To All Awards

If you've entered our Awards in the past, or are new to the Applied Arts Awards, be sure to download the Applied Arts Awards Entry Kit as it provides more insight and helpful entry tips), or review the quick overview below.


Photography & Illustration
Early Bird:
January 25, 2019*
Final: February 1, 2019
*Early bird rates apply.

We may be able to 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The contest is international and open to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished and personal work from professionals and enthusiasts created between January 2018 and January 2019 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year’s competition). Only digital entries are accepted for this competition.

Community Awards categories are only open to work done by and for Canadians.

Young Blood categories are only open to work produced by entrants who have been out of school up to three years.

Eligibility FAQ

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

Do I need to get the rights of the subjects in my photos? Although you do not need to send us a copy of release forms, we do suggest that you get them. To enter 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

Single: Early Bird $50 / Regular $60
Series (up to 3 images): Early Bird $75 / Regular $85
Complete (Upload 1 PDF file which contains up to 9 pages of an entire book/publication): Early Bird $100 / Regular $110
Complete Series (Up to 3 books. Each book/publication may show up to 9 pages of an entire book, to a maximum of 3 books, etc.): Early Bird $150 / Regular $160

Short (Under 3 minutes): Early Bird $125 / Regular $135
Long (3 minutes or more): Early Bird $140 / Regular $150

Young Blood & Community Illustration
Single: Early Bird $40 / Regular $50
Series (up to 3 images): Early Bird $60 / Regular $70
Complete (Upload 1 PDF file which contains up to 9 pages of an entire book/publication): Early Bird $75 / Regular $85
Complete Series (Up to 3 books. Each book/publication may show up to 9 pages of an entire book, to a maximum of 3 books, etc.): Early Bird $100 / Regular $110

Young Blood & Community Motion
Short (Under 3 minutes): Early Bird $75 / Regular $85
Long (3 minutes or more): Early Bird $100 / Regular $110


For the full list of Illustration categories, download our Applied Arts Category 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 Winner's 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 five. 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 and series.

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 Illustration 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.

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, local clients get the recognition they deserve without competing directly with big-budget projects and agencies/studios. This year, Community Awards categories have been rolled into each of the Awards Entries in these categories may not be entered in any other non-Community category.


All creative descriptions and credits should be entered at the time of submission, as we only allow for a very short window of time to edit or add these once winners are notified.

We will reproduce these credits in the magazine and in our online Winner's 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

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.


Catherine Allen
Creative Director
Zulu Alpha Kilo
Toronto, ON

Catherine is a creative director at Zulu Alpha Kilo, a gutsy and fast-growing Toronto agency that was named International Small Agency of the Year in 2016 and 2017. A creative who loves making stuff, Catherine spent the first ten years of her creative journey as a designer and expanded her scope to include art direction eight years ago. Since then, she quickly rose to lead integrated campaigns for some of Canada's top brands while working at some of the country's leading agencies. Most notably, Catherine was the creative mind behind the acclaimed "Respect the Bean" campaign for the Nabob Coffee Company as well as the internationally recognized branded content campaign "The Movie Out Here" for Canadian beer brand Kokanee that included a theatrically-released feature-length film. Her work has achieved international and local recognition at numerous award shows including Cannes, One Show, D&AD, the Effies and Epica.

Gary Beelik
Parcel Design
Toronto, ON

As creative lead at Parcel Design, Gary has fostered a collaborative environment that brings out the best in Parcel's design team. A believer that one great design idea perfectly aligned with a brand can be a boon to its business, he invests himself entirely into each and every challenge that clients' projects offer. He is also accessible to them throughout the process. A graduate of OCAD University and a founder of Soapbox Design – which merged with Parcel in 2012, Gary has led the creation of award-winning communications for two decades.

