Create. Celebrate.


Applied Arts is Canada’s authoritative voice on visual communications, with a readership of more than 46,000 creative professionals. Since 1986, we have delivered gorgeous imagery of creative achievement, strong opinion, timely information and essential industry insight to our readership of creative and marketing professionals.

Four issues cover and celebrate the communication arts community, and include all of the winners from our annual Design, Advertising, Community, Photography, Illustration and Student contests.

The magazine's companion website offers a wide range of tools, information and inspiration, designed to enhance our print product, featuring unique editorial content, greater prominence for our awards winners and other industry-focused features.



Before you submit creative work or article pitches


Applied Arts is a trade publication aimed at creative professionals and students in the graphic design, creative advertising, interactive media and commercial image-making industries. It is published four times a year in March, June, September and December, and is available by subscription or specialty newsstands (i.e. Indigo).


Whether you are submitting creative work for consideration or pitching an article, please read the magazine first and take note of the type and calibre of work we cover. We cover applied art—that is to say, forms of functional artwork that usually have a measurable commercial use. We do not cover fine art or gallery shows, and only cover public art if there is an applied art angle. We will, on occasion, cover the work of a gallery artist who also does commission work for publications and organizations.


We are a national magazine and while we recognize that demographics means there is a very high concentration of creative services firms in the Greater Toronto Area, we make a concerted effort to showcase opinions, profiles and sources across all of Canada. We focus on Canadian content or Canadians working abroad, but we will cover the occasional international project that we think will pique our readers’ interest—this is more so the case online than in print.



Submission guidelines for artists


Please note that we commission very little original artwork, as the nature of our publication is to celebrate creative work that’s already in market.


Have you just finished a new campaign? Won an award? Want to show off your website redesign? We're here to spread the word and showcase the best creative work offered in Canada and beyond, both in the magazine and on our website. We're always interested in learning about your latest and greatest work, getting article ideas, event announcements and any other creative community-based opportunities.


Whether you’re an ad agency, a freelancer, a design studio, a photographer or an illustrator, if you would like your work to be considered for editorial coverage in our print and online properties, please send us a short note with why you would be a good fit for Applied Arts. Please include low-res images of your recent projects (72 dpi, minimum 728 px wide) and/or a link to your portfolio. In “Editorial Departments” below, you can review where we might feature your work.


We cannot cover everything we are sent, and choose what to feature based on a number of criteria including creative merit, geographic location, frequency of coverage and projected reader interest. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we can only respond to those who will be featured.


Send queries to:

Kristina Urquhart, Editor

editorial [at] appliedartsmag [dot] com

No phone calls please.



Submission guidelines for writers


The primary goal of Applied Arts is to promote and celebrate outstanding creative work, and to inform readers of current trends and issues in the creative services industry. As we are a business-to-business publication, many articles have a service angle to them. The tone of the magazine is informative, clear (some industry jargon is permitted) and light-hearted — don’t forget this is a fun industry to work in!


Writers who regularly cover the advertising, marketing, design, interactive, photography and illustration industries and who have networks of industry sources are encouraged to contact us.


We also welcome writers with other specialties but require some journalistic experience and the understanding that a writer without direct industry experience would likely be considered for a portfolio/profile until they are more comfortable writing features on industry issues.


We accept non-specific pitches or portfolios to writers' work, as we often have in-house story ideas that we are looking for writers to execute. Please don’t send spec (completed) submissions. If you’re a new writer to Applied Arts, please submit at least three samples of your work.



Pitches should demonstrate that you understand what Applied Arts covers. Applied Arts publishes original work—so do not submit a pitch that is under consideration at another publication. Limit your pitch to one page and include the angle, why it should be important to Applied Arts and potential sources. Also see the “Editorial Departments” section below to choose the section that best suits your idea. Please allow a month for your pitch to be reviewed before following up.


Editorial Process

The magazine has long lead times, so successful in-book pitches are often slated for months later (online articles have more flexible schedules). First drafts are due at least two months before an issue is on newsstands, and revisions follow within a week of the draft filing.


Once the assignment letter is agreed upon, the writer will receive a contract stating story scope, rate, kill fee, etc. Writers are responsible for timely delivery of all written materials alongside a list of sources quoted or used for research so that articles can be thoroughly fact-checked. Invoices may be submitted after the editor receives your final manuscript.


Rates for print and online differ and are commensurate with the writer’s experience. All rates are flat fees. Applied Arts asks for first print and electronic rights for the duration of publication. Thereafter, Applied Arts retains the right to reprint and/or electronically publish the article, and the writer is free to publish the work elsewhere.


Send queries to:

Kristina Urquhart, Editor

editorial [at] appliedartsmag [dot] com

No phone calls please.



Editorial departments


Columns: Written by industry professionals, these are 750-word opinion or how-to pieces under these umbrellas: Advertising, Design, Advice, Interactions (tech, marketing and interactive), and Craft (suppliers, i.e. printing, paper, image making, production).



Features: Usually assigned and anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 words. Big-picture features cover major issues and topics in the industry, often with visual examples of creative work by ad agencies, design firms, image makers and developers to illustrate key points. Examples include the state of mentorships in the creative industry, the cost of creative work in Canada, client-agency relationships, etc. Smaller-picture features cover a specific aspect of the industry— examples include the differences between graphic design designations, new techniques or software in image making, changes to accessible design law, etc.


Portfolio: Assigned or written in house. These are 900- to 1,300-word articles that profile a design firm, ad agency, creative services house or image maker. It is a deep dive into the studio/artist’s history, ethos and positioning in market, supported by examples of creative work.


Process: Assigned or written in house. These articles average about 1,000 words and trace a particular project from concept to execution. They are supported by working files, sketches, and/or “before” and “after” images.


Gallery: Written in house, these photo essays feature a representative sample of a photographer, illustrator or motion artist’s work alongside a 300- to 500-word article.


The Brief: Our blog, written in house. Posts of varying lengths highlight the latest and greatest creative projects.



Thanks for your interest in Applied Arts!


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