To All Awards

2023 Design Awards

Call for entries


"A "winner" for me was someone who took a brilliant idea, executed it beautifully, and the end result evoked some emotional impact."

Shingo Shimizu, Graphic Designer and Illustrator, Vancouver, BC

Share your masterpieces, that beautiful, brilliant design work you’ve poured your heart and soul into over the past year, to the 2023 Design Awards jurors and the creative community. Get the visibility you deserve, show us that powerful design does bring progress to us all!

The Design Awards are an international competition open to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished, and personal Design work, including these and many more categories:

  • Design: Brand Identity Brochures, Cause-Related Design, Data Visualization, Environmental Design, Experiential/Event, Pro Bono, Public Service.
  • Editorial Design: Books or publications.
  • Packaging Design: Beverages, Consumer Products, Retail applications.
  • Promotional Design: Point-of-Sale messaging, Premium/Gift Item, Promotional collateral.
  • Typography Design: Applications for Corporate, Digital, Editorial, Packaging.
  • Entire Design Programs: Corporate Identity, Entire Design, Guerrilla Marketing.
  • Craft, Young Blood, Community … and more.

Be sure to review the Call for Entry kit and 2023 Categories kit for important information and tips on entering.


2023 Call for Entry Kit 2023 Design Awards Categories Kit

2023 Design Awards Jury

There is no one more critical of the work of designers than designers themselves. Every year, we invite a new jury – from across Canada and beyond – to uphold our benchmark of excellence for the best design work in corporate, editorial, packaging, promotional, typography, digital, and more. Collectively, they have been awarded by every prestigious show you can name. Separately, they have unique backgrounds and levels of experience, lending both fresh perspectives and seasoned eyes to the mix.

Alex Bakker
Creative Director
Vancouver, BC

Alex Bakker is a Vancouver-based creative director and designer with over a decades' worth of experience building visual identities and design systems. His work spans print to digital experiences for a range of clients from global brands, arts & culture institutions, to non-profit organizations. Alex has been recognized by Cannes Lions, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios, Webby Awards, Communication Arts, Applied Arts and the Advertising & Design Club of Canada — among others. He is currently at Rethink, one of Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative Ad Agencies and the 2022 Agency & Design Agency of the Year, awarded by the Advertising and Design Club of Canada.

Shawn Bedford
President, Associate, and Creative Director
Montreal, QC

Shawn Bedford has been actively involved in visual communications since 1989. Soon after graduating in Graphic Design at Dawson College, he joined Gauthier and eventually acquired the agency with two other partners in 1992. As Creative Director, he undertakes mandates with equal measures of boldness and uncompromising quality, using an approach that focuses on dialogue and the human element. In 2003, he formed UGO Media, a company devoted to meeting the creative video production needs of his clients. Quick off the blocks, UGO Media started making its own way and creating original content, from web series to feature films.

Mike Butler
Design Director
Wunderman Thompson Toronto
St. John's, NL

Mike Butler is a designer and illustrator, hailing from St. John's, Newfoundland. He specializes in branding and identity work but also dabbles in motion graphics, packaging, storyboarding, industrial design and basically anything that needs to get done on a deadline. In addition to reputable work he also makes the one panel comic strip Perfect Sunday.

Élise Cropsal
Creative Director, Branding And Design
Montreal, QC

Élise Cropsal is a Branding and Design Creative Director at LG2 in Montréal. She's an award-winning designer with over 20 years of experience. Her love of art, keen eye for design, sense of style and curiosity for culture are indisputable. She has been involved in internationally acclaimed projects such as Rethink Breast Cancer, and has led teams working on several notable brand identities in Canada. Her work has been recognized by the Cannes Lions, The One Show, the Clios, D&AD, the ADCC, and many more. She is also a long-time contributor to the artistic community. She sits on the board of directors of Espace Go, a well-known contemporary theatre, and on the board of the Society of Graphic Designers of Quebec (SDGQ).

Arthur Daraujo
Design Director
Brooklyn, NY

Arthur d'Araujo, a.k.a. Dara, is a Brazilian award-winning creative director, designer, and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. He is skilled in logo design, branding & identity, typography, advertising, and any traditional illustration technique. He is passionate about music, painting, and, his sketchbooks, where he can put together drawing, storytelling, learnings, thoughts, and, jokes. Even with more than a decade of experience he still hates to write his bio.