Élise Cropsal
Creative Director, Design
Montreal, QC

Élise has almost 2 decades of design experience. In the last 5 years, she has won more than 60 awards, both in Quebec and internationally. Her work for Rethink Breast Cancer, with its range of Give-A-Care products, earned her international recognition, including 2 Cannes Lions in 2017. The following year, she served as president of the Grafika jury, the biggest design competition in Quebec. She has a love of art, keen design sense, and a desire to help her field continue to evolve. She founded the Montreal chapter of the design discussion group, Ladies Wine Design. She also invests much time in the world of publishing and culture, most notably by sitting on the board of Espace Go, a well-known contemporary theatre, and on the board of the Society of Graphic Designers of Quebec. Finally, she is the creative force behind many brand identities, including the new Desjardins logo and the new brand image for the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ).

Mohamed Danawi
Founder + Creative Director
Illozoo | the visual communication agency, New York, Savannah, London, Milan
Beirut, Taiwan

An award winning illustrator, Danawi is the founder and creative director of Illozoo, representing illustrators, animators, photographers and designers globally, and collaborating with major corporations such as Apple, Amazon, Xbox, Blue Man Group, Indeed, Samsung and National Geographic; advertising giants such as Leo Burnett, Grey, Havas, Pentagram and BBDO; and publishing media such as Penguin Random House, Hachette Group, Houghton Mifflin and Oxford University Press. He is also a professor of illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design since 1997, and chaired the illustration deptartment from 1997-2002. He was selected to be included in Archive's 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide, American Illustration, NY Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and Creative Quarterly. Danawi was named Triple Threat: Illustrator, Teacher, and Visionary by CMYK magazine.

Lise Hansen
Creative Director & Partner
Bonfire Communications
Saint John, NB

A cup of coffee. The quiet of an early morning. A blank canvas. This is how Lise Hansen nurtures her creativity. Her 25 years of graphic design and illustration experience have taught her that exceptional ideas begin in the stillness of those early mornings and fuel her creative fire throughout the day. She is co-founder and creative director of Saint John, New Brunswick-based Bonfire Communications Inc., a full-service marketing and communications firm focused on great stories, well-told for their clients. When Lise brings a client's story to life the design has a human connection. It's real and meaningful and rooted in the ideals of the client and audience. Her design experience covers a wide spectrum, but Lise's hallmarks are illustration, branding and packaging design.

Kelly Hartman
Creative Director & Designer
Hartman Design Studio
Calgary, AB

Kelly is a CGD and leads a team producing work in two arenas: publishing (book design) and branding. In both cases, the studio continues to push the boundaries of user experience with innovative and often unconventional solutions. Kelly's work has garnered her 47 design awards including AIGA, Applied Arts, Graphex and Ad Rodeo, to list a few. And, she has been published in numerous design books throughout Europe. Kelly is a sessional faculty at the Alberta College of Art and Design and is an active volunteer for the GDC AB South Chapter. There is little question that Kelly doesn't LOVE what she does and there really is no "outside of work" for her, but when she is not designing, she's attending yet another concert or diving the reefs in Cozumel.

Clint Hutzulak
Creative Director & Principal
Rayola Creative
Victoria, BC

Clint is the founder and principal of Rayola Creative and an alumnus of University of Victoria. For the past three decades, Clint has worked on projects ranging from exhibit design (Vancouver Science World) to building wraps (a 40,000 square foot image in a single Photoshop file for the Fairmont Empress hotel) to several hundred book covers and dozens of books. Clients include universities (SVA, UChicago, Yale, UVic), publishers (Vintage, Random House), record labels (Warner), festivals and top visual artists across Canada, Europe and the US. His book designs have been honoured with a number of Graphic Designers of Canada and Alcuin awards, and for editorial design several Prix d'Excellence from CCAE. He is a CGD as well as an award-winning novelist whose work has been published in several languages in Canada, England and Austria.

Peter Ladd
Creative Director & Co-Founder
Vancouver, BC

Peter is an award-winning designer known for producing engaging and evocative work. Before co-founding Pendo, he worked with top design firms in Toronto and Vancouver, building expertise with a variety of national brands. As Pendo's creative lead, he gives meaning to brands with a visual direction that supports and elevates strategy. From identities to campaigns, packaging and publications, Peter shapes holistic brand experiences at every touchpoint. His work has earned recognition from Communication Arts, Applied Arts, HOW, Graphis, PDN, and Dieline.

