload them digitally. Some are digital only. Download our Design Categories PDF to see the full list.

We strongly recommend some categories to be submitted in hard copy based on judges’ feedback. You will encounter a pop-up when you submit your entry form if you are entering one of these categories.

Maximum entry size is 22 x 26 inches.

We require that entrants who chose the hard copy option when filling out the form to submit their work in hard-copy format, to ensure that our judges observe the work in its original, intended state. This ensures the fairest and most accurate judging procedure. If you choose hard copy, do not also submit digital for the same category or the digital will be disqualified.

If you chose the hard copy option, there will be tags to print out and lightly affix to the back of your entries before sending in to the Applied Arts office. Once you have submitted your entry, an email confirmation will be sent to you. Within that email will be ID tags. Please match these tags to your titled entries and lightly tape or paper clip (no glue please) to the back of EVERY piece being entered and mailed, no matter whether it is a Single or part of a Series. ID tags on Series entries should be labeled 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.

If you are entering a piece as both a Single and as part of a Series or, a duplicate copy with its own entry form and fee must be submitted.

Design Print & Promotional
We accept printed copies, colour laser proofs, colour copies, digital inkjet prints, tear sheets, pages or spreads, printed samples, photographic reprints, brochures, posters, etc. Maximum entry size is 22 x 26 inches. If an image is bigger than this, scale it down and reprint or enter as a digital file.
Packaging, Books, Magazines, etc.
Hard copy submissions are suggested, but not required. Feedback from past judges is that actual printed samples are easier to judge than photographic submissions or digital uploads. We understand though that sometimes physical samples cannot be sent, so a digital upload option is acceptable.
Typeface Design
Hard-copy typeface design submissions should include a complete character set and a text setting. May include headlines, short or long passages of text, sample pages or double-page spreads of books or magazine make-up, or multi-column text. Maximum entry size for hard copy submissions is 22 x 26 inches.

If you are sending a poster, deliver it in a flat package. We do not recommend mailing tubes, since they (and the posters inside them) usually arrive damaged. Instead, package your entries securely in a flat container and mark “Applied Arts Design Awards” on the outside. If more than one package is sent, clearly indicate on the outside “Package ___ of ___ packages.” To prevent customs charges or delays, U.S. and international entries (and courier slips) must be marked: UNSOLICITED CONTEST ENTRY – NO COMMERCIAL VALUE. We recommend that U.S. and international entries be sent by mail or courier, not airfreight. We do not accept CODs. Applied Arts is not responsible for customs or clearance costs, or lost or damaged entries.

If your entry is very flimsy or includes many small pieces, and you feel it must be mounted on something, please back it with lightweight cover stock paper or thin cardboard. Otherwise, DO NOT mount your entries.

Mail to:
Applied Arts Awards - Design
65 Overlea Blvd.
Suite #105
Toronto, Ontario
M4H 1P1

Digital files must be uploaded using our entry form. We will no longer accept entries on tape, CD or DVD. For web-based entries, an active URL must be submitted.

Stills should be submitted in JPEG format at 72 dpi resolution, with a maximum width or height of 1,200 pixels, as RGB (not CMYK). Files must not exceed 2 MB or they will be rejected by our file server. Video files should be supplied in QuickTime format (.MOV) or MP4 and should not exceed 15 MB.

Digital Motion
Several categories will allow you to submit either a digital file or provide a URL. Submit one QuickTime or MP4 per entry. For series entries, edit spots together and include one-second black between each spot.
Compress using H.264 codec to 640x480 or 640x360.
Audio codec: 16-bit integer
fps: 29.97
Maximum QuickTime or MP4 size: 15MB

Step 5: Upload Your File

Once you have completed the entry form, you will be asked to upload any digital entries. Follow the instructions on how to do this.

Once you have uploaded your files you have the choice of submitting another entry or proceeding to the payment stage. You may either submit a new entry or submit your previous entry into an additional category. This option will retain the information that you submitted for your previous entry, including credits and a description. You will be required to fill in the Entry Category. You will also be required to re-upload your images.

NOTE: If you are selected as a winner, you will be notified by email and asked to send us high-resolution images. Digital/motion winners will be required to provide screen grabs and a Quicktime file.

Entry Material FAQ

Can I submit a hard copy and digital for the same entry? No. If you send in both, your digital entry will be disqualified. You may enter some categories as digital and others as hard copies, depending on your preference.

Can I submit multiple entries to motion graphics on a tape, DVD or CD? No. We no longer accept motion graphics submissions on tape, DVD or CD. All files must be uploaded using our online form during the entry process. Please refer to Acceptable Formats above for motion graphics specs.

I didn’t get the email back after I entered with the IDs to attach to my hard copy entries. Contact our awards coordinator at with your entry number. DO NOT attempt to make your own entry form. We can forward a copy of the form directly to you.

The program crashed. Did I lose everything? You can log back in and access your entries at any stage on the My Entries page using the login and password created when you made your account.

Can I direct the judges through my interactive entry?
If you have selected an Interactive Design category, a section in the entry form appears where you can outline a path for the judges to follow that highlights the best elements of your entry. You should also include any necessary user names and passwords, and indicate whether there are specific requirements, such as preferred browsers, applications, etc.

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 in the Preparing Entry Material section above. Please check your file and re-upload. If you continue to experience difficulties, please contact our awards coordinator at 416-510-0909 x 27 or

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

The entry form states “do not send original material.” What does that mean? You should not send your ONLY version of an item (print, etc.), because it will not be returned. Instead, a copy should be provided.

Payment & Refunds

Payments can be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express (we are accepting Amex on Canadian payments only at this time). For U.S. and foreign entries, submit fees in US funds.

If you require an alternate payment method, we can only accept cheque or money order in special circumstances. These cases must be pre-approved by Applied Arts. Contact Vicki at with your request.

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

Payment FAQ

Can I submit more entries after paying? Logging into My Entries page, you will have the opportunity to submit additional entries. 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 please contact the awards coordinator 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. Please close your browser and log back in to My Entries using the e-mail address that appears on your entry form. You should now be able to proceed with payment. If you continue to experience difficulties, please contact our customer service at 416-510-0909 x 21.

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 2017 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 our awards coordinator at, or 416-510-0909, ext. 27 (outside Toronto: 1-800-646-0347).


Applied Arts is not responsible for damage or loss of any entry. Applied Arts cannot return entries. Applied Arts cannot guarantee the acceptance of entries received after the deadline. Applied Arts reserves the right 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.