Jonas Emmertsen
Founder, Creative Director
Studio 28K

For the past ten years, Jonas has worked as an Art Director & Creative Director for companies such as Hello Monday and Jam3. He has worked on award-winning projects for companies such as Google, YouTube, adidas, EA Sports, IKEA, and Microsoft. His expertise lies in Digital Design and Branding. He is a multidisciplinary jack-of-all-trades with a skill set that ranges from conceptual thinking to create high-quality designs. Today he runs a digital design studio called 28K that aims to make the most memorable experiences within our time.

Monique Gamache
Design Director, Founder
Calgary, AB

Founder and Design Director at Matter, Monique Gamache's ability to distil complex companies and organizations into simple and powerful brand platforms has gained her international renown. Trained at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Monique creates and revitalizes brands from the ground up: strategizing, conceptualizing and finessing their unique visual language to speak distinctly to consumers and stand out in saturated markets. Monique's work has been recognized by the One Show and the Type Directors Club, earning her among other awards a Cannes Silver Lion and a coveted D&AD Black Pencil. Monique also obsessively collects "M's"—after thoughtful consideration we think we've worked out why.

Antonia V. Goga
Creative Director, Design & Xd
Momentum Worldwide
Toronto, ON

As Creative Director at Momentum Worldwide, Antonia's vision for design is to tell stories in unexpected ways that would inspire and evoke an emotional response. A true believer in ideation, clear communication and honest design, her approach is simple: combine hard work with a true commitment to quality and a distinguished attention to detail as key elements in accomplishing impactful, long lasting results. Ultimately, Antonia is seeking to make a difference, to add value and to build meaningful relationships with the clients and the people she works with. Antonia's work has received over 100 accolades from some of the most prestigious national and international organizations, and has been featured in design publications and exhibits around the world. She is an active member of the design and creative community, as well as an advocate for sustainable design, social good design, and mental health.

Marc Husted
Partner, Designer
Calgary, AB

Marc Husted is a partner and designer at Calgary's Bamff Studio, specializing in brand identity and packaging design.

Adriana Ivory
Design Director
The Garden
Toronto, ON

Adriana brings a decade of design expertise and knowledge to the table. She is a multi-disciplinary UX and Graphic Designer and creative leader that strives to design the best and most purposeful work for clients. Her passion for design stems from her desire to problem solve: to think about things differently, and derive creative solutions that both function well and look great. She designs strategically across multiple platforms, where she applies a user-experience perspective to work beyond the digital space. Whatever the output, she believes in the power of approaching work holistically and grounded in purpose.

Barbara Jacques
Creative Director Branding & Design
Montreal, QC

Throughout her career, Barbara stood out for her creative thinking, making her mark on the brand image of major national and international clients with a team of talented designers who were also great friends. The Bell brands, the Canadian Red Cross, BDC and Lolë to name but a few, but above all, Barbara enjoys working on cultural and humanitarian projects, notably those of the McCord Museum, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (Circle of Friends of the MAC), Théâtre Espace Go and HI: Handicap International. Barbara has been awarded internationally for her expertise in branding, notably at the Cannes Lions. She also has a personal artistic practice... one feeds the other, and she is very involved in volunteering in Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the next place is Uganda/Rwanda, it's only the beginning...

Meriç Karabulut
Associate Creative Director, Design
No Fixed Address
Toronto, ON

Meriç Karabulut is an award winning designer, art director, and illustrator with more than 10 years experience based in Toronto and Istanbul. He has worked at several boutique and network advertising agencies and design studios where he created innovative work for many local and international brands including Audi, Unilever, Canadian Tire and Questrade. Currently he works at No Fixed Address Inc. as an Associate Creative Director, Design. Apart from his agency work he is also specialized in vector based illustration and linocut printing.

Shawn Lambino
Design Director
Toronto, ON

Shawn Lambino is an award-winning designer with a strong focus on visual identity & concept development. As the Director of Design at Anomaly, he leads a department of multi-disciplinary designers with a focus on elevating the agency's visual output, growing design capabilities and specializing in branding projects. He works across a number of the agency's core clients and new business including Stella Artois, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, and The Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts.

Claudia Mark
Creative Director
New York, NY

Claudia is an accomplished, hands-on Creative Director with over 15 years of experience in all aspects of branding and design. She is adept at translating business strategy into unique brand identities that have the power to create an emotional connection. She is dedicated to leading, inspiring and collaborating with integrated teams and partnering with a diverse spectrum of clients to create impactful brand experiences.