Simon Laliberté
Founder, Designer, Art Director & Screenprinter
Montreal, QC

Simon is founder, designer, art director and screen printer of BangBang, a creative studio based in Montreal since 2012. Specialized in branding, packaging and printing projects, BangBang has an integrated approach towards graphic design and screen printing, centered on the development of distinctive, playful and strategic concepts, that adapts to the reality of each client. BangBang has already made its mark with some internationally-awarded projects.

Jacqueline Lane
Design Director
john st.
Toronto, ON

Jacqueline is design director at john st. – recent winner of Strategy's Design Agency of the Year (bronze) – and design educator at Miami Ad School Toronto. On projects for large global brands and small businesses alike, she is dedicated to creating meaningful concepts, strategic narratives and crafted executions. With over 12 years in the industry, her thoughtful approach is informed by her background as an award-winning designer as well as by her diverse experiences working with Canada's top agencies and brands. When not in design mode, you'll find her surfing and spending down time with her husband and dog.

Grace Lee
Priest + Grace
Brooklyn, NY

Grace is the co-founder of Priest + Grace (, a design company in Brooklyn, NY, that specialize in editorial design and visual branding. She is most known for relaunching Newsweek back into print, her work as design director of O, The Oprah Magazine and also as art director at Condé Nast Portfolio. She, along with her partner Robert Priest, self-publish a global football magazine, Eight by Eight, that has captured the imagination of professional football clubs across five continents as well as sports industry giants such as Nike, Puma and NBC Sports. Their work has been honoured for design, photography and illustration by The Society of Publication Designers, The American Society of Magazine Editors, The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, The Type Directors Club, Print Magazine, Art Directors Club, and American Institute for Graphic Arts.

Hylton Mann
Group Creative Director
Juniper Park\TBWA
Toronto, ON

Hylton is a group creative director at Juniper Park\TBWA in Toronto. He was born and schooled in Zimbabwe. After graduating from Rhodes University (BFA Honours Degree in Graphic fine art) and AAA School of Advertising in South Africa, he started his career as an art director at Saatchi & Saatchi in Johannesburg. He then moved to Vancouver, Canada, to work at Rethink, and Downtown Partners in Toronto. In 2007, he joined Juniper Park as its first creative hire. Along the way, he has won numerous international advertising and illustration awards, from Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, Communication Arts, Effies, London Internationals, New York Festivals, Marketing Awards, Applied Arts and ADCC.

Frédéric Marchand
Montreal, QC

Frédéric has over 15 years of experience in design and digital. He is a founding partner and creative director at Locomotive, which he started in 2006 with his partner Jean-François Chainé. This creative adventure soon solidified into a mature, digital-first design agency that delivers award-winning projects for brands, companies, non-profit organizations, the public sector and many others. Cooperative and accessible, Frédéric always keeps the needs of his team in mind. He works closely with directors, but also with creatives and developers, and understands the importance of play at work, one of the keys to success in all the agency's projects. Travel – one of Frédéric's greatest passions, has contributed to widening his perspective on being able to adapt quickly to constantly changing environments, one of the realities of our field of work.

Lara Minja
Principal and Designer
Lime Design Inc.
Victoria, BC

Lara's love of art, craft, learning, and storytelling has led her to the focused design of exhibition catalogues, scholarly books, magazines, educational materials, and postage stamps. Her work has been widely recognized, which she hopes is the result of making useful and meaningful pieces. She holds bachelor degrees in visual communication and fine arts from NSCAD in Halifax and a masters degree in communication and technology from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. When not at work, she enjoys hanging out with her family, active travel, house renovation, block printing, and sewing up a storm.

Karen Satok
Sputnik Design Partners Inc.
Toronto, ON

Karen is partner and creative director at Sputnik Design Partners Inc. ( Karen by the numbers: 32 years as a designer and creative director; 24 years as a partner at Sputnik, a boutique design firm fortunate enough to have created a diverse body of work, including an historic 50-million-dollar fundraising campaign for Toronto Rehab Foundation, a multitude of LCBO promotions, over 50 book covers, and numerous stamp projects for Canada Post; 10 years of volunteer work serving on the RGD Board of Directors, including 4 years as VP of Education; 8 years happily married; and, is controlled by a 19-year-old cat.

The judges are divided into groups, each viewing a different and random group of entries. Each judge reviews and scores the 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 into which it is entered

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

Each entry is judged independently on its own merit. Judges are asked not to rank or compare entries. And, judges do not discuss the work.

We have no pre-determined quota of winners. If a category has no winners, it is eliminated. Similarly, a category may have multiple winners. All entries above the cut-off score are declared winners and are published.

We do not rank winners. Every entry above the cut-off score is given equal exposure in the Awards Annual.

Judging FAQ

Will my piece be evaluated on anything other than illustration? In this competition, the jury is only judging the images, not the design or art direction (entrants who want those areas looked at should enter them into the Design and Advertising disciplines of the Applied Arts Awards).

Preparing & Submitting Entry Material


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 for the Annual.

Acceptable formats

Stills: PDF (recommended), JPG, PNG, GIF
File Size: 15 MB, 8-inches (or 203 mm) on the longest dimension         
Resolution: 300 dpi
Colour Mode: RGB

Video & Broadcast: Upload your piece to a video-video-hosting site such as YouTube, Vimeo, or a non-branded website, and provide the URL. Link must remain active throughout the entire judging and publication process. We strongly discourage the use of password-protected URLs.

Interactive Web-Based Entries or Apps: URLs to websites or apps are accepted, or upload a file.

Please be sure any URLs will be available during the entire judging and publication process (April 2019). File sharing sites are not recommended for viewing entries during the judging process. We strongly discourage the use of password-protected URLs.

How to Enter

Entering is easy with the following four steps.

Step 1: Create an Account

This is your Applied Arts Awards account for all Awards competitions. Once logged in you can edit your personal information, add, copy or edit entries and pay for entries.

Bookmark for easy access to your account later.

Step 2: Complete 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 the 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.

NOTE: The use of passwords is strongly discouraged for web-based entries.

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.

All entries are to be submitted digitally only. High-resolution, final files are to be submitted for judging. These files will also be used for publication. 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.

Step 4: Review Your Credits & Entries

It is recommended that credits and descriptions be completed at the time of submission. If your entry is selected to be published in the Annual there will be a very limited time period to edit or add to your credits/descriptions.

Creative Descriptions are for publication use only and do not get incorporated for judging. The intention of the creative description is to provide an overall summary of the project. The description is limited to a maximum of 500 characters.

Once credits have been entered, select up to six credit roles you want for inclusion in the publication. To sort the order for publishing, simply add the order number of the credit you want it to appear in.

NOTE: A credit role is a job function (i.e. Creative Director). Multiple names can be assigned to one credit role (i.e. if you have two Creative Directors, they only get counted towards one credit role).

In the case of a photographer, illustrator, young blood or student work, to ensure they get recognized, enter their information under the 'Winner' field. You can add the remaining credit roles, to a maximum of six credit roles for publishing.

Please review your credits preview carefully, particularly the credits to be the printed in the Annual.

Entry Material FAQ

Can I submit a hard copy or disk? No. Only digitally-uploaded entries are accepted.

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. Why? You may not see the image preview if you haven't followed the specs outlined in ENTRY MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS on page 4 of the 2019 Entry Kit. 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 the Categories Kit for each awards program 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 US 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 title, creative credits or description. 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 February 2019 via email. At that time, those selected as winning entrants will be required to submit high-res digital files for reproduction in the Illustration & Illustration annual. Winners’ certificates will be mailed separately, after the Illustration & Illustration annual is published.

Winners FAQ

What do winners receive?


*Additional fees apply

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 submitted.

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

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 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. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.