Ming Mikaeo
Associate Design Director / Creative Designer
Toronto, ON

Ming is a multidisciplinary Associate Design Director/Creative Designer, specializing in graphic design and brand development. He works seamlessly across media channels, having done projects ranging from branding and packaging design to art direction and design systems for clients such as Tokyo Smoke, Loblaws, No Frills and Home Hardware. Ming has an expansive background, having worked at design shops such as Bruce Mau Design and client-side for Tokyo Smoke. He has helped build brands at agencies like FCB/SIX, john st. and BBDO Canada.

Jenny Vivar
Creative Director / Design / Art Direction & Illustration
Toronto, ON

Jenny is a Toronto-based Creative Director, Multi Disciplinary Designer, and Illustrator. Her career spans over a decade of creative and leadership practice while working with some of Toronto's leading branding and design studios. She was VP, Creative Director of Brand & Design at a boutique Toronto Agency before deciding to launch her own design practice enabling her to work with and partner with agencies, local businesses and start ups in the food, beverage, finance, interior design, education, hospitality and fashion sectors. She's currently freelance CD of design at SID LEE Toronto.

Judging Process

All work is entered digitally and judged digitally. There are no hard copies. Therefore, please read our RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES, in the 2023 Categories Kit to see how you can help our judges.

The judges are divided into groups, with each viewing a different and random group of entries. Each judge reviews and scores entries separately. Judges do not confer or discuss the work and there is only one round of judging.

Entries are given one total score, based on three criteria only:

  1. Creative merit.
  2. Technical excellence.
  3. Suitability for end use in the category it was submitted to.

NOTE: Young Blood and Community entries are judged with the level of experience and/or available resources taken into consideration.


Open internationally to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished and personal work from professionals and enthusiasts created between March 2022 and March 2023 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year's competition). Only digital entries are accepted for this competition.

Young Blood
For professionals that have graduated within the last five (5) years.

Exclusively for Canadian artists and firms working in smaller communities or with smaller businesses or budgets, to help them get the recognition they deserve.

To be eligible to enter Community categories, you must be Canadian and meet one of the following criteria:

There is a stand-alone awards competition for students studying in a creative arts program at the post-secondary or high school level. Work from any year of study is eligible and may be entered up to one year after graduation. Students are only eligible to enter the Student Awards competition. Visit Student Awards for eligibility and deadlines.

Categories & Entry Fees

Entry fees vary per sub-grouping and category. Please be sure to download the 2023 Design Awards Categories Kit for detailed pricing.

Complete Brand Identity
Complete Rebrand Identity Program
Entire Design Program
Entire Packaging Design Program
Entire Promotional Design Program
Guerrilla Marketing Program
Pro Bono/PSA/Charity Design Program

Annual Report
Cause Related Creative Response
Data Visualization
Environmental Design (Signage, Complete Environment, Experiential/Event)
Brand Identity (Logo design, Rebranded Logo and Applications)
Pro Bono/Public Service/Charity

Book Design
Publication Design

Beverages (Alcohol and Alcohol-Free)
Consumer Products
Retail Applications

Artist/Design Firm Promotions
Point-of-Sale Messaging
Premium/Gift Item
Promotional Collateral
Promotional Messaging

Corporate Application
Digital Application
Environmental/Experiential Application
Motion Application
Packaging Application
Promotional Application


Calligraphy/Hand Lettering

Apps (Desktop, Mobile/Tablet)
Augmented & Virtual Reality
Editorial – Digital Editions
Social/Viral Promotional

Consumer Products
Consumer Services
Entertainment, Art & Tourism
Public Service/Charity
Responsive Design

Educational and explanatory, social media, event or online graphics


*Rates vary by sub-grouping and categories. Refer to the 2023 Design Categories Kit for details.

Entry Material Guidelines

All entries are submitted digitally only. Hi-res, final files are to be submitted for judging. These files will be used for publication, if selected as a winner.

Main Entry Files

Your Main Entry File(s) must clearly show the creative to be judged entry (ideally with no additional graphics) in hi-res format.


*Exceptions are noted in specific categories.

IMPORTANT NOTE RE MULTI-PAGE PDFS: Use a PDF with multiple pages to incorporate any additional images while still adhering to the maximum number of files allowed. For example, the PDF could have several pages that show the image/Illustration in final context, inside pages from a book or multiple views of 3D entries such as packaging, etc. but it only counts as 1 file. This allows you more opportunities to show your work, without going over the file limit.

Case studies are not permitted as your Main Entry File. See below for more info.

Support Files

Support Files are mainly for clarity to assist the judges. They are not for publication (except where noted) and do not count towards the file limitations noted above. Upload these to the "Entry Supporting Materials" sub-section of ENTRY MATERIALS on the entry form.

Please note these important required vs. optional Support Files for certain entries:

~ English translations for non-English entries:  Include any important text (e.g. book titles, and headlines) either as a Support File or within a multi-page PDF as your Main Entry File.

~ Case studies: While not recommended (as outcomes are not a criteria for judges in scoring), case studies can be added ONLY as a Support File and should be limited to max. 45 seconds. REMINDER: You must include the actual creative to be judged as your Main Entry File.
~ Explanatory notes for the judges: Although not recommended (except where noted in a category), brief descriptions/explanations of up to 50 words may be added for clarity (or up to 10 seconds for video files).

~ Entering URLs of the same creative as a Support File: Don’t submit a URL link if you’ve already submitted an MP4 as your Main Entry Material. However, available links to non-static creative are requested in the Winners Information section for publishing in the online Winners Gallery.
~ Files submitted, be they Main Entry Files or Support Files (including URLs), should not identify the entrant (except for self-promotion work).

Acceptable File formats





Entries are judged online. Here's how to help the judges:

How To Enter

The Entry Form consists of five (5) steps. You will have the option to save your progress during each step of the process.

Create your "MY ENTRIES" Account.

This is your Applied Arts Awards account for all Awards competitions. Once logged in personal account information can be updated, a new entry can be started, copied from an existing one, or edited, and you can pay for all or some entries.

Bookmark for easy access to your account later.

NOTE: If you've entered the Applied Arts Awards previously, please use the email address associated with your account.

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

Step 1: Entry Information

Select from one of the Awards competitions, choose a sub-group, category and your entry title.

Step 2: Entry Materials

Entry format: All entries are to be submitted digitally. See ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES section above for detailed specifications and helpful tips.

Step 3: Winners' Information

This section is for publication only and is not visible to the judges. Please review the information carefully. There will only be 48 hours to edit this information after the Winners have been notified.

The "Winner" field is the primary company or individual you want to be credited on the piece (i.e. company name, photographer, illustrator, Young Blood, etc.).

NOTE: In the instance that a team (e.g. AD & writer) worked together (typically for the Young Blood or Student categories), enter only the first individual of the team as in the "Winner" field. The other team member(s) should be added in the CREATIVE CREDITS section. (See Step 4: CREATIVE CREDITS for further explanation on how to enter additional names so that they are properly credited as "Winners").

Optional fields: Phone, email, web address, social handles, and the URL to the winning entry (typically, for websites and motion entries). If these are entered, they will be published beside your winning work.

NOTE: We recommend including the URL as, due to file sizes, we don't upload the MP4 files directly for viewing in the Winners Gallery. They are only used for judging.

Description of Entry: For the purpose of providing a brief creative summary of the project to be published beside your winning entry. The description is limited to a maximum of 500 characters (includes spaces).

NOTE: The "Descriptions of Entry" are for publication use only and are not shown to the judges. If additional clarity is needed for the judges, a description/explanation, it may be added to either your Main Entry file(s) or as a Support File. Please limit it to 50 words or a max 10-second intro for motion.

Step 4: Creative Credits

Credits are a summary of the individuals or companies that have worked on the project.

A credit can be designated with an individual's name or an organization. A credit role is a job function (e.g. Creative Director, or Production House). Multiple names can be assigned to one credit role (i.e. if you have two Creative Directors, they are counted as only one credit role).

A maximum of 6 creative credit roles will be published in the Annual, however, any/all creative credits you entered will appear in the online Winners Gallery.


Step 5: Certificate information

Winners will receive one certificate for each winning entry. Complete the winning company/individual and/or client you wish to appear on the certificate. The entry title and the category the project won in will automatically be included on the certificate. You will have the opportunity to order additional certificates once winners have been notified.

Next: Finalizing Your Entry
After Step 5, the entry form is complete. Press the "Save" button to return to the "My Entries" dashboard to submit a new entry, copy an existing entry to a new category, or submit payment.

IMPORTANT: A submitted entry is not final and entered in the competition until it's paid for. Entries may be edited until paid for. Once payment has been processed, it is final and cannot be modified.

Payment & Refunds

Entry fees vary. Check the categories kit for each Awards competition for entry fees. Some or all of the entries can be paid for at any given time – just select which entries to pay. Once an entry is paid it is officially in the competition and cannot be modified.

Payments can be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express (AmEx is for Canadian payments only at this time), or PayPal. US and international entry fees are payable in US funds.

NOTE: For US/International entrants, select PayPal as your Payment type, then click the "Pay with Credit Cards or VISA debit".

We only accept cheque 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.


All entrants will be notified by mid-April 2023 via email. At that time, you will have only 48 hours to correct or finalize any creative credits and descriptions that may or may not have been completed when entering.

To ensure you don't miss the results notifications, add to your address book.

What Winners receive


  • Order additional certificates for your creative team, client, etc. with an option to order a plaque-mounted certificate.
  • Order a personalized, engraved AACE Awards Cube. This attractive and original Lucite cube is 3.5x3.5x3.5 square inches.

*Additional fees apply

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility FAQ

Can students enter? No. Students may only enter the Student Competition. Go here for categories, eligibility and deadlines for the Student Awards competition.

Can I enter something I entered last year? Not in the same competition, but if it meets the eligibility period for a different competition, then yes.

Can I enter something in multiple Awards competitions? Yes. Each competition has different eligibility periods; please check each competition for eligibility requirements.

Judging FAQ

Will the judges see my descriptions during the judging? Judges do not see the creative descriptions you have entered. These are only for publishing beside your entry if chosen as a winner. If you feel judges need an explanatory note, you may include a brief description as a Support File (no more than 50 words or 10 seconds for broadcast/video).

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've created. Be sure to change the discipline and/or entry category to the new one you want to submit 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 online winners Gallery for examples. If you still have questions regarding our categories or require assistance in selecting the appropriate category, contact

NOTE: Applied Arts reserves the right to move an entry to another category if we feel it unsuitable or incorrectly categorized.

What is a single, series, and campaign? A single means one piece. Series means you are submitting more than one piece of the same project to a maximum of three. A campaign is up to 9 pieces. NOTE: Exceptions are noted in specific categories. 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 number of pieces.

What is the Young Blood category? Young Blood is a series of categories open only to entrants who have been out of school up to a certain number of years (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 also takes into account the level of professional experience. You will be required to specify the name of the Young Blood entrant to qualify.

What is the Community category? The Community Awards was our newest Awards program, launched in 2017, to help Canadian artists and studios working on smaller communities or with smaller budgets local clients get the recognition they deserve. In 2019, Community Awards categories were rolled into each of the four competitions (Design, Illustration, Design and Advertising) for added exposure.

Entry Material FAQ

At what specs do I need to submit my entry? Refer to ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES section for specifications.

Can I submit a hard copy or disk? No. Only digital uploads are accepted.

The program crashed. Did I lose everything? No. You are saving your work as you go through each section of the entry form. If the program crashes as you are completing a certain section, it may not have been saved in that section.

The file I uploaded won't show me a preview. Why? You may not see the image preview if you haven't followed the specs outlined in ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES. Check your file and re-upload. If you continue to experience difficulties, try clearing your browser history or contact

I uploaded the wrong file. Can I change it? Yes. You can resubmit images at any time until payment is made. Click the "X" beside the appropriate file and re-upload your image.

NOTE: The thumbnail image may not correctly display your new image. If this happens close your browser and log back into "My Entries" for the changes to show. If you continue to experience difficulties, try clearing your browser history or contact

Rights FAQ

Do I need to get the rights of the subjects or material used from external sources in my entry? It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure copyright is not infringed. Upon entry you must 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. Although you do not need to send us a copy of the release forms, we do suggest that you have them. Entrants who request we don't run their winning work because they don't have the rights will not be refunded for their entry. NOTE: Student work is often exempt from copyright rules.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen? You retain all rights to your images.

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

Payment FAQ

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

I want to change something after I've paid. What do I do? Once an entry is paid, you cannot change the category, entry title, entry format, winners information, description of entry, or creative credits. A paid entry is final, so check it carefully before proceeding to the payment fields. If chosen as a winner, you will be given a small window of time to add or edit information.

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. What do I do? 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. What do I do? If you entered your payment information incorrectly on your first attempt, any subsequent attempts would be declined, even if you change your payment type. Close your browser and log back into My Entries. You should now be able to proceed with payment. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact

Winners FAQ

If I win, what image will you use for reproduction? We will use the image(s) you submitted on entry. In the case of series, complete, campaign or motion, we select a sampling at our discretion from the images/files submitted.


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. Applied Arts assumes all entries are original and the property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. Applied Arts reserves the rights to publish or exhibit entries for our print or electronic formats, or related promotions. Entries are non-refundable. Costs cover administration, processing, and the judging of the entry. Entries may be moved to a more suitable category, if Applied Arts deems the category chosen unsuitable. All descriptions and credits are subject to be edited for length, clarity and grammar in accordance with the Applied Arts editorial style guide. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.